Sep 14, 2023 1:00:00 PM

Written By:
DaVinci Healthcare Expert

taurine supplementation

Known primarily for its inclusion in popular energy drinks, taurine is an amino acid with great potential to support health and wellness.*

You might expect taurine to provide quick energy, but it is actually added to products that contain a high dose of caffeine to help maintain a regular heart rate.*

In addition to supporting the normal function of the cardiovascular system, populations who might not get enough taurine from diet alone can also take it as a supplement.*

What is Taurine?

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is naturally produced by adults and readily found in foods such as meat and eggs. Unlike other amino acids—which serve as the building blocks of protein—taurine is not used to construct proteins in the body.

Found in high concentrations in the excitatory tissues, such as the heart, nerves, brain, retina, and skeletal muscles, taurine promotes proper muscle function in these systems.* Acting as a modulator, taurine can help keep excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter signals balanced.*[1]

Studies have also shown taurine to be supportive of healthy liver function, focused concentration, and normal blood sugar levels.*[2]

Learn how healthy mitochondria help us age better in our guide.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Taurine*

Discovered in the 1800s, taurine has been well-researched in recent decades and is found to support a wide variety of health and wellness concerns.* Here are the top ten established benefits of taurine.

  1. Cardiovascular Health*: Taurine supports the integrity of blood vessels and promotes healthy circulation, making it more comfortable to exercise for cardiovascular health.*

  2. Neurological Function*: Taurine is found in the brain, where its antioxidant activity supports healthy mitochondria and promotes smooth neurotransmission, cognition, memory, and mood.

  3. Exercise Performance*: A 2018 review of 10 studies found that taking a one-time taurine supplement (between 1-6g) improved overall endurance performance.*[3] 

  4. Antioxidant Properties*: Taurine acts as an antioxidant, promoting the integrity of healthy cells.*

  5. Eye Health*: Research suggests that taurine supplementation could be helpful in relieving occasional visual fatigue by supporting retinal health.*[4]

  6. Liver Function: Taurine supports efficient lipid breakdown by the liver, helping it to store the appropriate amount of fat.*

  7. Metabolic Health*: By supporting the liver’s metabolic energy production, taurine can help maintain a healthy body weight.*[5]

  8. Blood Sugar*: Taurine helps support the regulation of the macronutrient metabolism.* Taurine encourages the pancreas to secrete more insulin in response to higher blood sugar levels.*[6]

  9. Inflammatory Response*: Taurine helps your body respond to stimuli with a healthy level of inflammatory response.[7]

  10. Neurological Issues: Research shows taurine supports glutamate and GABA neurotransmission through the modulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis; this balance promotes cognition, even in older age.*[8]

When Should You Take Taurine?

You might see taurine listed as an ingredient in many energy drinks. It’s often promoted as an ergogenic substance (something that may help improve exercise performance).* Does its ubiquity mean you should use it?

Keep in mind that taurine is not included in energy drinks as an excitatory ingredient. Instead, it’s there to counteract the overstimulating effect of an overly caffeinated beverage. Its pro-performance benefits aren’t from “that” type of energy—instead, the benefits derive from its ability to support healthy mitochondrial function and cardiovascular circulation.*

Chances are, if you’re regularly eating a diet rich in meats, eggs, and dairy, you’re likely getting enough taurine. Adult bodies can make taurine, but certain cases might call for supplementation.*

Taurine is not a stimulant.  Instead, people turn to taurine for its mood-relaxing or cognition-supporting properties.* Taurine can even be taken before bedtime to promote restful sleep.* Consider taking half of your daily dose for daytime focus support and the other half at night when it’s time to wind down.*

What Foods Contain Taurine?

Meat, shellfish, and eggs are the most common ways to obtain taurine via diet, but there are some vegetable sources, too, such as red algae.

A strict vegetarian or vegan could lead to taurine deficiencies due to not eating meat or seafood. Health professionals often recommend supplementation for these individuals.

Because babies cannot yet produce their own taurine, it must be supplied either through breastmilk or a formula fortified with taurine.

When You Shouldn’t Take Taurine

While taurine is not contraindicated, check with your doctor before supplementing babies, children, and if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Taurine can interact with some medications, their metabolism, and their effectiveness. Check with your doctor if you are taking medications to alter your blood pressure, or if you’re taking lithium.




While energy drinks aren’t generally regarded as healthy, one of their common ingredients certainly is. As an amino acid that supports healthy systems throughout the body, taurine can boost cardiovascular and nervous system health, as well as that of the liver and retinas.*

Although adults do make their own taurine, and many people can obtain enough from a meat or seafood-rich diet, supplementation can be helpful in some people—especially vegetarians.*

For support with healthy blood sugar levels, lipid metabolism, balanced moods, and focused cognition, consider a high-quality taurine supplement instead of an energy drink!*

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[1] Merckx, Caroline, and Boel De Paepe. “The Role of Taurine in Skeletal Muscle Functioning and Its Potential as a Supportive Treatment for….” Metabolites vol. 12,2 193. 19 Feb. 2022, doi:10.3390/metabo12020193

[2] Jong, C. J., Sandal, P., & Schaffer, S. W. (2021). The Role of Taurine in Mitochondria Health: More Than Just an Antioxidant. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(16), 4913. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164913

[3] Waldron, M., Patterson, S. D., Tallent, J., & Jeffries, O. (2018). The Effects of an Oral Taurine Dose and Supplementation Period on Endurance Exercise Performance in Humans: A Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(5), 1247–1253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0896-2

[4] Duan, H., Song, W., Guo, J., & Yan, W. (2023). Taurine: A Source and Application for the…Nutrients, 15(8), 1843. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15081843

[5] Wen, C., Li, F., Zhang, L., Duan, Y., Guo, Q., Wang, W., He, S., Li, J., & Yin, Y. (2019). Taurine is Involved in Energy Metabolism in Muscles, Adipose Tissue, and the Liver. Molecular nutrition & food research, 63(2), e1800536. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201800536

[6] Ra S. G. (2022). Effect of Taurine on the Regulation of Glucose Uptake in the Skeletal Muscle. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1370, 305–309. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93337-1_29

[7] Wu G. (2020). Important roles of dietary taurine, creatine, carnosine, anserine and 4-hydroxyproline in human nutrition and health. Amino acids, 52(3), 329–360. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-020-02823-6

[8] Molchanova SM, Oja SS, Saransaari P. Effect of taurine on the concentrations of glutamate, GABA, glutamine and alanine in the rat striatum and hippocampus. Proc West Pharmacol Soc. 2007;50:95-7. PMID: 18605241.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.