TAURINE: The Amino Acid of Champions
Taurine is the most plentiful amino acid in the body, and is found in high amounts in the brain, heart, retina and blood platelets. It has multiple roles in the body, such as aiding in the movement of minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium in and out of your cells. Taurine is made from two other amino acids: methionine and cysteine.
It can help with anxiety, depression, and muscle tension but it mostly known for its ability to aid in athletic performance and weight loss.
One study published in the journal Amino Acids, which examined 11 men ages 18 to 20, found that taking a taurine supplement for seven days before their workout had increased VO2max (a way to measure the body’s ability to transport and use oxygen) and longer training periods before feeling exhaustion. The Japanese researchers who conducted the study, believed it was taurine’s antioxidant and cell-protecting properties that helped provide these benefits.
Taurine’s ability in helping reduce muscle damage has also been noted. In a separate study, it was found that participants who took taurine before a muscle-damaging weight lifting workout had reduced soreness and markers of muscle damage compared to those who were given a placebo.
This amino acid may have a benefit for people who want to manage their weight. Cyclists who supplemented with 1.66 grams of taurine were found to have a 16 percent increase in fat burning, which may help with weight loss.