Taurine: how it works in the body, benefits and daily amount

You have probably heard of Taurine, especially if you have already stopped to read the label of some energy drink (one of the most well-known products that contain the substance).

Thus, we can say that it is an ingredient present in the routine of many people and, thus, quite popular. Thinking about it, we separated information about what is taurine, what are its benefits, origin, possible harm, among other curiosities. Check out:


What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid that is present in abundance in the human body – although it is not one of the most important for the body. Its synthesis occurs mainly in the liver and the central nervous system (CNS). In addition, it can be found especially in the heart, muscles, retina and brain.

The taurine substance was isolated for the first time during the 19th century. Initially, it was obtained through bile and oxen semen. Fortunately, nowadays it is obtained by laboratory processes and without cruelty.

But it is possible to obtain it through a balanced diet. To do this, just consume foods such as meats (pork, chicken, beef or seafood).

Ah, despite the countless benefits present in vegetables, in the case of taurine, they are not a good choice, as they contain very low levels of the substance.

But another well-known source of taurine is energy drinks – which should contain a maximum of 400mg of the substance for every 100mL of the drink.

Among its functions is the aid to biological processes, such as the conjugation of bile acids, maintenance of calcium and osmoregulation. In some cases, it can also have a protective effect against acute cardiovascular disorders, in addition to antioxidant action in the body.

Benefits: what is taurine for?

Taurine is, as mentioned in the previous topic, commonly consumed through the use of energy drinks. And it is there because, in the right dose, this substance can present health benefits (especially if consumed through food or supplementation). Check out some:

  • It has antioxidant properties – which can help, for example, to prevent disease progression;
  • Assists in the regulation of metabolism;
  • It works as an osmolyte (small molecules that help counteract environmental stresses in living organisms) to maintain cell volume and fluid balance;
  • When combined with caffeine (a common action in energy drinks), the levels of attention and concentration increase. It also acts on the body to reduce mental fatigue and the perception of tiredness;
  • It can help to significantly lower blood glucose;
  • Protects red blood cells against some enzymes that cause oxidation;
  • It can reduce triglycerides and lower cholesterol;
  • It can improve performance in physical exercises – reducing muscle damage and oxidative stress;
  • It can prevent diabetes and heart problems;
  • It has a diuretic action;
  • Strengthens cardiac contractions;
  • It acts as an energy supplement due to its detoxifying effect (it helps the liver to excrete substances that are no longer beneficial to the body);
  • When present in energy drinks, it can help to avoid effects such as arrhythmia and anxiety;
  • It acts on cardiovascular function – moves substances such as calcium, magnesium, potassium into and out of cardiac cells;
  • Assists in the control of immunity.

In addition to these, studies are being developed to prove the benefits of taurine for the treatment of disorders such as epilepsy , heart failure, cystic fibrosis and alzheimer.

How to age taurine no organism?

Taurine is a substance synthesized in the liver and brain from methionine and cysteine ​​(amino acids make up proteins ), along with vitamin B6 – which helps in the metabolism of proteins. It acts mainly by assisting liver functions.

Nutritionist Carolina Lane Alves Faria explains that “taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the human body. It is found mainly in the heart, central nervous system (CNS) and in the muscles ”.

She also mentions that “in the CNS it (taurine) has important neuronal functions, such as neuroprotective, regulator of excitability (ability to react to stimuli), neuronal, memory formation and anticonvulsant, improving the development of the central nervous system”.

Taurine is bad?

No . As it is a natural substance, there is no evidence that taurine can harm the body or have some level of toxicity.

However, it is worth mentioning that everything in excess can be harmful, so it is necessary to always consume according to the indicated daily doses (maximum of 3g daily). In addition, children, pregnant women and the elderly need extra attention and should only ingest taurine with medical advice.

Where to find and where does taurine come from?

Originally, taurine was obtained unanimously from the testicles, urine, bile secretion and semen from bulls / bulls.

This process, in addition to all animal cruelty, is also extremely expensive. There are no official records to guarantee that it has not been carried out. However, today science already has access to laboratory synthesis techniques, making the initial obtaining path quite rare – if not, extinct.

Thus, the use of the substance is allowed but without high costs and, above all, free from animal cruelty.

It is worth mentioning that there are different ways to find taurine for consumption. The main ways are through food – giving preference to meat (beef, pork, poultry or seafood).

Or, still, in supplements that contain the substance (which may be in powder or capsule) and also by means of energy drinks, which is already the most traditional consumption of taurine. Always remembering to seek medical or nutritional guidance to make a safe consumption.

How much to consume per day?

When taurine is consumed through energy drinks, there is usually an amount of 750mg to 1,000mg per serving. When found in capsules, it can vary between 500mg and, sometimes, even exceed 1000mg.

In a normal diet, consumption of taurine is between 40mg to – at most – 400mg per day.

However, safe consumption of the substance can reach up to 3g per day, maintaining its ergogenic (stimulating) effects without causing adverse reactions.

What is the source of taurine in the energy drink?

In general, the energy source’s taurine is produced from chemical processes. Therefore, this substance is synthesized in laboratories.

After this synthesis, taurine is used as one of the main ingredients of many energy drinks. In addition, this same synthetic substance is used in some cosmetics, cat food and even contact lens solutions.

Taurine and caffeine: is it bad to take too much energy?

-Yeah . First, we return to the rule that anything in excess can harm the body, so the same applies to energy consumption.

Taurine and caffeine are substances that act as stimulants to the brain, keeping it in a constant state of alert, increasing the levels of attention and concentration. In addition, they reduce mental fatigue and the perception of tiredness .

Therefore, when consumed in excess, these substances can cause damage due to their highly stimulating actions. Some examples are problems such as muscle tremors, gastritis , tooth erosion, insomnia and even stroke or infarction .

Taurine supplement: when to take?

Taurine can be very beneficial to health, so that its consumption through supplementation can often be indicated by specialists.

In general, consumption is 1 capsule 2 times a day. But it is essential to follow the recommendation of the professional responsible for your case.

These guidelines are for supplementation (powder or capsule). For the consumption of taurine through energy drinks there is no previous recommendation, just consume according to the safe daily amount and avoid ingesting during the night – as high levels of stimulating substances can cause insomnia.

Taurine is bad for anxiety?

There are no studies that attest to the harmful effects of taurine for anxiety . In contrast, there is research related to the possible benefits of the substance for these cases.

Nutritionist Carolina Lane Alves Faria explains that the pharmacological perspective for this use is based on the possible antidepressant and anxiolytic effect of taurine.

According to her, “such an effect can be obtained by the fact that L-Taurine interacts with GABA receptors (gamma-aminobutyric acid) – a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and calm in our body”.

Finally, she also explains that “Taurine acts by slowing brain activity”, but that “it is worth mentioning that little is known about these effects in humans and it is believed that the anxiolytic effect is obtained with the use of low doses of taurine ( less than 250mg) ”.

Therefore, in cases of anxiety treatments, it is necessary to seek medical advice to make safe uses of taurine or any other substance.

Price and where to buy

The price * of taurine varies according to its version – considering that the most common is to consume energy drinks or capsule supplements. Some examples are:

  • Taurina Minas Brasil (supplement) – the price is close to R $ 30;
  • Ziin Ziin energizing ampoule (energetic in ampoule format) – usually the price is below R $ 2;
  • RedBull Energy Drink – the price is between R $ 7 and R $ 10.

* Prices consulted in March 2020. Prices may change.

You can buy products based on taurine, or the substance itself, in health food stores and on some websites – such as Consulta Remédios .

Often we have no idea of ​​the action of some substances in our body, even those that we sometimes ingest daily. This may be the case for Taurine for you.

Did you like to know more about how this substance acts in the body, its benefits and risks? So keep following the Healthy Minute for more content like this!