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Extraordinary effects of taurine for sportsmen you definitely had no idea about

Have you heard about taurine yet? This unpretentious element has more positive effects than you think. It is organic acid consisting of sulfur which can be missed within sportsmen and people who don’t consume meat and seafood. It has special benefits for health support, muscle mass regeneration, performance increase or fat burning. Read the reasons why you should consider the taurine supplementation. 

What is taurine?

Taurin is organic acid containing sulfur which is known under the chemical name beta-aminoethanesulfonic acid. It is produced from methionine and cysteine and is found in the majority of tissues, such as in brain, retina, heart or in the muscle tissue. The name taurine is derived from the Latin word bull – Taurus because it was first discovered in the bladder gland. [1] [2]

What is taurine?

Taurin is produced in the body by biosynthesis process or is made industrially, by means of chemical reactions. In the body, taurin is produced in the pancreas and in testicles of the adults. Taurin doesn’t store in the organism and its natural production is not too high, that’s why we also encounter the denotation of taurine as essential amino acid. It serves mostly for support of heart and the whole cardiovascular system, it also has many other health benefits. [1] It influences development and protection of the cells, immune system and controls several important biological processes in the body. These benefits can be supported more by taurine supplementation. That’s why scientists developed chemical synthesis in order to enable the increase of taurine level in the body with the help of supplements[4]

Supplementation of taurine is necessary, for example within newborns, who don’t have the ability to synthesize taurine. Babies receive taurin in the form of breast milk. The breast milk contains more taurine than, for example cow milk, and taurin is the part of the nutrition for babies which are not breastfed. [3] With the growing age, the production of taurine is getting worse[12]

Some people have to supply taurin in order to support their health at diseases of heart, high blood pressure or cholesterol, cystic fibrosis or disorders of liver and kidneys. These individuals don’t have to synthetize the sufficient amount of taurine naturally in consequence of disease or are not able to maintain its level in the body. 

The lack of taurine

The supplementation of taurin brings other benefits to people with seizures, autism, epilepsy or with attention deficit disorder known as ADHD. It is also used by patients with vision problems, diabetes or mental disorders. [3]

The sportsmen receive taurin as supplement for regeneration of the muscles and improvement of their function. Besides that, taurine can help them with reduction of fat deposits and also with reducing the side effects of fat burners, such as cramps when consuming synephrine. [3]

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Taurine sources

The main source of taurine for people is nutrition since its production in the body is very low. That’s why the need of supplementation is narrowly related to eating regime. Among the natural sources of taurine belongs [12]:

  • meat
  • seafood – oysters, seashells and shrimps
  • seaweed 
Taurine sources

This implies that mostly vegetarians and vegans are suffering the lack of taurine. According to the research, the average daily receive of taurine from food is as following [12]:

  • within  “carnivorous” people – 123 mg
  • vegetarians who eat eggs and milk products – 17 mg
  • vegans – 0 mg

The level of taurine in breast milk is dependent upon the mother’s lifestyle. Women who receive any nutrition, have 1,5 times more taurine in the milk than mothers vegetarians have. [13]

The benefits of taurine for sportsmen

The effects of taurine for performance of sportsmen lie in its ability to reduce muscle damage and to reduce tiredness and soreness. At the same time, the supplementation of taurine supports weight loss because it uses fat as source of fuel. In the following lines, we will analyse the individual taurine benefits at physical activity and sport.

The benefits of taurine for sportsmen

1. It helps to regenerate muscle pain

Supplementation of taurin can be an effective weapon in the fight against soreness and muscle damage. The study confirmed that supplementation of taurine in amount of 2 g in combination with 3,2 g of BCAAs (three times a day) helped to reduce muscle pain within testing group. This research was performed on the groups which were receiving combination of taurine with amino acids with branched chain BCAA (or placebo) two weeks before highly intensive training and 4 days after it. The combination of taurin and BCAA seemed to be the most effective at the fight with damaged muscles in contrast to single BCAAs or taurin. [23]

At the same time, another study supported theory that taurin can reduce muscle damage. The participants of the research who were training with weight lifting, had less markers of muscle damage and weaker soreness after using taurine. [33]

The benefits of taurine for sportsmen

2.It can increase performance during aerobic activity

The features of taurin for support of physical performance seem to be effective in several researches. Only 1 g of taurin 2 hours before exercising can be effective for improvement of physical performance. It was confirmed by test performing on the group of trained athletes, who had improved their time of running 3 km distance in 1,7% without significant influence on the heart rhythm or amount of received oxygen. [25]

3. It supports fat burning during physical activity

Taurin effectively reduces body weight, probably thanks to its role during gall synthesis and absorption and breakdown of fat cells. The study on 30 obese university students who had been receiving 3 g of taurin daily, proved that after 7 weeks, their fat profile got siginificantly better and they lost the weight. At the same time, it supports the breakdown of fats within healthy individuals. [21] Taurin has the ability to reduce weight based on the increase of fat consumption as a source of energy during exercising. Within the professional cyclists who were receiving 1,66 g of taurine hour before 90 minutes track, the fat burning was increased in 16%. [24]

4. It support the overall immunity

Taurine is important antioxidant which helps to reduce inflammations, it prevents from infections and protects the cells in the body. Its individual supportive functions will be described in the following lines.

4.1. It serves as antioxidant

The same as the rest of the antioxidants, taurin eliminates harmful oxidants and by this, it protects the tissue from damage [16] By the means of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, taurin protect the body from the unnecessary death of the cells or damage of the tissue. [15] The study confirmed that tissues exposed to oxidative damage, have notably high taurin values. [14] 

The immune system of the organism works the way that white blood cells produce oxidants such as chloric acid or bromic acid in order to damage microorganisms and fight with infections. However, oxidants damages the walls of the cells. [17]

Taurin can transform these oxidants into less harmful taurine chloramine (TauCl) and taurin bromine (TauBr) which are able to reduce the oxidant production.[18] [19]  At the same time, taurine increases production and activity of other antioxidants occuring in the body. [20]

4.2. It reduces inflammations

The mentioned compounds taurine chloramine and taurine bromine have the anti-inflammatory effects. [26] Supplementation by taurine increases the production of TauCl and TauBr in the body which can be effective at treatment of acute inflammations[27] High concentration of TauCl in the human cells helped to reduce inflammatory cytokines. [29]

Reduced production of TauCl in the body can worsen damages of the joints related to inflammation at rheumatic arthritis. [28]

Taurine reduces inflammations

4.3. It prevents from infections

TauCl and TauBr have the ability to kill a wide range of bacteria, fungi such as yeasts and molds, viruses and parasites. [34] [35] Both compounds are promising at treatment of infections such as chronic sinusitis, inflammation of the middle ear, acne and gum diseases.[15] [37] Supplementation by taurine can support production of TauCl and TauBr in the body and by this, it contributes to overall immunity of the organism. [15]

Taurolidin, another derivative of taurine, is commonly used in Europe and USA for reduction of various infections. [36]

5. Taurin and longevity

On the example of Japanese who receive taurine in high amounts from seafood, there is consideration about its impact on longevity. We can partly confirm it on the basis of proven health benefits of taurine on the heart and the overall immunity. [31] [32]

The lack of taurine

The health benefits of taurine:

Taurin has its irreplaceable place in the human body. Besides already mentioned benefits for sportsmen, it has many health benefits such as [1] [6]:

  • it protects the heart function and by this, it serves as prevention of heart diseases, such as stroke
  • it can help to regulate cholesterol level
  • it serves as hypertension prevention
  • is important at reproduction because it influences the amount and quality of sperms 
  • it supports function of liver and kidneys
  • it protects the health of eyes
  • it serves as protection of dry and cracked skin
  • reduces anemia 
  • it can relieve from depression
  • it helps to improve memory and learning
  • it can help at cystic fibrosis, epilepsy or ADHD syndrome
  • is effective at cancer treatment
  • it supports treatment of diabetes

The recommended daily dose of taurine

The sufficient amount of taurin will be provided by dose from 500 – 2000 mg daily. Maximum dose should reach around 3 grams daily, even though there are no proven side effects at the overdose by taurin. [8] It happens because the redundancy of taurine is excreted by urine or form of gall. [5] [7] Taurin usually acts diuretic when there is excessive consumption. [9]

Pregnant women and people with bipolar disorder should consult a doctor about using taurin. There hasn’t been sufficient amount of researches which would prove that taurine is safe for them. [6]  

For whom is the supplementation necessary?

As we already mentioned, taurin can be produced in the body but not in sufficient amount. Some groups of people who don’t receive the sufficient amount of taurine by food or they need to support taurine benefits, should consider its supplementation. These people are [6]:

  • strict vegans or vegetarians
  • sportsmen who want to support their physical performance
  • people suffering diseases
  • people who want to protect their health preventively
The lack of taurine

The lack of taurine

Besides mentioned groups of poeple who should consider the supplementation of taurine, there are other cases of people who are endangered by its lack. There are many factors which can be the reason of the low taurine level in the body. Some diseases such as diabetes, cancer, liver disorders and kidney disorders can exhaust taurin in increased amount. Its lack can be influenced by [18]:

  • low levels of cysteine and methionine
  • small amount of vitamin A, zinc and substance  pyridoxal-5-phosphate which is the active form of vitamin B6
  • excessive receive of food containing sodium glutamate which can deactivate the effects of taurine
  • yeast infections which increase taurine excretion in urine
  • ageing

Also in these cases, the specialists recommend to increase taurine receive in order to prevent unpleasant health problems.

The lack of taurine

Taurine in energy drinks

At the end one interesting thing. Maybe you have heard that some popular energy drinks contain taurine. People mistakenly think it is harmful substance or stimulant. It is not true at all. It is filled into content of these drinks because it can effectively reduce the side effects of caffeine (heartbeat, nervosity, anxiety) and at the same time, the small amount of taurine supports caffeine effect of reducing tiredness. [10] The synthetic compound of taurin made in laboratories is used in energy drinks in order to be suitable for vegetarians and vegans. [2] Another reason why synthetic taurine is used in supplements and cosmetics is that it’s economically more beneficial than to extract it from natural sources. [4]

High caffeine and sugar content in energy drinks reduce health benefits of taurine, in general, energy drinks are not healthy drinks for energizing or supplying with energy. [11]

Do you use taurin too? Share your experiences with taurin in the comments. If you like the article, support it by sharing.

Sources:

[1] Kamal Patel - Taurine – https://examine.com/supplements/taurine/

[2] Natures food patch - Taurine – http://www.naturesfoodpatch.com

[3] Taurine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and dosing – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1024/taurine

[4] Yolanda Smith - Taurine synthesis and production – https://www.news-medical.net/health/Taurine-Synthesis-and-Production.aspx

[5] Stapleton PP, Charles P, Redmond HP, Bouchier-Hayes DJ - Taurine and human nutrition. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16844580

[6] Helen Quach - 31 suprising health benefits of taurine mechanism & side effects – https://selfhacked.com/blog/taurine-benefits/

[7] Shao A, Hathcock JN - Risk assessment for the amino acids taurine, L-glutamine and L-arginine. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18325648

[8] Redmond HP, Stapleton PP, Neary P, Bouchier-Hayes D. - Immunonutrition: the role of taurine. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9684263?dopt=Abstract

[9] Riesenhuber A, Boehm M, Posch M, Aufricht C - Diuretic potencial of energy drinks – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16847703

[10] Fang Ju Lin, Michael M Pierce, Amita Sehgal, Tianyi Wu, Daniel C Skipper, Radhika Chabba - Effect of taurine and caffeine on sleep-wake activity in Drosophila melanogaster – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3630960/

[11] Nahla Khamis Ibrahim, Rahila Iftikhar - Energy drinks: Getting wings but at what health cost? – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320741/

[12] Stapleton PP, Charles RP, Redmond HP, Bouchier-Hayes DJ - Taurine and human nutrition. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16844580

[13] Michael Kessler - What is taurine deficiency? [https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/what-is-taurine-deficiency/

[14] Oliveira MW, Minotto JB, de Oliveira MR, Zanotto-Filjo A? Behr GA, Rocha RF, Moreira JC, Klamt F - Scavenging and antioxidant potential of physiological taurine concentrations against different reactive oxygen/nitrogen species. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20360629

[15] Janusz Marcinkiewicz, Ewa Kontny - Taurine and inflammatory diseases – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894431/

[16] Schaffer SW, Azuma J, Mozaffari M - Role of antioxidant activity of taurine in diabetes. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19234572

[17] Smith JA - Neutrophils, host defense, and inflammation: a double-edges sword. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7996043?dopt=Abstract

[18] Dr. Mercola - Taurine - facts about this crucial amino acid – https://www.prohealth.com/library/taurine-facts-about-this-crucial-amino-acid-42637

[19] Janusz Marcinkiewicz, Ewa Kontny - Taurine and inflammatory diseases – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894431/

[20] Kim C, Jang JS, Cho MR, Agarawal SR, Cha YN - Taurine chloramine induces heme oxygenase-1 expression via Nrf2 activation in murine macrophages. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074672?dopt=Abstract

[21] Zhang M, Bi LF, Fang JH, Su XL, Da GL, Kuwamori T, Kagamimori S - Beneficial effects of taurine on serum lipids in overweight or obese non-diabetic subjects. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221507

[22] Warskulat U, FLogel U, Jacoby C, Hartwig HG, Thewissen M, Merx MW, Molojavyi A, Helle-Stilb B, Schrader J, Haussinger D - Taurine transporter knockout depletes muscle taurine levels and results in severe skeletal muscle impairment but leaves cardiac function uncompromised. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14734644?dopt=Abstract

[23] Ra SG, Miyazaki T, Ishikura K, Nagayama H, Suzuki T, Maeda S? Ito M, Matsuzaki Y, Ohmori H - Additional effects of taurine on the benefits of BCAA intake for the delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle damage induced by high-intensity eccentric exercise. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23392882

[24] Rutherford JA, Spriet LL, Stellingwerff T. - The eeffect of acute taurine ingestion on endurance performance and metabolism in well-trained cyclists. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20739720

[25] Balshaw TG, Bampouras ™, Barry TJ, Sparks SA - The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855206

[26] Marcinkiewicz J, Mak M, Bobek M, Biedron R, Bialecka A, Koprowsky M, Kontny E, Maslinski W - Is there a role of taurine bromamine in inflammation? Interactive effects with nitrite and hydrogen peroxide. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15723204?dopt=Abstract

[27] Janusz Marcinkiewicz, Ewa Kontny - Tauriine and inflammatory diseases. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894431/

[28] Kontny E, Wojtecka-Lukasik E? Rell-Bakalarska K, Dziewczipolski W, Maslinski W, Maslinski S. - Impaired generation of taurine chloramine by synovial fluid neutrophils of rheumatoid arthritis patients. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436209?dopt=Abstract

[29] Corazy-Massalska M, Kontny E, Kornatka A? Rell-Bakalarska M, Marcinkiewicz J, Maslinski W. - The effect of taurine chloramine on pro-inflammatory cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15638042

[30] Manna P, Sihna M, Sil PC. - Cadmium induced testicular pathophysiology: prophylactic role of taurine. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18926901

[31] Yamori Y, Taguchi T, Hamada A, Kunimasa K, Mori H, Mori M. - Taurine in health and diseases: consistent evidence from experimental and epidemiological studies. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804626

[32] Yamori Y, Liu L, Mori M, Sagara M, Murakami S, Nara Y, Mizushima S - Taurine as the nutritional factor for the longevity of the Japanese revealed by a world-wide epidemiological survey. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19239132

[33] L. A. da Silva, C. B. Tromm, K. F. Bom, I.M.B.Pozzi, G. L. da Rosa, T. Tuon, G. da Luz, F. Vuolo, F. Petronilho, W. Cassiano, C. T de Souza, R. A. Pinho - Effects of taurine supplementation following eccentric exercise in young adults – http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/apnm-2012-0229#.XDcbv1xKg2w

[34] Thomas EL, Bozeman PM, Jefferson MM, King CC - Oxidation of bromide by the human leukocyte enzymes myeloperoxidase and eosinophil peroxidase. Formation of bromamines. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7852368?dopt=Abstract

[35] Gruber M, Moser I, Nagl M, Lackner M - Bactericidal and fungicidal activity of N-chlorotaurine is enhanced in cystic fibrosis sputum medium. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28223376

[36] Watson RW, Redmond HP, Mc Carthy J, Bouchier-Hayes D - Taurolidine, an antilipopolysaccharide agent, has immunoregulatory properties that are mediated by the amino acid taurine. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7665985

[37] Waldemar Gottardi, Dmitri Debabov, Markus Nagl - N-chloramines, a promising class of well-tolerated topical anti-infectives – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3591902/