Taurine… I’ve heard of that. That’s what’s in my energy drinks right? Right! Unfortunately energy drinks are loaded with unwanted sugars too, therefore Taurine supplementation is a healthier way to increase your intake.
Taurine is normally thought of when hearing about energy-loaded drinks that help you get through that mid-afternoon crash at the office or late night studying session, but Taurine is also taken when one’s body is Taurine deficient or extra is supplemented for those with an active or fitness lifestyle.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that can be made in your body from two other amino acids; cysteine and methionine. It is primarily found within muscle and nerve tissue, although it can be found throughout the entire body. It is the second most abundant amino acid within the amino acids muscle group. Taurine is believed to help regulate water balance, energy levels, heartbeat, and muscle contractions. Although most amino acids are needed to build protein, Taurine does not help to build muscle because it doesn’t link with other amino acids or the building blocks of protein. Instead, Taurine acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage that results from certain chemical reactions involving oxygen. Taurine is also said to improve mental and athletic performance.
The amount of Taurine concentration in our brain decreases with age. It is said that higher Taurine levels correlate with better memory and mental function, this is why it is added to popular energy drinks, to improve alertness and attentiveness.
Am I Deficient in Taurine?
Adequate amounts of Taurine can usually be obtained from animal and fish protein, and eggs. Since Taurine can be made in our bodies, it was thought to be a non-essential amino acid, however, it is actually very essential!
Causes of Deficiency
*You are eating foods with MSG, which degrades Taurine
*You are infected with disease-producing anerobic bacteria
*You are deficient in the enzyme needed to make Taurine
*Your body does not make enough Taurine due to a deficiency of another nutrient
A lack of taurine within the body has been linked to retinal damage, impaired muscle growth, and immune system deficiencies. Low Taurine levels have been found in patients with anxiety, depression, hypertension, hypothyroidism, gout, infertility, obesity, kidney failure and autism, among other conditions.
Why do I need Taurine?
Why would an athlete of fitness person care about supplementing with Taurine? Taurine is similar to Creatine in the fact that it enhances water balance and nutrient uptake within muscle cells which also helps prevent dehydration.Staying hydrated will cause the muscle to hold more water, improving both strength and muscle gains. It increases alertness and attentiveness, important for staying focused and in the zone during your workout. It also is important for cardiac output by strengthening your heart while reducing blood pressure.
How Can I Supplement with Taurine?
Dosages between 500mg-2,000mg have shown to be efficient, although the upper limit for toxicity is placed at a much greater level and large doses are known to be well-tolerated. The upper limit at which one can be relatively assured no side effects will occur over a lifetime has been suggested to be 3g a day.
Dosage of Taurine Supplement
1-3 grams of Taurine powder supplement before working out
-Foods containing high levels of Taurine
1 cup cottage cheese – 1700mg
3 oz cheese – 1000mg
1 cup granola – 650mg
3oz pork – 540mg
1 cup oatmeal – 500mg
1 cup whole milk – 400mg
1 cup yogurt – 400mg
1 cup chocolate – 400mg
1/4 cup wheat germ – 350mg
1 egg – 350mg
3oz turkey – 240mg
1 avocado – 150mg
What Is Taurine Good For?
Supplementing with Taurine can be very influential to your health. Clinically, Taurine has been used in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including: cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, muscular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatic disorders, and cystic fibrosis. An analog of Taurine, acamprosate, has been used as a treatment for alcoholism.
Taurine has also been used for migraines, insomnia, agitation, restlessness, irritability, obsessions and depression.
Focus is key when you’re needing to be “in the zone” during your workout. Add Taurine to your stock of workout supplements and use it in your daily routine to feel energized and alert!