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The Benefits of Supplementing with Taurine

The Benefits of Supplementing with Taurine

Key Takeaways

  • Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid found in tissues throughout the body, in which it plays various physiological roles.
  • Research has found taurine to have promising effects on endurance performance, work capacity, and reduced muscle soreness.
  • Taurine is also involved in how the body utilizes electrolytes. 

 

Taurine is an organic compound that is found throughout the body in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles - especially the fast twitch fibers.  Named by the German scientists who isolated it from ox bile in the 1800s, taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid that can be obtained in food sources like fish, poultry, and dairy.  In addition to food sources, taurine is a staple ingredient (along with caffeine) in many energy drinks on the market.  However, despite its presence in so many commercial products, the performance benefits of taurine are relatively unknown.  Many people have used an energy drink or pre-workout that contains taurine, but might not know why it’s in there or how it may be benefiting them.

 

Sports Performance: What Science Has Found

Likely due to its presence in pre-workouts and energy drinks, the sports performance benefits of taurine have started to be researched more thoroughly.  The areas where taurine shows the most promise is its effects on improving endurance and reducing muscle soreness, two vital components for any athlete to be aware of. 

A meta-analysis looked at 10 studies which examined taurine’s effects on endurance performance.  The researchers concluded that taurine improved overall endurance performance and time trial performance.  This research revealed a couple of other important factors pertaining to taurine’s benefits. Firstly, benefits were seen in both acute and chronic supplementation, and secondly, benefits were found from dosages which ranged from 1-6 g per day. [1

Another meta-analysis which consisted of 34 studies examined the effects of acute energy drink consumption on physical performance.  The researchers found that energy drinks improved muscle strength, endurance, and sport specific actions.  When a meta-regression was done on the data, the researchers noted a significant association between taurine dosage and performance, but not with caffeine dosage and performance. [2]

Taurine’s ability to act as an antioxidant is believed to be linked to the positive effects it has on performance and recovery.  The antioxidant effects of taurine are especially appealing because they’ve been shown to be effective at reducing muscle soreness without impacting the body’s normal post-workout response. 

A study which looked at men who supplemented with taurine prior to using a cycle ergometer to exhaustion found that the taurine supplemented groups had improved VO2 max, maximal workload, and time to exhaustion. [3] 

Another study was conducted on two groups of subjects, one which supplemented with taurine and one which used a placebo. The researchers measured muscle performance and collected blood samples throughout the study, with both groups performing the same eccentric exercise.  The study found that the taurine supplementation group had increased strength levels and reduced muscle soreness without affecting the expected post-workout inflammatory process.[4]    

A study was done on 36 men to see the effects of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and taurine supplementation on eccentric exercise.  The men were divided into four groups consisting of a placebo group, a BCAA group, a taurine group, and a BCAA and taurine group.  The markers for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and muscle damage were improved in the BCAA plus taurine group compared to the other groups. [5]

 

Beyond Athletic Performance

If the potential performance benefits of taurine weren’t enough, this nutrient plays an important role in a variety of physiological processes in the body.  Namely, taurine has been found to be involved in the regulation of fluid and electrolytes. So it can also volumize muscle size by drawing more fluid into the muscle cells.

 

How to use Taurine for performance

Studies have shown that taurine can help benefit endurance performance even with acute doses, meaning you don’t need to load it to start benefitting from its usage.  The dosage range of 1- 6g per day has been shown to be effective, with the meta-analysis showing that doses greater than 6g per day didn’t improve performance beyond what the lower dosage range provided.  A prime example of how to apply this to your supplementation regime is the Kaged Muscle PIP stack. With this stack of pre- intra- and post-workout supplements, a total of 3g of taurine are consumed around the workout window, which is right in the middle of the evidence-based dosage range.

To learn more about the Kaged Muscle PIP stack, click HERE.

 


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