Improve Focus and Performance with Taurine
Amino acids are almost always associated with protein and building muscle, which makes sense, given the fact that proteins are made of amino acids and muscles are constructed of proteins. But, to think that amino acids’ purposes are solely restricted to building slabs of lean, dense muscle would be a huge mistake.
In fact, these mighty little compounds play a role in just about every physiological process that occurs in your body!
Today, we key in on taurine, an amino acid that can enhance your performance, focus, AND pumps!
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a derivative of cysteine (another amino acid) and classified as “conditionally” essential. It’s also found under its chemical name -- 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid.
Taurine is classified as “conditionally” essential because under normal conditions, your body has ample amounts of the amino acid to perform of the functions it’s needed for; however, during periods of extreme physical or mental stress (such as weight lifting) stores of the amino acid become rapidly diminished which shifts it from conditionally essential to essential.
The primary reason taurine is considered conditionally essential is that it is second most abundant amino acid in the body, glutamine being the most abundant. Taurine is stored predominantly in the brain, heart, intestines, and skeletal muscles of the body, but it’s taurine’s high concentration in muscle tissue that led researchers to investigates the amino acids role as a possible ergogenic (more on that later!).
Structurally speaking, taurine is a true amino acid, in the purest sense of the word. To qualify as an amino acid, a compound must contain both an amino group and carboxyl group. Unfortunately for taurine, it contains an amino group and sulfonate group in place of the carboxyl group. Still though, there’s no downplaying this mighty amino’s benefits!
Where Does It Come From?
Taurine is readily found in all sorts of meats and fish, as well as naturally occurring in the human body. However, if you’re one that avoids meats and animal-based products (vegetarians and vegans) you might have a tough time getting enough taurine through your diet, as plant-based foods aren’t particularly rich in the amino acid. Since taurine isn’t one of the 9 essential amino acids though, your body can synthesize the required amount of taurine, provided it has sufficient amounts of cysteine and methionine.
What does it do?
Taurine is a key player in several critical functions in the body. First and foremost, taurine acts as a powerful osmolyte in the body, which is a fancy way of saying taurine helps draw in water to skeletal muscle cells and increase cell volume. This pays big dividends in the areas of hydration and endurance, key traits to superior athletic performance!
Clinical research using taurine finds that it can significantly enhance blood flow due to its vasodilating capabilities. As you might know, vasodilation relaxes and widens blood vessels which improves circulation to your muscles, and sets the stage for some serious muscle pumps!
Another added benefit of improved blood flow, is that it can also enhance your gains, as increased blood flow enhanced amino acid delivery to muscles resulting in faster recovery, better muscle repair, and ultimate greater growth! On top of that, greater blood flow also delivers other important nutrients to working muscles which bolsters energy levels during your workout and enables you to train harder for longer bouts, producing even more gains in the gym.
Taurine also enhances your brain gains too, as it’s stored in great amounts in your brain. This means that taurine plays a role in boosting focus and concentration during your workout. Plus, taurine also helps keep you calm, cool, and collected during stressful situations since it supports the production of GABA, the body’s primary “downer” neurotransmitter.
Think of GABA as the polar opposite of adrenaline -- adrenaline increases energy, alertness, and focus, while GABA exerts more inhibitory actions that calm and relax you. This makes taurine particularly useful for fighting off the effects of stress and anxiety.
Taurine also acts as a cell protector by combatting the effects of exercise-induced DNA damage. Research indicates that taurine reduces muscle damage incurred by high intensity exercise, which ultimately accelerates recovery. And finally, taurine exerts an insulin-like effect where it facilitates glucose transportation (and other vital nutrients) into muscle cells, supporting muscle gains and recovery while limiting fat gain.
Benefits of Taurine
Due to the wide range of benefits for taurine, it only makes sense that it’s found in pre, intra, and post workout supplements. Ideally, you want somewhere in the range of 500 to 3000mg, but the effects really start to become pronounced when you hit the 2000mg (2g) dose for taurine.
Tackle your Training with Taurine!
Taurine provides a wealth of benefits to your health and performance. It enhances pumps, focus, energy, recovery, and glucose transportation, which makes it ideal to consume pre workout. That’s why PreHAK includes a full 2g worth of Taurine to support your training and make sure you can always push for bigger and better gains!nefits to the mind and muscles of the body.
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