Taurine: Haute or Not?

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Taurine, it sounds like an astrological sign or the name of a rock band, but what if I told you it is the key ingredient in the majority of energy drinks on the market? It is because of this synthetic chemical compound mixed with numerous other ingredients such as caffeine, normally in the form of guarana or yerba mate, that you the consumer will feel the euphoric effects of this stimulant. What I like to call the peaks and valleys of an energy drink.

Did you ever wonder how scientists discovered Taurine? Brace yourselves because I’m about to clue you in. Bull sperm. That is right, I said it. Now that I have let the cat out of the bag, allow me to explain. No, you are not currently drinking bull sperm in your energy drink. It was discovered because Taurine is one of the 80 amino acids found in nature—conveniently in high doses within that particular part of the bull.  Extraction occurred by soaking the bull’s family jewels in grain alcohol, and thus the energy drink mixed with alcohol was born.

You may be wondering what are amino acids? Simply stated, they are nitrogen-containing nutrients that are considered to be the building blocks of protein. In order to grow and develop they are necessary to sustain a healthy life. Now, here is where the gray area comes into play. Of these 80 amino acids, there are really only 20 that the body requires. Nine of them are essential, which means that they are not made by the body and must be supplied through food. The others are non-essential and therefore are created by the essential amino acids or the normal breakdown of protein. Guess what? Taurine is not one of those 20.

Use common sense when weighing out the pros and cons of the effects of Taurine-based beverages. Every ingredient is purposely included to stimulate you into feeling like you are on cloud nine. When you consume an energy drink, you skip water, thus dehydrating your body and causing the jitters. The problem does not stop there. Correct me if I am wrong, but to feel the rush without the crash, you need to drink more than one? The problem here is that these drinks are high in sugar, and the sugar-free option does not create the same effect, so these beverages are what I refer to as empty calories. Empty calories hang out on your waistline causing a muffin top or love handles, yikes. As with everything, moderation is always best. Until next time my friends, visit www.raylenebartolacci.com. To health and wellness, Salute.

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