Top 5 Amazing Benefits of Taurine

By Dr. J.E. Williams | | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Healthy couple doing cardio. Top 5 Taurine benefits

You likely already know about taurine because it’s in many energy drinks. But taurine is not a stimulant, like caffeine. And taurine is more than just an antioxidant or energy booster. 

Beyond Energy Drinks: Why You Need Enough Taurine 

Taurine is a beta-amino acid with antioxidant, calcium regulation, and vasodilating effects. It occurs in many tissues, including the heart, brain, retina, and muscles. True, taurine supports mitochondria, your cells’ powerhouses, but it has additional benefits beyond boosting energy. 

Here are five reasons to get enough taurine every day. 

The Five Top Benefits of Taurine

1. Benefits for heart health

Taurine has noticeable benefits for the cardiovascular system. It was approved to treat heart failure patients in Japan in 1985. I’ve used it in my practice since around the same time. My chronic heart failure patients feel better and live longer when taking taurine. Studies show that it improves cardiac output and stroke volume. It can help lower blood pressure. And taurine has a modest effect on managing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

2. Supports mitochondrial function and relieves symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Taurine, along with vitamin C, may improve chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. Recent research found that taurine protects mitochondria, the cell’s energy powerhouse. Technically, mitochondria are organelles found within cells that regulate various processes, including generating ATP for energy. 

3. Promotes recovery after intense exercise 

Though taurine is popularly known as an energy booster and exercise performance enhancer, the benefit is modest. However, since it supports muscle function, it improves recovery after intense workouts. 

4. Helps manage metabolic syndrome

Supplementing with taurine is helpful in patients with metabolic syndrome and can reduce complications in type II diabetes. Some find it helps weight loss. 

5. Aids learning and memory

Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain. Adequate taurine in the diet or supplementation protects brain cells from the consequences of chronic neuroinflammation—a common condition during aging. And it can significantly improve learning and memory. 

Is taurine the forgotten nutritional supplement?

Taurine-Rich Foods

Taurine is found in many common foods, mostly in meat and fish. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians are susceptible to taurine inadequacy. Besides dietary deficiency, taurine gets depleted by too much glucose. Overeating fruits, drinking fruit juices, and adding honey or agave syrup to herbal teas may deplete taurine. 

However, you may need more taurine than adequate amounts from foods alone. Taurine supplements are inexpensive and readily available. 

Benefits of Taurine Supplement Dosing & Safety

Amino acids, like taurine, absorb best without food. Take taurine on an empty stomach. Divide your daily amount into two equal doses. When using higher amounts, take them three times per day. 

If you eat foods rich in taurine, support your health with 500 mg twice daily. For increased taurine support, take 1,000 mg three times daily. Taurine is safe to take up to 3,000 mg daily. However, some need more. 

For enhanced recovery after intense exercise, take 2,000 mg three times daily for a few days after your workout. You can also add powdered taurine to your sports drink or protein shake. Take 2,000-4,000 mg per shake post-workout. 

Though generally safe, there are a few precautions to consider. Taurine is not recommended for those with advanced kidney disease. Since it can lower blood pressure, avoid it when taking antihypertensive drugs. For extra safety, pregnant and nursing women should not take high doses of taurine. 

Taurine supplements

Specific vitamins and minerals work synergistically with taurine, especially B-6 (including the active form, Pyridoxal 5’Phosphate) and zinc. Take taurine with a multivitamin and mineral or a B-complex. Choose pure taurine supplements as a powder to mix in protein shakes or capsules. 

Taurine benefits FAQs

Taurine is an interesting nutrient. Unlike other amino acids, it’s not essential for humans. However, it supports health and maintains wellness. Taurine is a nonprotein amino acid found in animal tissues. It’s a common biomolecule in human cells, including the retina, white blood cells, platelets, muscle, and the brain. Enough taurine is necessary because it acts as a neurotransmitter in chemical messages affecting mood, behavior, brain function, and energy. Taurine promotes healthy aging and improves longevity.

Is taurine an essential nutrient?

Technically, taurine is not an essential amino acid but is considered conditional, i.e., necessary, for health. Humans synthesize taurine from the amino acids cysteine and methionine found in meat and seafood. Vegetarian and vegan diets are deficient in taurine and cysteine. Limiting food intake, as in weight loss diets, may also result in low taurine.

What is the daily requirement for taurine?

There’s no recommended daily allowance. You must eat a minimum of taurine-containing foods daily to maintain your tissue level of taurine. The foods highest in taurine include shellfish, tuna, tilapia, turkey, chicken, and beef. Seaweed has some taurine. You can get enough taurine from a balanced diet that includes these foods.
The typical American diet provides 123–178 mg of taurine daily. A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet — which includes both dairy products and eggs — provides only around 17 mg of taurine daily. A vegan diet has almost no taurine.

How do I know if I’m taurine deficient?

Test for taurine and other amino acids in the plasma by a blood test. Quest Diagnostics offers a comprehensive plasma amino acid analysis—order tests without a doctor’s prescription. You don’t have to be deficient in taurine to benefit from adding it to your supplement plan.

Can you take too much taurine?

Taurine is safe. The FDA has not classified taurine as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) but agrees with independent studies of its safety. You need high dosages of up to 4,000 mg daily for optimal health. There are no side effects at this amount. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated in its 2012 guidelines that 6,000 mg daily is safe.

Does taurine help chronic fatigue?

ME/CFS is a complex condition characterized by unrelenting fatigue. Fatigue is also common in post-viral conditions like Long COVID. You need extra taurine if you have ME/CFS or Long COVID.

Can taurine improve mitochondrial function?

Taurine helps intracellular calcium homeostasis to improve energy production. Taurine supplementation supports mitochondria health.

Does taurine help metabolic syndrome?

Those with metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes benefit from taking taurine. It helps lower triglycerides and improves insulin resistance.

How much taurine do I need?

Take 500-1000 mg daily to support wellness. All vegans and vegetarians should take a taurine supplement. Treating chronic fatigue, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and chronic cardiovascular disease requires doses of up to 4,000 mg daily. Use professional-grade taurine supplements.

Can you take taurine on an empty stomach?

Yes. Absorption is better on an empty stomach. But since taurine is a nutrient occurring in foods, I recommend taking it with meals.

When is the best time to take Taurine?

Take taurine two or three times a day. A healthy daily amount is 3000 mg; that’s 1000 mg three times a day. A safe upper limit is 6000 mg per day.

Can I use taurine for weight loss?

Taurine helps improve metabolism, helps manage type II diabetes, and can assist in weight loss.

Which is the best way to take Taurine?

Some like to mix taurine powder in energy smoothies, but it has a bitter taste, so I recommend taking capsules. Taurine foods? (feel free to change this question, those two words should go together in that order) Since taurine is found in meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, vegetarians and vegans may develop taurine deficiency. However, your body makes some of its own taurine.

How long does taurine stay in your system?

Taurine is easily absorbed over 1-2 hours after ingestion. After 4 hours, only about 50% of taurine remains, which is why is better to take it in divided doses about 4-5 hours apart. Taurine is used in energy drinks, but it does so much more for the body. Taurine is a safe supplement with no known interactions with foods.


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