Taurine - Elixir of Life; Enhancer of the Workout or Just Bull

Freight Train Pre-workout Preworkout Bar Benders Club barbendersclub Freighttrain Freight Train

Why is there taurine in my pre-workout or in my energy drink? First, we need to understand what taurine is and why it is used in many energy drinks and pre-workout supplements. Taurine, is derived from the Latin word meaning bull or ox hence “Taurus” in astrological signs. Taurine was first derived from ox bile in the early 1800s, NO there is no bile in your energy drink or pre-workout supplement. Taurine is the most abundant amino acid found in the human body and is thought to hold the key to the prevention of aging. Perhaps it’s the fountain of youth we are all looking for. Who doesn’t want to slow the aging process, that’s one reason we all go to the gym… adding taurine just might slow the process of getting old. However, most studies are done on animals and the human studies are more observational in nature, which doesn’t correlate well with proving that taurine helps improve lifespan and health. Okay so, why is it used in pre-workout supplements and energy drinks? Taurine is one of the building blocks of protein (amino-acid) found in our muscles and nervous systems, in such areas it helps to regulate our heartbeat, maintain cell membranes, and can even affect the release of neurotransmitters (chemicals that help our nerve cells communicate). 

According to Kurtz (2021), taurine plays a beneficial role in diverse metabolic and physiological processes such as glucose and lipid regulation, energy metabolism, anti-inflammatory modulation, and antioxidant actions. With all these different physiological functions, what function does it serve in our workout? Taurine may have the ability to improve aerobic metabolism via the reduction of lactic acid, you know that chemical is responsible for the burning sensation when muscles are overworked.  The harder we work out the more likely we will tear some muscle fibers causing an inflammatory response… remember you have to “damage” the muscle fiber in order to build it larger. Taurine may play a role in modulating the inflammatory response which may help in muscle damage repair.  Taurine may also play a role in calcium regulation within the muscle which may improve force and power in muscle contraction. This action is definitely seen with cardiac (heart) muscle but not fully tested in our skeletal muscles. This is why there are a lot of studies showing the benefits of taurine and heart function. In the end, is taurine needed? Some research has suggested that taurine may improve endurance exercise performance, may help in delaying muscle soreness after strenuous exercise, and may improve strength and power. However, further research is needed to determine these suggested benefits. Taurine benefits depend upon the timing and dosage of the supplement. 

How much taurine is needed? According to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the daily recommendation is about 1400 mg of taurine, HOWEVER, proper dosing is determined by how much you weigh. The dosage mentioned above is from one authority; there are others that mention slightly different doses. As with all supplements you take there are risks. Taurine by itself may not pose much risk but in combination with other chemicals like caffeine at high levels may have some adverse effects. 

Research shows that in order for taurine to be effective it needs to be consumed 60-120 min (2hr) prior to the activity… if that is the case then why are you taking it? It won’t work until you are leaving the gym. This may be a good case for helping to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness after your workout. Overall more research is needed to understand how taurine works or if it actually does what we discussed. I always say you need to do your own research on all the supplements you are taking in order to make your own decision on what you consume.



1 EBSCO CAM Review Board. (2022). Taurine as a therapeutic supplement. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.


2 Hart, R. (2023). Taurine—A Key Ingredient In Energy Drinks—Could Slow Down Aging And Extend Life, Research Suggests. Forbes.Com, N.PAG


3 Kurtz, J. A., VanDusseldorp, T. A., Doyle, J. A., & Otis, J. S. (2021). Taurine in sports and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 18(1), 39. https://doi-org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.1186/s12970-021-00438-0


4 Rubio, C., Cámara, M., Giner, R. M., González-Muñoz, M. J., López-García, E., Morales, F. J., Moreno-Arribas, M. V., Portillo, M. P., & Bethencourt, E. (2022). Caffeine, D-glucuronolactone and Taurine Content in Energy Drinks: Exposure and Risk Assessment. Nutrients, 14(23), 5103. https://doi-org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.3390/nu14235103



The Site does not provide medical or legal advice. The Site is for information purposes only. Viewing the Site, receipt of information contained on the Site, or the transmission of information from or to the Site does not constitute a physician-patient or attorney-client relationship.

The medical or nutritional information on the Site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on the Site.

Older post Newer post