Taurine Affects Energy: Ingredients in the Drink
When talking about energy drink, taurine frequently enters the conversation because it is a popular ingredient that is often combined with caffeine to help produce an energy "high." Many drinks, including the current top-seller RedBull and the new product Energy Fizz, boast taurine in their lists of ingredients. However, as with all things—especially energy drinks in general—taurine is not without controversy. Although no one doubts its effectiveness in stimulating the nervous system and increasing energy, there are some who believe that taurine could have potentially negative side effects when present in high concentrations in energy drinks.
Facts about Energy Drink Taurine
In energy drink, taurine is now believed to be nearly essential (or at least very important) in the list of ingredients. Taurine is actually an amino acid that is found in the human body—it is a natural substance that our bodily systems encounter every day. In RedBull and other energy drinks, however, the taurine is a synthetic element. There is no truth to the myth that taurine is an extract from a bull’s testicles, although this rumor has been circulating for years. Since taurine is a naturally-occurring substance, it would seem that it would not be linked to health dangers; however, the problem arises because the taurine in energy drinks is present in such high concentrations.
Another issue of concern related to taurine is the question of how taurine reacts with other ingredients, like caffeine. When given to test rats in an experimental laboratory, it was found that the taurine caused anxiety, irritability, high sensitivity to noise, and self-mutilations. However, this data does not mean that the same effects will occur in humans—the differences between rats and people are obviously substantial. On a positive note, taurine is found in many foods like seafood and meat and has the beneficial properties of system detoxification and cleansing. Additionally, there have been some very good studies about the effects of high concentrations of the substance. One study in a medical journal stated that high levels of taurine could help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Overall, there are both positive and negative effects of taurine, and which side outweighs the other remains in question. Because it is included in many energy drinks, if you are concerned about its effects you should seek out a drink without taurine.
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