Does Taurine Slow Aging? Here’s What the Science Says

Does Taurine in Energy Drinks Put the Breaks on Aging?


by Ellen Blake

Taurine in energy drinks is all the rage lately. Have you noticed all the energy drink labels in the supermarkets boasting the products contain taurine lately? Brands like Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster add this ingredient to their products due to its many potential benefits, usually 1 gram per 8 ounces.

The reason taurine, sometimes spelled tourine, is commonly added to energy drinks and also some nutritional supplements is because of its potential benefits in supporting energy levels and exercise performance. Some also claim it improves brain health. But does the research support these claims?

While we don’t believe taurine is the fountain of youth as some people claim, the research does suggest it might be beneficial in delaying aging. Not only that, it probably won’t hurt you if consumed in the recommended dosage amounts. Here are the facts.

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid naturally found in the body in abundance. It is also found in high-protein foods, particularly animal-based products such as meat, fish, dairy products, and seaweed. It is not considered an essential amino acid because the human body can produce it on its own. However, it is still classified as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that under certain conditions, such as illness, the body’s ability to produce taurine may be limited, and it may need to be obtained through the diet. Babies can’t make their own but can get it from breast milk or formula with taurine supplementation. It’s important to note that vegetarian diets and vegan foods tend to be deficient in taurine.

Why Do We Need Taurine?

Taurine plays several important roles in the body. It is involved in various physiological processes, including the development and function of the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and skeletal muscles. Taurine also helps regulate mineral balance, such as calcium and potassium, and plays a role in the formation of bile acids, which aid in digestion and the absorption of dietary fats.

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Benefits of Taurine

Here’s what people say about the benefits of taurine:

  • Helps Lower Stress.
  • Eases Anxiety.
  • Improves Fat Burning.
  • Improves Insulin Health.
  • Improves Testosterone.
  • Fights Oxidative Stress.
  • Enhances Performance & Accelerates Recovery.
  • Protects Cardiovascular Health.
  • Taurine With Magnesium Improves Sleep.

Specifically, How Does Taurine Improve Exercise Performance?

The effect of taurine on exercise performance is a topic of ongoing research, and the findings are mixed. While some studies suggest potential benefits, it is important to note that the evidence is not consistent, and more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions. Here are some findings related to taurine and exercise performance:

  1. Energy metabolism: Taurine is involved in energy metabolism and may play a role in energy production during exercise. It has been suggested that taurine may enhance exercise performance by improving energy levels and reducing fatigue.
  2. Muscle function and recovery: Taurine appears to have antioxidant properties that may help protect muscle cells from oxidative damage associated with exercise. It may also aid in muscle recovery by reducing exercise-induced inflammation and muscle damage.
  3. Endurance performance: Taurine supplementation may improve endurance exercise performance, such as increasing time to exhaustion during prolonged exercise.
  4. Anaerobic performance: Taurine supplementation has shown mixed results in improving anaerobic performance, such as strength and power output. Some studies have reported positive effects on muscle strength and power, while others have not found significant improvements.

It’s important to note that individual responses to taurine supplementation can vary, and the optimal dosage and timing of supplementation are still unanswered questions. Additionally, as taurine is often included in energy drinks, the other ingredients in these products, such as caffeine, can have their own effects on exercise performance.

So Are the Claims About Taurine True?

We know the amount of taurine in our bodies decreases as we age. It’s thought that reversing this decline via supplementation increases health and life span. According to a new study led by Columbia researchers and involving dozens of aging researchers around the world, a taurine deficiency drives aging in animals. The study showed male mice’s lifespans increased by 10 percent taking the supplement, while females increased by approximately 12 percent.  As part of the study, the researchers analyzed 12,000 people and found those with more taurine in their blood were healthier in general.

Do these results prove taurine provides the benefits claimed? Unfortunately, no. The current research is limited. Long-term studies testing whether taurine deficiency drives aging in humans as well as animals are not available.

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What Do We Know About Taurine and Diabetes?

There is some scientific evidence suggesting that taurine may have potential benefits for individuals with diabetes. Here are a few ways in which taurine may be beneficial:

Blood sugar regulation

Taurine has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose tolerance in animal studies. It may help regulate blood sugar levels by increasing glucose uptake into cells and reducing insulin resistance.

Antioxidant effects

Diabetes is associated with increased oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of complications. Taurine has antioxidant properties and may help reduce oxidative stress and protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Cardiovascular health

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications. Taurine has been shown to have cardioprotective effects by improving heart function, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol levels.

Nerve protection

Diabetes can damage nerves, leading to diabetic neuropathy. Taurine has shown potential in protecting against nerve damage and improving nerve function in animal studies.

While these findings are promising, it’s important to note that the research is limited. Scientists don’t yet fully understand the effects of taurine on diabetes in humans. Additionally, taurine should not be considered a substitute for standard diabetes management, which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and appropriate medical care. If you have diabetes and are considering taurine supplementation, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss its potential benefits and any potential risks or interactions with your current treatment plan.

What Do We Know About Taurine and Epilepsy?

The role of taurine in epilepsy is an area of ongoing research, and researchers are still exploring the potential benefits. Here are some findings related to taurine and epilepsy:

Anticonvulsant properties

Taurine has been found to have anticonvulsant effects in various animal models of epilepsy. It may help reduce seizure activity by modulating neurotransmitter systems, such as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has inhibitory effects on brain activity.

Neuroprotective effects

Taurine’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties suggest that it may have neuroprotective effects in epilepsy. It may help protect against neuronal damage and reduce the risk of epilepsy-related complications.

GABAergic modulation

Taurine has been shown to enhance GABAergic neurotransmission, which plays a crucial role in regulating neuronal excitability. By increasing GABAergic activity, taurine may help prevent excessive neuronal firing and reduce seizure activity.

It’s important to note that most of the research on taurine and epilepsy has been conducted in animal models, and the translation of these findings to human epilepsy is still being investigated. The efficacy of taurine as a standalone treatment for epilepsy in humans is not yet well-established, and it is not currently considered a standard therapy for epilepsy. If you or someone you know has epilepsy and is considering taurine supplementation, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a neurologist or epileptologist, who can provide personalized advice based on the specific circumstances. They can assess the potential benefits and risks and determine the most appropriate course of treatment in line with current medical guidelines and evidence-based practices.

Is Taurine Safe?

Yes, taurine is generally considered safe for most healthy adults when consumed in moderation. It is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body and is found in many common foods, energy drinks, and dietary supplements. However, if considering taurine supplementation or if you have any underlying health conditions, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements. For instance, individuals with bipolar disorder may need to avoid taurine due to its potential interaction with mood-stabilizing medications. Additionally, taurine can interact with medications for blood pressure, blood thinners, and other drugs, so it is essential to discuss any potential interactions with a healthcare professional. In addition, while most people tolerate taurine well, excessive intake, particularly through high-dose supplements or excessive consumption of energy drinks, may have potential side effects. These side effects can include gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea and diarrhea, as well as changes in blood pressure and heart rate.


tourine in energy drinks

What Are the Side Effects of Taurine?

Side effects are rare with normal dietary intake of taurine. However, excessive intake of taurine through high-dose supplements or energy drinks may lead to potential side effects. Here are some reported side effects associated with high taurine intake:

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Excessive taurine consumption may cause gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Changes In Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

Taurine can have cardiovascular effects, and high doses may potentially affect blood pressure and heart rate. This can lead to symptoms like increased heart rate, palpitations, or changes in blood pressure.

Interactions With Medications

Taurine can interact with certain medications, particularly those related to blood pressure, blood thinners, or psychiatric medications. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking taurine supplements if you are on any medications to ensure there are no potential interactions.

It’s important to note that the reported side effects of taurine are mostly associated with excessive intake, and these effects are not commonly observed with normal dietary consumption. As with any dietary supplement or ingredient, moderation is key, and it’s advisable to follow recommended dosage guidelines.

If you experience any concerning symptoms or have specific health concerns, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

Taurine in Energy Drinks

What is the role of taurine in energy drinks? We definitely need further research, so we really don’t know. In addition, energy drinks are usually high in sugar and caffeine and contain other ingredients like herbal extracts that can be harmful in high amounts. Excessive consumption of energy drinks containing these other ingredients can cause these issues:

Caffeine-related effects

Energy drinks typically contain high levels of caffeine, which can lead to symptoms such as increased heart rate, palpitations, high blood pressure, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness. Excessive caffeine intake can also cause dehydration and increased urination.

Disrupted sleep patterns

The high caffeine content in energy drinks can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep. This can result in daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

Gastrointestinal issues

Excessive consumption of energy drinks can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. The high sugar content in some energy drinks may contribute to these digestive issues.


Energy drinks, particularly those with high caffeine content, can act as diuretics, increasing urine production and potentially leading to dehydration if adequate fluids are not consumed alongside them.

Increased Risk-Taking behavior

Energy drinks can sometimes contribute to a feeling of increased alertness and decreased perception of fatigue, leading individuals to take risks or engage in activities they might otherwise avoid.

Adverse Cardiovascular Effects

Consuming excessive amounts of energy drinks, especially in combination with alcohol or during intense physical activity, may potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart palpitations, arrhythmias, and even heart attacks in susceptible individuals.

It is important to remember that energy drinks should be consumed in moderation and avoided by certain individuals, including those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and individuals who are sensitive to caffeine. It is advisable to read and adhere to the recommended serving size and limit your overall consumption to reduce the risk of experiencing adverse effects.

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What Foods Are High In Taurine?

Taurine is naturally found in various animal-based foods. Here are some common dietary sources of taurine:


Taurine is particularly abundant in meats, such as beef, lamb, and pork. Organ meats like liver, heart, and kidneys are especially rich in taurine.

Fish and seafood

Fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources of taurine. Shellfish, including shrimp and scallops, also contain taurine.

Dairy products

Taurine can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, the levels may vary depending on the processing methods and fat content.


Taurine is present in eggs, particularly in the yolk. Including eggs in your diet can contribute to your taurine intake.


Chicken and turkey contain taurine, though the levels are generally lower compared to red meats.

Baby formula

Taurine is often added to infant formulas to help meet the nutritional needs of infants who may have limited taurine synthesis.

For most people, a balanced diet rich in a variety of foods can help ensure adequate taurine intake along with other essential nutrients However, remember that taurine is not found in significant amounts in plant-based foods. Therefore, individuals following strict vegetarian or vegan diets may have lower dietary taurine intake. In such cases, if concerned about taurine levels, consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help explore potential dietary adjustments or supplementation options.

The bottom line

Taurine is certainly not the fountain of youth some claim it to be. However, the research suggests it might be beneficial in delaying aging and it probably won’t hurt you if consumed in the recommended dosage amounts.

The best way to get extra taurine into your system is through your diet. Meat, especially dark meats, fish, dairy products, and seaweed are the best sources. However, if you have underlying health conditions, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before considering taurine supplementation or consuming products containing taurine. The taurine in energy drinks may not be harmful, but the other ingredients can cause health issues. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and help determine if taurine is safe for you. Also, it’s essential to be aware of the potential interactions with medications and other substances.


1. Is taurine an essential amino acid?

While taurine is classified as an amino acid, it is not considered an essential one. Unlike most other amino acids, taurine does not have a protein-building role in the body. It is categorized as a “conditionally essential” amino acid, meaning that although the body can produce taurine on its own, certain circumstances or conditions may increase the need for dietary intake of taurine. Taurine serves various important physiological functions in the body, but it is not directly involved in protein synthesis like the essential and nonessential amino acids.

2. Can taurine help with weight loss?

The direct impact of taurine on weight loss is not well-established. We think this amino acid might play a role in energy metabolism and appetite regulation. However, it’s important to note that weight loss is a complex process influenced by various factors, including diet, physical activity, and overall lifestyle. While taurine supplementation may hold some potential, it should not be considered a standalone solution for weight loss. A comprehensive approach that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits remains the cornerstone for achieving sustainable weight loss.

3. How much taurine should I consume daily?

The recommended daily intake of taurine has not been established by official dietary guidelines. However, the average taurine intake from a regular diet is estimated to be around 40-400 milligrams per day for adults.

4. Can taurine interact with caffeine or other stimulants?

Taurine and caffeine are often found together in energy drinks and some dietary supplements. While both taurine and caffeine can have stimulatory effects, they do not interact with each other in a significant way. Taurine does not directly enhance or diminish the effects of caffeine, nor does it alter caffeine metabolism or clearance from th

5. Can taurine be used as a sleep aid?

Taurine is not typically used as a primary sleep aid, and researchers say its direct role in promoting sleep is not well-established. While taurine is involved in various physiological processes, including the regulation of neurotransmitters and the central nervous system, we need more studies with consistent results to determine its effects on sleep.


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