Where Does Taurine Come From?

If you are wondering what makes energy drinks work, you may find ingredients like taurine as an important component of these beverages. Taurine is found in products like Red Bull and many energy drinks. What is it and where does taurine come from? Taurine is an amino acid that contains sulphur, a molecule that is not found in many proteins.This amino acid helps increase muscle function, aids performance and sports endurance, and helps regulate blood sugar levels, reduce anxiety, and improve cardiac health. Although taurine is found in bull semen or bile, commercial products that contain taurine uses lab-synthesized taurine which is safe and suitable for people who want to avoid using animal products.

Where Does Taurine Come from?

Taurine gets its name from the Latin term, taurus, which means bull or ox. It was discovered by German researchers in ox bile in the 19th century. However, at present, commercial products that contain this amino acid obtain it from synthetically produced taurine, which is cheaper than extracting it from animals.

So if you are worried about where does taurine comes from, rest assured that products with this ingredient contain lab-manufactured taurine, and not from animals.

What Benefits Does Taurine Possibly Provide?

Now that we know where taurine comes from, let us explore its benefits. It can:

1. Reduce Stress

Taurine helps calm your nervous system by increasing the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA. This allows your body to cope with anxiety and helps control the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Reduction of stress leads to better physical performance, better body composition and weight loss.

2. Burn Fat

Taurine helps metabolize fat, increase energy production and maintain a lean body physique. It helps increase the levels of carnitine in the cell, which plays a role in transporting fats into cells for use as energy in the your body. This facilitates the process of burning fats.

3. Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Taurine helps improve insulin sensitivity, which facilitates glucose uptake by the cells. The result is a reduction in blood glucose levels and an increase in utilization of glucose as energy. This helps reduce your risk for obesity and diabetes, which are now recognized as major causes of chronic disease.

4. Stimulate Testosterone Production

Earlier, we asked, where does taurine come from? Originally found from bull semen and bile, taurine has been found to increase testosterone production without increasing estradiol concentration. An adequate amount of testosterone is essential for improving the male physique because it improves lean body mass development while reducing fat gain. It also help support reproductive health.

5. Abolish Free Radicals

Taurine is known to be an antioxidant which abolishes free radicals to keep cells healthy and alive, thus helping to maintain homeostasis in the body. For example, studies show that foods such as sardines, which are rich in taurine, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin help reduce inflammation and prevent fat gain.

6. Improve Performance

Taurine supplements help enhance force, increase endurance and improve performance during exercise. A recent study shows that intense exercise significantly reduces levels of muscle taurine, but consuming taurine during exercise counters the loss and helps increase work capacity. Furthermore, it was shown that taurine intake improved recovery and reduced muscle fatigue.

7. Support Cardiovascular Health

Taurine helps protect heart health and lowers blood pressure. It has also been shown to enhance the exercise capacity of people suffering from heart failure. In a recent study, it was found that patients with heart failure who received taurine significantly increased their ability to exercise and improved functional mobility in two weeks. Other studies have also shown that taurine helps prevent high blood pressure and lower cardiovascular risk.

8. Improve Brain Function

Taurine helps delay age-related cognitive decline and improves learning and mental retention in aging individuals. It also helps in the development of mental function in children. Research shows that taurine, when paired with caffeine, improves reaction time and reduces sleepiness in sleep-deprived people.

Is Taurine in Energy Drinks Safe?

Now that you know the answer to "where does taurine come from", you probably also want to know if it is safe to use. In small doses (up to 3,000 mg per day) supplemental taurine is considered safe. It is therefore important to observe moderation in taking energy drinks containing taurine. For example, Red Bull contains approximately 1000 mg of taurine per 8 oz can. So if you consume more than 3 cans of this product per day and also eat meats and dairy products containing taurine, you are likely to exceed the daily recommended amount.

ŸPossible Side Effects of Taurine in Energy Drinks

Heavy or long-term use of taurine may have side effects. One study found that it can lower heart rate. Mixing alcoholic drinks and taurine could lead to dehydration and abnormal heart rates, since they are both diuretics. Other side effects include increased stomach acid and diarrhea. People with bipolar disorder should avoid taking too much taurine since it may exacerbate their condition.

Aside from taurine, many energy drinks also contain other ingredients such as sugar and caffeine, so that taking excessive amounts of these beverages can be unhealthy. Too much caffeine increases heart rate and elevates blood pressure, interrupts your sleep, and causes nervousness and irritability. Added sugar provides unwanted calories and can increase your risk for obesity and diabetes if consumed regularly.

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