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The Special Ingredient in Your Energy Drink (It Isn’t Caffeine)

By Annie Price
January 4, 2023
Photo Credit: McKinsey Jordan

Have you heard of taurine? No? Take a look at the ingredients in your energy drink. In addition to caffeine, taurine is a common ingredient found in energy drinks, like Monster Ultra. It’s also in healthy foods like seafood, meat, dairy products, and eggs.

So what exactly is taurine? And what’s it doing in your energy drink? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is taurine?

Taurine is an organic compound found in large amounts in your heart, eyes, brain, and blood platelets, and it’s essential to many functions of the body. Athletes often take taurine to improve energy and performance. Taurine is also well known to protect your heart.

What are the health benefits?

Several studies have linked taurine with improved athletic performance, including coordination, strength, and endurance.

In a study of middle-distance runners, supplementation improved overall performance. Another small study of 11 healthy men between the ages of 18 to 20 pointed to its potential to improve overall exercise ability.

Unrelated to athletics, taurine is also known for its overall support of heart, brain, and nerve health. For people with heart disease, including heart failure, it’s often used to aid recovery.

What are the side effects?

Taurine is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for healthy adults.

But, like most things, it’s personal. Check with your healthcare provider if you’re supplementing with taurine on a regular basis.

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