If you’ve ever had an energy drink, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard about “Taurine.”
This substance is something that the people in my Marc Dressen online fitness trainer sessions seem to get a lot of – though most have no idea what it does, or how it impacts their body.
Just because you’re aware that taurine is in almost every energy drink on the market, doesn’t necessarily mean that you know it’s safe to drink in vast quantities. If you want to ensure that you’re getting the best results out of your workout and that you’re not supplementing with anything that could be classified as dangerous, then you need to begin educating yourself.
So, what is taurine?
The simple answer is that it’s a complicated kind of amino acid that can have numerous effects on your body. Here, we’re going to unravel the mystery of taurine a little further, to see how it could contribute to your training and exercise results.
Defining Taurine: What is Taurine Anyway?
Taurine is a form of “biogenic” amino acid. In other words, it’s something that your body can create naturally. Sometimes known as a “conditionally essential” amino acid, taurine is something that your body can either use or live without depending on the circumstances.
Importantly, it’s hard to fully define taurine as an amino acid, because typical amino acids belong to an amine group and a carboxylic group. Since Taurine only pertains to the first category, it’s technically just an “amine.”
Most of the time, when people use taurine, it’s not as a supplement, but as part of an energy drink. When it does come to supplementation, most people turn to taurine not as a source of energy, but as a way of calming their mind and reducing anxiety.
Some people also take taurine supplements as a way of reducing the cramping commonly associated with exercise when you’re not getting enough hydration and potassium into your system.
What Does Taurine Do?
Since taurine is used for so many different reasons, you’d be forgiven for feeling confused about what it does for your body. It’s an antioxidant that supports the brain and heart. It can also behave as a neurotransmitter in certain circumstances, but it’s not as potent as alternatives like dopamine and serotonin.
One of the most common reasons that people use taurine supplementation is to help with sleeping problems. Taurine levels in the body rise more naturally in response to prolonged periods of sleeplessness. This substance can activate the receptors in your brain that are known for regulating sleep and helping with the production of melatonin.
Currently, studies on the effectiveness of taurine for sleep supplementation are somewhat sparse, so it might be worth speaking to your doctor before you assume that taurine will help you to get your forty winks.
Does Taurine Help with Fat and Exercise?
If you’re considering taurine as a way to improve your exercise routines and support your dieting habits, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to know what kind of role this substance can play in fighting back against obesity and other problems. Taurine can reduce the inflammation caused by fat cells during the state of obesity.
If you’re overweight, increasing your taurine intake can be enough to reverse some of the common problems associated with obesity, and reduce inflammation at the same time. However, it’s worth acknowledging that despite improvements with inflammation, studies don’t show that taurine causes a higher degree of weight loss compared to placebos.
However, what taurine might be able to do for your exercise routines, is improve stamina and allow you to get more out of your workouts. Studies have shown that when taurine is given to people with heart damage, it can protect the cardio system during exercise, and improve exercise capacity too.
This research might suggest that taurine is a fantastic idea for people who might have struggled with cardio problems in the fast and want to ensure that they can still lose weight and build muscle when they’re at the gym. Additionally, the protective nature of taurine may mean that you could improve your endurance and limit soreness when you’re exercising too.
Are There Any Negative Sides to Taurine?
The evidence seems to show that taurine can be useful when it comes to improving endurance and stamina during exercise, as well as protecting the heart. It doesn’t look as though this substance does much when it comes to developing power and strength, however.
Of course, before you start taking any kind of supplementation, it’s important to make sure that the substance you’re taking is safe. At this point, taurine hasn’t been associated with any dangers regarding toxicity when it’s taken at doses of up to 3,000 mg a day -which is typically the amount used with studies on humans.
Overall, however, there aren’t many trials available that consider the risk of taurine toxicity. Although it’s believed to be generally safe, it’s probably a good idea to keep your intake of taurine to relatively low levels if you’re thinking of using the substance as a way of boosting your endurance when you work out.
Finishing Thoughts on Taurine
If you’re looking for an antioxidant supplement to add to your fitness routine that benefits you during states of obesity and could help to defend your heart health, then you might be on the right track with taurine. Not only could this substance help you to sleep better, but it could also improve the endurance you experience during your exercise routines too.
However, even though it’s used in almost every energy drink on the market, taurine isn’t necessarily as amazing as you might think. Most consumers assume that taurine exists in their energy drinks for the same reason as B vitamins – it should help to boost performance and improve the formula.
Taurine isn’t necessarily dangerous if you can control the amount you consume, and you might find that it even helps to make you healthier by protecting your heart. However, you shouldn’t expect tremendous results from taking this substance alone. As always, supplements are just a tool to boost your workout; they’re not a magic cure to all your health and exercise problems.
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