Taurine – Metabolism Booster Used in Energy Drinks
Taurine is an amino acid found in energy drink that is also produced in the body.
The body can handle up to 3,000 milligrams of taurine each day without causing any health problems.
You’ve probably seen and maybe even tried some of the numerous energy drinks that are currently on the market. Some people think they are better than coffee at giving you that extra boost needed to start your day (or to continue it). However, have you read the label on these drinks? The majority of them include taurine, amino acid produced naturally by your body and found in some of the food you consume. But what else do you need to know about taurine? And is it safe to be consuming it in these energy drinks?
What is Taurine?
As mentioned above, taurine is an amino acid. Although not considered essential for your health, taurine can provide a number of health benefits which will be discussed further in this article. Typically, most people get enough of this amino acid from taurine food, such as meat, fish, and eggs. However, their bodies can manufacture it as well.
Why is Taurine Added to Energy Drinks?
The combination of taurine and caffeine is believed to give energy drink consumers an energy buzz. Although taurine is not a stimulant like caffeine, some research suggests it can boost athletic performance which may be at the heart of its beneficial use in these beverages. Some evidence also suggests that, like caffeine, it gives people a taurine metabolism boost. That means taking it could help you lose weight faster, at least in theory.
Taurine and Safety
The big question, of course, is whether taurine is safe. The answer is that you can take up to 3,000 milligrams of taurine every day without doing yourself any harm. Whatever your body doesn’t need is simply filtered out through your kidneys. However, if you have renal problems, you may want to steer clear of the energy drinks because nothing is known about the safety of having too much taurine in your system. And remember you are going to be consuming it every time you eat meat or fish.
Despite being a naturally occurring amino acid, taurine in high concentrations might have some negative effects on people. Some research done on rats found that giving them large doses of taurine would change their mood and increase their anxiety. However, other research has suggested that high doses of taurine might help lower blood pressure in patients who have hypertension.
In fact, low levels of taurine in the body have been linked to other disorders, including autism. Because fetuses cannot manufacture their own taurine, pregnant mothers need to supply enough of this important ingredient to them because the amino acid is going to help the development of the brain. Of course, energy drinks are probably not the best source of taurine for this purpose.
Dangers of Energy Drinks
Even if taurine is safe and even good for your health, energy drinks might not be a good choice. Remember that high levels of caffeine can be dangerous to your health by causing excessive stress to your heart, spiking your blood pressure, and making sleeping difficult.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
Thanks for a great article on taurine. I never knew it could be harmful to the human body if you imbibe too much.February 15th, 2009 at 5:14 pm