On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m diving into the research to uncover what is taurine, including the health benefits, dosage, and side effects.
Is taurine a good supplement for your specific needs, or is it just a waste of money?
Let’s find out.
This is the first episode in a new supplements series where I’m giving you a quick science backed overview of popular supplements.
The goal is to cut through all the marketing BS to help you make healthier decisions, while saving you time and money.
To do this, I’ll quickly answer the most frequently asked questions, by diving into the research, then articulating the findings in an easy to understand format.
I’ll do my best to focus on scientific research from high quality studies conducted on humans, preferably randomized controlled trials with placebo controls.
For the most part, these studies tend to provide the most reliable evidence to assess the effectiveness of a supplement.
The most frequently asked questions about taurine include:
Before we jump in, let me know in the comments below if you have ever supplemented with taurine.
With that said, let’s jump right into it.
Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your body.
According to this study found on the National Library Of Medicine, taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, retina, muscle tissue, and organs throughout the body.
Taurine is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid, since it is only essential in times of illness and stress.
Taurine plays an important role in maintaining cellular integrity in the:
In other words, ensuring the cells are stable, undamaged, and performing their essential functions.
Taurine is also found primarily in animal protein foods including:
But don’t worry, unlike in the 1800s when taurine was said to be taken from Bull semen, taurine supplements are now produced in a lab.
Yes, the energy drink brand Red Bull even had to debunk this myth on their website.
When it comes to the health benefits of taurine, let’s break this down into:
From a performance training perspective, according to this study found on the National Library Of Medicine, there have been scientific studies conducted on humans to investigate the effects of taurine supplementation on athletic performance.
In particular, taurine has been shown to:
However, this study also concluded that:
“Limited and varied findings prohibit definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of taurine on aerobic and anaerobic performance and metabolic outcomes.”
“More investigations are needed to better understand the potential effects of taurine supplementation on aerobic and anaerobic performance, muscle damage, metabolic stress, and recovery.“
In other words, the data seems to be inconclusive at this time.
Based on this mixed research, it’s not 100% backed that supplementing with taurine for the goal of improving performance training is needed.
When it comes to weight loss, I also have not come across any research that states taurine directly helps reduce bodyweight in overweight or obese individuals.
However, you can buy taurine supplements for under $20, so if you want to try it and see how it affects your performance, give it a try.
I’ve been using taurine powder from Bulk Supplements on Amazon.
For the past few months, I’ve been adding 2 grams of taurine to my pre-workout drink, however I haven’t noticed any significant changes to my training.
From an overall health perspective, let’s take a look at the research to see if there is any data backing up claims that taurine may help:
Taurine has been suggested to have potential anti-anxiety properties, however the results from this test were based on mice.
While there are some preliminary studies that suggest taurine supplementation may have a calming effect and potentially reduce anxiety symptoms, the evidence base in humans is still developing.
Since I do struggle with occasional anxiety, I do plan on supplementing with taurine the next time I’m having running thoughts in my head.
You can buy taurine for under $20, so it may be worth a try if you are experiencing anxiety.
It has been suggested that taurine supplementation may have a calming effect on the central nervous system, therefore potentially improving sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.
However similar to the anxiety studies, these tests seem to be based on animals.
Clinical human trials have been limited, therefore the base of evidence is still evolving.
To test it for myself, I also plan on supplementing with taurine to see if it helps enhance my sleep.
There have been scientific research studies investigating the effects of taurine supplementation on blood pressure in humans.
This study found on the National Library Of Medicine reported modest reductions in blood pressure with taurine supplementation, particularly in individuals with hypertension or prehypertension.
It’s important to note that the magnitude of these effects may vary among individuals, and further research is needed.
To my knowledge, there is limited scientific research specifically investigating the effects of taurine supplementation on testosterone levels in humans.
While some animal studies have suggested potential positive effects of taurine on testosterone levels, the evidence base in humans is currently lacking.
A recent study from Columbia published in the journal Science found taurine levels in 60 year old humans were approximately 1/3 of the levels found in 5 year olds.
When they supplemented mice with taurine, they concluded taurine seems to slow the aging process and extend healthy lifespans.
In the New York Post article covering the study, they said “Taurine abundance goes down with age, so restoring taurine to a youthful level in old age may be a promising anti-aging strategy.”
Once again, this study was done on mice, and has not yet been applied to humans.
Taurine deficiency is rare in humans, since most the body produces enough taurine on it’s own.
A small percentage of people may have a taurine deficiency, if their body does not produce enough to meet their needs.
If you are interested in measuring your taurine levels, you can test for taurine deficiency via a blood test.
Taurine can be supplemented via taurine powder or taurine capsules.
The general recommended effective dosage is 1-3 grams of taurine per day.
As mentioned, I’ve been using taurine powder from Bulk Supplements on Amazon, but you can also get it in capsules.
Taurine can be taken with or without food.
To boost your workout:
To improve sleep:
To reduce anxiety:
When consumed in regular dosages, taurine does not seem to have any negative side effects.
As always, when it comes to your specific needs, always speak with your healthcare provider to find out if supplementing with taurine is good for you.
Based on the research, it appears taurine has the potential to:
However, to get better conclusive findings, more scientific research from high quality studies conducted on humans, preferably randomized controlled trials with placebo controls, needs to occur.
With that said, since taurine supplements are fairly affordable, if you are looking to improve in any of these areas, you can always test it on yourself, with the appropriate dosages, since there does not appear to be any serious side effects.
That’s all for today’s quick overview on taurine.
In the comment section below, tell me which supplement you would like me to do a deep dive on next.
Do you want to see a video on glutamine, l-carnitine, BCAAs, leucine, creatine, or something else?
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.