If you drink energy drinks often, you might notice they use common ingredients. Of course, caffeine will always be present, but so is taurine.
According to this study, taurine is present in most energy drinks because it improves your athletic performance. That’s why most energy drink brands are including this nutrient in their beverages.
In this article, I’ll show you how taurine can improve your improved exercise capacity and help you meet your physical goals in the succeeding sections.
Does Taurine Give you Energy?
I don’t think so. Besides, not every content in an energy drink is dedicated to giving energy alone.
While some believe taurine is a stimulant, it’s actually the opposite. You can find it in energy drinks because it acts as a nervous system depressant. In short, it helps calm nerves and relax muscles.
Aside from this, it could help boost your physical performance by allowing the flow of glucose to your muscles. This is why it’s popular among weightlifters because, in this way, it helps protein synthesis and mass muscle development. This alone makes taurine earn its spot on energy drinks content.
Is L-Taurine the Same as Taurine?
Yes, it is. You probably notice some energy drinks have “L-Taurine” on their nutrition facts, while some have “Taurine” only. They are basically the same amino acid in charge of developing your heart and muscles.
I don’t think you’ll have to rely on energy drinks if you want a dose of taurine. You can get Taurine from products such as:
If you don’t know already, babies can get taurine from breast milk.
You can unintentionally or intentionally consume small amounts of taurine from natural sources as well. But you can get a much higher dose of taurine from energy beverages. And for your information, the taurine included in energy drinks are synthetically produced too.
While it sounds incredible, it also raises some concern about its safe amount in energy drinks. Moreover, there’s also a question of potential side effects you could get from it.
But then again, if you’re going to ask about high doses, energy drinks also have a higher dosage of caffeine which could also harm your health.
Is Taurine Better Than Caffeine?
It depends on what specific goal you would like to achieve. Caffeine is a better stimulator of your nervous system and increases your alertness. On the other hand, taurine can help you more in muscle repair and battling fatigue.
Therefore, if you care for your muscle more than having a dose of alertness, then I guess you’ll find taurine much better than caffeine. But, I would say that caffeine has its own job, and you shouldn’t actually compare them.
Considering their role, you cannot really question how essential they can be to your exercise and beneficial for your body. Some studies suggest combining taurine with caffeine improves mental performance.
However, a study using Red Bull debunked the effectiveness of taurine in an energy drink. It says that it’s only the caffeine alone that provides the boost and other benefits which you should get from both caffeine and taurine.
The two findings are actually against each other, but there’s one thing for sure. The common denominator taurine and caffeine have is that if you take too much of them, they have this ability to make you feel more tired or sleepy.
How Much Taurine Per Day?
You’re allowed to take a lot. I bet you consume more or less at least 400mg of Taurine every day without you knowing it. That could sound too much, but it’s actually not.
In fact, this study suggests that the highest daily dose of caffeine that’s still safe for you to take is up to 3g or 3000mg per day. On the other hand, EFSA states that you could even go as far as 6g or 6000mg per day.
That said, you should only take one energy drink per day. Taking energy drinks occasionally won’t likely have any harmful effect on your kidney. Other studies suggest that drinking two or more carbonated sodas or energy drinks may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease.
What Are the Dangers of Taurine?
There are pretty few. EFSA’s suggestion is obviously high, but it’s still proven safe. However, some individuals reported side effects after taking taurine, as a supplement or an ingredient in a product.
Some of its side effects include:
- Liver pain
- Stomach pain
However, it’s unclear whether the side effects are directly from the taurine or the other ingredients mixed in a particular product. If you experience the side effects after taking energy drinks with taurine, consult your doctor immediately.
He could provide additional advice, especially if you prefer energy drinks with high taurine content. Besides, the side effects of taurine are somewhat similar to the side effects you’ll get from caffeine overdose.
You’ve got a pretty low chance of consuming over 6g of taurine. But just in case you try to experiment or if you’re under prescriptions, it would act as a cytochrome P450 enzyme inhibitor. This substance can cause unanticipated harmful reactions which could interfere with your medications.
Best Energy Drinks with Taurine
There are many more energy drinks that use taurine; however, there are only a few I could suggest for you to try.
First on the list would be Red Bull. Obviously, they mentioned the use of Red Bull. I guess you’ve already associated the word Red Bull with taurine by now.
But other than taurine, it also has other nutrients like B Vitamins. You’ll get the boost you need because it has a good combination of 80mg caffeine and 27g of sugar. However, the possibility of sugar crashes can be bothersome.
There’s a high chance you’ll experience sugar crashes if your body is susceptible to sugar. If you’re a healthy adult, I don’t think it would negatively affect you, especially if you compare it with other energy drinks with way higher sugar levels.
Just like Red Bull, Monster doesn’t specify how much taurine it has. However, It has 160mg of caffeine, double what Red Bull has.
Aside from the 190 calories it has, this energy drink could give you 54g of sugar, which is already past the safe limit of sugar. Moreover, it also uses an artificial sweetener called sucralose. I’m not a fan of mixing natural sugar with artificial sweeteners, especially if a drink already has too much sugar.
For your information, you should only take 30g of sugar per day. This recommendation applies to food and beverages as well. As you can see, Monster exceeds the limit.
It would be best to consume half a can per day to avoid sugar crashes. Just make sure to store it in a cool or dry place and transfer it in a container that’s properly sealed.
REIZE (Top Pick)
My favorite energy drink REIZE has both taurine and 50mg of caffeine!
I can say it’s just a fair amount of caffeine to support its taurine content. The good thing about this is that you won’t worry about having a caffeine crash even if you mix two sachets in a day.
It also has only a few calories, which you could burn pretty quickly. Although it doesn’t contain any real sugar, it tastes excellent due to the use of an artificial sweetener.
Aside from Taurine, REIZE also contains a good deal of B Vitamins and all in all these micronutrients in combination with moderate caffeine can enhance your mental and physical performance, whatever your activity is for the day!
In addition, REIZE also comes in handy 4g sachets that you can take with you anywhere! Whip up a fresh glass whenever you want.
You can get REIZE for only around $1 and you can even have your orders shipped to your home. That’s amazing value for your money.
Other Notable Mentions
While you can always get taurine from your eating regimen, you can also get it from energy drinks to feel an enhanced upgrade in your performance. If you’re working on extreme activities that put much stress on your muscles, look for energy drinks that have taurine.
Because energy drinks have a lot of other ingredients other than caffeine, it’s pretty hard to assess if the taurine inside them genuinely works. While all of the mentioned studies only focus on one energy drink, Red Bull, I guess I could understand you if you still have room for doubt.
Just remember that taurine might or might not go along with specific prescriptions, so it’s only ideal that you talk with a doctor before taking it. But if you’re all healthy, you wouldn’t have any known aftereffects.
Nevertheless, because the manufacturers still invest in adding this amino acid, I don’t think they would lie about it either. And this also goes the same for companies who incorporate the use of taurine as a supplement.