Taurine is known to most athletes as a supplement.
A can of Red Bull (250 ml) contains just under 1 g of taurine.
The awakening and the concentration-enhancing effect is largely attributed to the caffeine in Red Bull instead of taurine, as many believe.
So what’s the actual benefit of taurine? Does taurine actually boost testosterone and enhance the libido or is that just another myth?
In the following, we’ll have a closer look at taurine’s benefits and its effect on testosterone and if it is able to boost one’s libido. If you just came for testosterone and libido, feel free to skip the first parts.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is no amino acid – even though it is read too often .
In fact, it is an aminoethanesulfonic acid because it contains no carboxy group. Taurine is a stable end product in the metabolism of the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine; about one-third of this is converted into taurine in humans.
Taurine is semi-essential, but the demand increases, e.g. during growth, physical exertion and various diseases.
The most important task of taurine is the stabilization of the fluid balance in the cells.
Furthermore, taurine promotes the formation and efficacy of bile juice as an emulsifier in fat digestion and has cell membrane protecting and antioxidant properties.
Absorption of taurine from food into the human organism occurs mainly via the amino acid carrier system in the small intestine.
Via the portal vein, it is first transported to the liver and via the bloodstream to the organs.
About 19% is found in the brain, 25% in the liver, 50% in the kidney and 53% in the musculature.
The substance taurine was isolated in 1827 by the chemists Gmelin and Tiedemann from bullfighting. The name “taurine” comes from the Latin name for ox gall “Fel tauri” or from the Greek word “tauros” (for bull).
Taurine probably owes its name to the numerous legends about its origin and effect.
But is it all just legends or is there any thruth to its testosterone and libido boosting effect?
In the following, we will dive deeper into the various benefits of taurine, but if you just came for testosterone and libido, feel free to skip those parts.
Benefits of Taurine
Taurine and Protein & Glycogen Synthesis
The optimization of the fluid balance in the muscle cells ensures a more effective protein synthesis.
Taurine acts osmolytically in muscle cells. That is, it stores water and makes the muscles fuller.
Before training, taurine increases the nitrogen balance in the body (“NO booster”), which dilates the blood vessels in the muscles.
After training, taurine improves the absorption of macro and micronutrients, improves glycogen synthesis and thus regeneration.
The concomitant use of glutamine and creatine acts synergistically and is also able to increase the cell volume in the muscles.
Special mention should be made here of the combination of taurine (2 g) and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA, at least 3-4 g), which may contribute to improving regeneration.
This indeed implies that taurine may increase testosterone. I will disuss this in more detail in the following sections.
Although taurine reduces the damage to the muscle stronger than BCAA alone, the branched-chain Aminos again provide a greater reduction in muscle damage than taurine. Together, there is a synergistic effect of both substances.
Animal studies have shown that taurine, as an injection in the hypothalamus, activates the signaling cascades of mTOR (anabolic pathway) and reduces AMPK (catabolic pathway or lipid metabolism, lack of energy, etc.) and has an insulin-sensitizing effect.
All these points can be beneficial for the purposes of muscle building and fat reduction.
Taurine and Performance
Taurine is able to improve physical performance by improving the intracellular and extracellular levels of calcium in the muscles (and thereby also affecting the transmission of stimuli and ATP production).
The aminoethanesulfonic acid is also able to improve the sensitivity of the insulin receptors in muscle and liver.
Triathletes like to drink a can of Red Bull to reduce the risk of walking and the associated increase in heart rate. Taurine levels in the blood increase during prolonged exercise.
This can be counteracted by stress-induced protein or muscle breakdown by the administration of 1 g taurine every 2-3 hours.
For athletes who use cardio for fat loss and/or to strengthen the cardiovascular system/lipid metabolism, the supply of 3 g Taurine pre-workout is recommended.
Many complain that their heart rate on the treadmill immediately skyrockets. Taurine can reduce the heart rate and “economize” the heart work – you shouldn’t expect any miracles though.
Taurine and Fat Loss
In one study, 30 young obese students were given 3 g taurine for 7 weeks. Compared to the control group they lost significantly more weight. At the same time, blood lipid levels improved and total cholesterol dropped.
Here, again, the reason might be that taurine increased testosterone.
Scandinavian researchers compared in an animal experiment, which type of protein in a high-protein diet leads to the highest fat loss.
The result: protein rich shellfish with a high taurine and glycine content resulted in the highest fat loss.
Taurine as Sedative
We are not finished yet, dear friends, because taurine can also be seen as a mild but potent tranquillizer by inhibiting certain neurotransmitters – reducing anxiety and producing calming effects.
Taurine is used to counteract the side effects of ephedrine, clenbuterol, yohimbine and more.
It increases the contraction of the heart and lowers blood pressure when it is elevated.
I like to take taurine, for example, in the evening before going to sleep. After taking 3-5 g, I feel deep relaxation about 30 minutes later.
Taurine and Heart Diseases
Taurine is used successfully in the treatment of heart failure.
Within 4-8 weeks, the administration of 4 g taurine daily in 13 of 15 patients reduced the severity of heart disease by 1-2 levels – with no side effects.
At the same time, taurine improves blood lipid levels and lowers total cholesterol if the values are outside the norm.
Taurine and Liver Diseases
Liver dysfunction and hepatitis can be treated with taurine.
Significant protective effects in the liver were observed after only 24 h. When given daily, the liver enzymes in the blood increased significantly compared to the placebo group.
Taurine and Alzheimer’s Disease
Lowered taurine levels or disorders in taurine metabolism were measured, as well as decreased levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
In animal experiments, the administration of taurine increased the acetylcholine concentration in the brain.
Taurine and Diabetes
In type I diabetes, the use of taurine improved various diabetic complications.
Taurine lowers blood sugar levels and has a positive effect on insulin levels and increases glycogen synthesis.
In addition, it appears to positively affect the function and integrity of beta cells in the pancreas.
In insulin-dependent diabetics, taurine levels in plasma and platelets were decreased, but could be normalized by oral supplementation.
Taurine and Alcoholism
By taking 3 g of taurine daily, the psychosis of 22 chronic alcoholics decreased significantly.
A further 11 study involving a total of more than 3,000 patients showed that relapses with taurine could be prevented more effectively than with placebo.
A potential expansion of application methods to other mental illnesses would certainly be promising.
Taurine, Testosterone & Libido
We have covered what taurine actually is and discussed potential benefits of taurine. Now it’s time for what you all came for, taurine and testosterone and its effect on the libido.
What about taurine and the male sex and muscle hormone, testosterone. Are there any significant correlations and effects?
In an animal experiment, Chinese researchers gave rats taurine (the equivalent human dosage would be about 7-8 g).
The testosterone level and the libido increased while estrogen levels stayed stable.
A few years later, another team of researches tried replicating the experiment and came to the same conclusion. At least in rats, taurine increases sex drive and testosterone.
Men with low testosterone levels due to age drop could raise this with taurine again, if such results can be confirmed in humans.
Even though scientific evidence is lacking yet, there is signs that taurine is indeed able to raise testosterone levels.
Taurine for Sperm Quality
In a rat experiment, the animals were injected with 150 mg of nandrolone, a steroid which lowers the body’s own testosterone production and has a negative impact on sperm quality.
The simultaneous administration of taurine (1.5 g in humans) significantly reduced these negative effects.
In healthy men whose sperm quality is “bad,” supplementation would probably make sense. However, as studies have only been carried out on rats, there is no hard evidence to support that claim. However, as stated before Taurine is pretty cheap so why not give it a try.
Taurine: The Right Dosage
Let’s get to the dosing recommendations. It goes without saying that these details are without guarantee.
If you belong to one of the risk groups discussed here and are now thinking about supplementing with taurine, you should first discuss this with your doctor.
If you want to optimize the fluid balance and strive for a testosterone boost you should take about 5 + 8g taurine.
Optimization of fluid balance: 2-5 g daily
As “NO-booster / cell voluminizer: 2-3 g
Economization of cardiac work in endurance athletes: 1 g every 2-3 h
Testosterone and Libido Booster: 7-8 g daily
Sedative / sleep aid: 3-5 g
Heart failure: 3-4 g daily
Cholesterol reduction: 6 g daily
Increase in sperm quality (in rats): 1.5 g daily
Acute hepatitis: 12 g daily
Psychosis in alcoholism: 3 g daily
Also in our everyday diet, the aminoethanesulfonic acid occurs in larger quantities.
Next, I prepared a small list of taurine-rich foods for all those who want to pay attention to a higher intake on the nutrition side.
Taurine-rich foods to 100g:
- Crabs 260 mg
- Mussels, fresh 240 mg
- Mackerel 200 mg
- Herring 155 mg
- Oysters 70 mg
- Salmon 70 mg
- Lamb meat 70 mg
- Tuna 70 mg
- Whey 66 mg
- Chicken egg 60 mg
- Liver 60 mg
- Pork 50 mg
- Beef 30-50 mg
- Chicken 30-40 mg
- Cod 31 mg
Conclusion: Taurine for Higher Testosterone and Enhanced Libido
Taurine has many interesting effects and applications, although some areas should be verified and replicated by additional human studies.
Fortunately, it is a substance that the human body already knows very well (as it occurs in our everyday food) and thus tolerates well.
Also, taurine has high chances to increase your testosterone and libido if your level is below normal.
Currently, there is no scientific evidence concerning humans that suggests that taurine raises testosterone levels. Only in rats, the testosterone increasing effect of taurine has been proven.
However, there are no studies suggesting the opposite.
In contrast, intake of taurine to increase performance, as a NO-booster, to improve the regeneration and economization of heart work before and after training has been scientifically proven.
So while I can’t promise you a Bull-like libido and Ronny Coleman testosterone, I can ensure you will see benefits.
Have you ever used Taurine yourself? If so, what was your intention of taking Taurine?
Let me know about your experiences in the comments below!