Healthy Living

What is Taurine and what are its benefits?

What is Taurine and what are its benefits?


We all have that one goal in our minds about losing fat or getting in better shape. This always tends to be one of our goals year after year. Also, many of us  are looking to reduce our stress levels as well as anxiety levels. In such conditions, adequate consumption of the amino acid taurine can be termed as a highly successful method to keep oneself motivated as well as a good contributor in eliminating fats and stress from the body.

What is Taurine?

Supplements as well as energy drinks can at times contain a dizzying range of ingredients, which would make it hard to determine what each of them helps in. One such substance which can be found in both of these is known as taurine. Taurine is also known as tauric acid, which is also an amino acid and most commonly found in energy drinks as well as sports nutrition supplements. It is basically the amino acid that helps in controlling anxiety and managing stress levels in the body. It is mostly known for increasing the levels of energy in the body as it is loaded with the benefits of enhancing endurance. Taurine is also found in foods which are rich in protein such as beef. Taurine all by itself would not lead to weight loss or loss of fat, but it can surely help in controlling weight in certain ways. However, it is ideal to consult a doctor before one goes ahead and starts off with taurine supplements or a taurine rich diet.

Taurine is known to reduce the level of cortisol which is the stress hormone and thereby helps people to get better sleep. It also leads to improvement in the athletic performance of the individual as well as their reaction time, thereby making it a must-have nutrient in the body. Taurine is said to support the insulin health and thus it can prevent the onset of diabetes and also increase the production of energy in the body. Taurine is said to be one of the potent brain nutrients and helps in lowering the blood pressure, protects the health of the heart and fights against inflammation.

Taurine and its effect on the body

Taurine is one of the common amino acids found in the body, especially prevalent in the muscle fibers. Increase in the intake of taurine can lead to increase in the muscle mass as well as improved athletic performance. Taurine is also known for controlling the electrolytes level present in the blood and it also plays a role in the neurological performance as well as the levels of electrolytes. With the improvement it brings to the muscle strength, taurine is known to help one benefit more from their workouts. When it is combined with a proper and regular routine of exercise, then it could help the individual in losing excess flab from the body. In one of the studies which was published in the year 2008, it was researched that when this amino acid was fed to the animals in the model of rats of diabetes, the animals tend to lose weight, thereby suggesting that taurine can have other benefits from losing weight.

Taurine does not lead to weight loss directly, in the traditional sense and the reason behind it is because it does not increase the energy expenditure of the body or its calorie burning ability. Also, in one of the studies, it was found out that supplementation of taurine did not in any way led to increase in the fat burning or caloric burning ability, while carrying out exercise. Hence, it has been said that using taurine alone would not lead to losing weight, but it can help in getting the most out of the workout sessions which one carries out. A 2009 study found out that consumption of taurine promotes an improvement in endurance. which can indeed help the individual to workout longer and also burn more number of calories thereby proving beneficial for weight loss journey.

One of the mechanisms by which taurine is said to help in losing weight is by influencing the increase in the release of hormones. In the 2010 study, it was published that supplementation of taurine was known to increase the levels of testosterone in the body. This hormone testosterone is known to promote the building of muscles, but it is also said to be helpful in reducing the overall fat from the body, thereby leading to loss of weight.

Benefits of Taurine

Reduces stress

In today’s competitive environment, every individual can say that they have certain amount of stress in their day-to-day lives and they always look for ways to bring down the level of stress. Taurine can help all of us to get to that level. Taurine works by promoting the production of the neurotransmitter, GABA which in turn helps to calm down the nervous system. Taurine helps to raise the levels of GABA in the body, thereby helping the body in managing anxiety levels, so that the individual does not get uncontrollable thoughts, which could lead to an increase in the associated level of cortisol or spikes in the adrenaline which come along with stress or anxiety.

Individuals who suffer from low amounts of taurine complain of an over responsive nervous system, towards the amount of stress. An over excited nervous system would mean that there are consistently high amounts of cortisol in the body, thereby leading to an increase in the body fat. For those who have experienced loss of body fat, then they would surely agree to the fact that the body is often most agreeing on giving up on the fat when it is in a calm and stress free state or it is not over stimulated. A simple stress lowering effect of taurine would help in the improvement of the body weight and the composition. In one of the examples, the researchers had shown that supplementation of taurine is known to lower stress and anxiety attacks, thereby leading to better performance or work related output.

Burning of Fat

Taurine is said to help the body in metabolizing the fat, therefore making it essential for the production of energy along with maintaining a lean physique. Good fats are said to play an important role in maintaining good health of all the cells present in the body. The process of fat burning would work something like this, the nutrient carnitine is said to be responsible for moving of fats into the cells which is then utilized for production of energy in the body. By increasing the levels of muscle carnitine, one tends to support the process of fat burning, but it is equally important to also have adequate amounts of taurine present in the body for this process to take place. Taurine is known to help during the first phase of metabolizing of fat, whereas carnitine tends to move the fat into the cells so that it allows the body to burn it up.

Increases the level of testosterone

Taurine has been proven to increase the level of testosterone while not leading to an increase in the estradiol concentration, which is an estrogenic hormone. In one of the studies, it was found out that supplementation of taurine stimulates the production of testosterone. For an individual who weighs between 80 to 85 kgs, the estimated dose would range between three to five grams per day. In an ideal male body composition, there should be adequate amount of testosterone levels because this hormone helps in improving the development of lean mass and also fights against any kind of fat gain by the body. Low levels of testosterone in males is said to be linked with poor health and mostly, it is a dip in the rate of metabolism, thereby leading to development of diabetes in the individual. Taurine is also one among those many nutrients which should be present in adequate amounts for reproductive health, in case of both men as well as women. Apart from taurine, the other important nutrients for the body’s health and composition are Vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, carnitine and zinc.

Fights against oxidative stress

Taurine is lesser known as an antioxidant, but it has the ability to abolish the free radicals from the body thereby keeping the cells healthy and alive. This happens partly because of its role in maintaining the homeostasis and balancing the body. A new study was published that highlighted few of the integrated benefits concerning omega-3 fatty acids and taurine in the body. It measured the inflammatory status of the fat tissues, in response to the diet which was inclusive of supplemental sardine protein. Sardines are said to contain good concentrations of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids of all the fish, thereby it makes them an excellent addition to the diet. They are also said to contain taurine as well as Vitamin E, which is another potent antioxidant. It has been seen that sardine protein tends to minimize the fat gain in response to the diet, which was high in fructose. Also in addition, it led to improvement in the uptake of glucose as well as reduction in the oxidative stress markers, which had ultimately led to decrease in inflammation in the body.  

Eat meat for optimizing taurine levels

Although taurine is an organic acid obtained from the amino acid, cysteine, it is known to behave more like a neurotransmitter due to the way it can calm down the nervous system. Hence, getting enough intake of taurine can help in making the person healthier. Taurine can also be produced in the pancreas if there is sufficient availability of cysteine. Hence for gaining best results, it is important to include taurine as part of the diet. In certain cases, one can look to supplement taurine if enough of it is not found in the diet or if one is suffering from elevated stress levels.

This essential nutrient tends to deplete soon in athletic individuals or those who are resistance trainees since the nutrient is mostly involved in burning fat as well as recovery. One of the examples would be baseball pitchers or the track throwers who usually suffer from taurine and magnesium deficiency mainly due to the high velocity of throws they mostly carry out. Of the many natural sources of taurine, some food items are meat and certain animal products such as eggs, milk, and seafood.

Those who are vegans or vegetarians mostly are found to be deficient in taurine. One issue that arises from this deficiency of the taurine nutrient in a vegan diet is that it can certainly lead to chronic or anxiety attacks. In addition, if there is added amount of stress levels and an overstimulated nervous system, together with taurine deficiency, it can bring about tough times for the individuals who are vegans. Hence, does who not consume meat can take supplementation of taurine, but those who eat meat are recommended to also include animal products as they are also rich in DHA and EPA omega 3 fatty acids. Also, there would be an additional dose of carnitine which is very essential for burning fat and it is said to work synergistically along with taurine and creatine, which is said to be great for body performance as well as composition and lastly, conjugated linoleic acid which is said to prevent instances of cancer.