While you might automatically think of squats and kettlebell swings when you hear the words “workout routine,” there’s a lot going on outside of the gym that gets your body performing these exercises (think : sleep, nutrition, recovery, etc.).
Among these hidden elements are the compounds that support your fitness at the cellular level, such as the amino acid taurine.
“[Generally,] Amino acids are important to the body for several reasons: they provide the building blocks of protein, and they are functionally necessary for cell development, survival, and nutrition,” says Brittany Allman, PhD, exercise physiologist and certified sports nutritionist.
Taurine is one of many amino acids, and Allman notes that it has many functions in the body, including several that can support a healthy workout routine, such as helping fight inflammation, increasing the efficiency of oxygen during exercise and thereby increase endurance, protect the heart from overwork by regulating calcium in the heart, supporting muscle development and balancing electrolytes to support hydration, among other benefits (more on these later).
Although taurine is produced naturally by the body, Allman says supplementing it isn’t harmful. Additionally, a December 2012 review in Amino acids has linked taurine supplementation to lower incidences of heart disease in animal and laboratory models.
The most common dietary sources of taurine are animal products such as meat and dairy. But if you prefer your taurine with an extra dose of energy, another source you can turn to is Monster Energy Ultra, which contains just 10 calories and 2,000 milligrams of taurine, along with naturally energizing ingredients like vitamins. B.
Keep scrolling to discover even more ways adding this amino acid to your routine can help improve your workouts.
Exercise triggers a series of reactions that trigger the release of a number of pro-inflammatory markers beneficial to muscle recovery, but only if there are anti-inflammatory agents to counteract them, according to Allman. “Taurine is known to reduce markers of pro-inflammation, and therefore balance this equation,” she says, referring to a November 2019 study in Physiology and behavior.
Feeling in the zone mentally and physically ready is the goal when entering your workouts – and taurine can help with that too.
“Combined with caffeine, as in many energy drinks, taurine can improve mental performance and mood,” she adds. That’s why Monster combines taurine with 150 milligrams of caffeine, so you can get your energy boost.andEasily focus on your workout goals for the day.
Taurine is found in the highest concentrations in oxidative muscle fibers, which are the muscle fibers that support aerobic activity, according to an August 2010 study in theJournal of Biomedical Sciences. “The effect of taurine on endurance performance may be due to taurine’s role in regulating calcium and improving muscle cross-bridging and muscle contraction,” Allman says.
“The jury may be out yet whether or not taurine supplementation improves aerobic performance,” she says, citing a May 2021 review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. “Nevertheless, there appears to be a small potential for improvement in both trained and untrained individuals.”
4. Reduction of oxidative stress
The final benefit of adding taurine to your pre-workout routine? Support your body’s stress levels with the antioxidant properties of Taurine.
“Exercise increases oxidative stress, which is when there’s an excessive amount of free radicals in the body, or the inability to buffer those free radicals,” Allman says. “Taurine increases the production of antioxidant enzymes in skeletal muscle and decreases oxidative stress by reducing the production of free radicals.”
Whether you’re looking to boost your energy or aid recovery (or all of the above), you now know a little more about how taurine can help you.