Taurine is an amino acid-like compound found abundant in plasma and various tissues of the body including skeletal muscle (Kim 2016). Taurine is thought to positively effect physiological mechanisms that cause fatigue, which may prevent or reduce fatigue during exercise and improve endurance performance (Takahashi 2017).
Possible mechanisms for taurine influencing skeletal muscle function are reducing oxidative stress and inflammation during contraction. Taurine may improve contractile properties of muscle through improved calcium uptake during excitation-contraction coupling. (Takahashi 2017)
Supplementing taurine can increase skeletal muscle amino acid levels, promote greater force generation, and improve resistance and recovery (De Carvalho 2017). Also, taurine can reduce amino acids used for gluconeogenesis which may be a potential mechanism for improving endurance performance (Kim 2016).
Some evidence suggests taurine supplementation can improve endurance performance. Following taurine supplementation, changes in taurine concentration were positively correlated with maximal workload and changes in exercise time to exhaustion. In general, there is insufficient evidence regarding taurine supplementation on fat metabolism associated with exercise performance. (Kim 2016)
Taurine supplementation does not appear to improve aerobic measures; however, it does appear to be effective in increasing plasma taurine levels and decreasing markers of oxidative stress (De Carvalho 2017). Post-exercise taurine supplementation may enhance skeletal muscle glycogen recovery, which is a determinant of exercise performance. Further work is necessary to determine the effects of taurine on energy metabolism during recovery from endurance exercise. (Takahashi 2017)
Studies examining the effects of taurine on exercise performance vary in dose, duration, exercise protocol, and participant status so further research is needed to determine its effects on performance (Takahashi 2017).
De Carvalho FG, Galan BSM, Santos PC, Pritchett K, Pfrimer K, Ferriolli E, Papoti M, Marchini JS, de Freitas EC (2017). Taurine: A potential ergogenic aid for preventing muscle damage and protein catabolism and decreasing oxidative stress produced by endurance exercise. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 710.
Kim J, Park J, Lim K (2016). Nutrition supplements to stimulate lipolysis: A review in relation to endurance exercise capacity. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 62(3), 141-161.
Takahashi Y, Hatta H (2017). Effects of taurine administration on exercise-induced fatigue and recovery. The Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine, 6(1), 33-39.
Waldron M, Patterson SD, 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, 48(5), 1247-1253.