Taurine is an organic acid that is often present in most energy drinks. It is also synthesized within the human body. This write-up provides information on the adverse effects associated with its use.
Athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts often consume energy drinks to boost your endurance and energy levels. If you ever take a look at the ingredients of energy drinks, you are most likely to see taurine amongst them. Chemically referred to as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, this organic compound is derived from cysteine, which in turn, is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Though this organic acid is synthesized within the body from amino acids, its chemical composition differs due to the absence of carboxyl group.
Like amino acid supplements, it is believed that taurine can also help build muscle strength and muscle mass. Certain animal studies have revealed that it may play a positive role in healthy functioning of skeletal muscles, which is why it is used in energy drinks and also marketed as a bodybuilding supplement. Some of the animal studies suggest that it might help remove fatty deposits from the liver, and help in the treatment of liver cirrhosis and prevention of liver disease. Some studies suggest that it might prove beneficial for treating hypertension and help promote good cardiovascular health. However, there still isn’t enough evidence to substantiate these claims.
Excess of anything is bad, and this holds true for taurine supplements as well. Therefore, one must exercise caution while consuming energy drinks. Though most of the drinks contain this organic acid in small amounts, the body’s need for this organic acid may already be met from dietary sources. So, there is a need to cut down on excessive intake of energy drinks. However, it isn’t clear whether the side effects associated with energy drinks are due to this organic acid or the other ingredients contained in the drinks (caffeine, sugar, guarana, or creatine). Though one may feel energized on drinking them, these ingredients may cause dehydration, restlessness, or rapid heart rate.
Taurine supplements can be taken by those affected by its deficiency. However, instances of such a deficiency are not very common. Though manufacturers of the supplements claim that vegetarians are susceptible to this deficiency, this hasn’t been proved. However, this deficiency might affect diabetics or people affected by the deficiency of cysteine and methionine. Its levels may also drop when one indulges in high-energy consuming activities. Under such circumstances, one may take supplements as per the prescribed dosage. Since the effects of taurine on pregnant women or nursing mothers are not known, they must also refrain from using such supplements.
There is a lot of speculation regarding the effects of this organic acid on the body; however, most of the side effects and benefits have still not been proven. The side effects that one may experience could be attributed to an overdose of supplements or excessive intake of energy drinks. So, make sure that you cut down on your intake of energy drinks and have the supplements as per the doctor’s advice.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.