What Is Taurine? Separating Myth from Reality

So what is taurine, why is it associated with the bull and is it safe? Let’s take a look at all those questions.

What Is Taurine?

Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, was isolated from bull bile back in 1827. However, nowadays it’s most commonly found in the form of a supplement. That brings us to energy drinks. Did you know that the rate of emergency room visits has doubled over the past few years due to energy drinks? It’s no secret that they have a ton of caffeine. Some of them also contain taurine. Red Bull, for example, contains taurine, but just how much and is it safe? According to the Red Bull website, our bodies naturally contain 70 percent more taurine than one can of Red Bull. (2)

However, according the the European Food Safety Authority, even though taurine is used at higher levels in most energy drinks, it seems that there are “no observed adverse effect level” if consuming up to 3,000 milligrams per day of supplemental taurine. Half a can contains 125 milliliters, which means that unless you consume multiple cans per day, you’re probably OK in regard to taurine levels. Having said that, I wouldn’t take this for granted, especially considering the number of side effects and emergency room visits many energy drinks may induce — plus, energy drinks contain toxins and harmful ingredients you should avoid. That’s why I strongly discourage folks from consuming popular energy drinks that are high in sugar, caffeine and who knows what in general. (3)