Pump Up Your Workout Gains With Taurine
Taurine, chemical name 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an organic sulfonic acid. Also referred to as L-taurine and 2-aminoethane sulphonic acid, taurine is a chemical derivative of cysteine, an amino acid containing a thiol group.
Though often called an amino acid, taurine falls outside the realm of the true definition for an amino acid. Biochemically, an amino acid must contain both an amino and carboxyl group. Taurine lacks a carboxyl group and actually contains a sulfonate group.
Taurine is naturally occurring in meat and fish. Daily consumption in omnivores can range from 9 to 372 milligrams, with the mean landing at 58 mg. A typical vegan diet results in only a trivial amount of taurine intake per day.
Taurine, Blood Flow and Vasodilation
Research on taurine reveals that it has a very notable impact on blood flow. This makes it especially useful as a pre-workout supplement ingredient.
In a double blind study performed on males between the ages of 18 and 29, a daily dose of 1,500 mg of taurine was able to assist with abnormalities found in blood vessel inner linings.  This relative improvement in the widening of blood vessels, or increased vasodilation, has an obvious impact on blood flow and blood pressure regulation.
Vasodilation also improves muscle pumps. Increased blood flow will not only amplify the impact of your pump-focused training practices, but it will also work hand in hand with other pump-inducing supplement ingredients.
But does “the pump” build muscle? There is mounting evidence that muscle pumps are more than just a random broscience practice, and that they can indeed build muscle mass.
Blood flow appears to play a role in improving muscle protein synthesis. This is accomplished by increasing the transportation of free amino acids into muscle tissue. The result? Heightened levels of muscle protein synthesis and improved – or maximized – gains.
Additional research by Biolo, et al, supports this conclusion: 
“In summary, the results of our study demonstrate that net protein synthesis during amino acid administration can be doubled by previous performance of heavy resistance exercise. Moreover, the data suggest a link between the stimulation of protein synthesis after exercise and an acceleration in amino acid transport. The greater rate of transport after exercise may be due to the increase in blood flow.”
Blood flow also regulates glucose uptake. This allows muscle tissue to better produce the energy required to power through sets and workouts.
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Other Benefits of Taurine Supplements
Taurine and Potential Fat Loss
Another double blind study performed on anaerobic running capacity hinted that taurine supplementation might assist with body composition. Eleven male trained cyclists using 1.66g of taurine per day experienced a 17% increase in fat oxidation.  The result was an additional 20 calories burned.
Taurine and Nutrient Delivery
Increased blood flow also allows for increased nutrient delivery. This improvement in the rate of raw materials getting shuttled to muscle cells has the potential to help with intra-workout recovery, and with increased energy levels and/or delaying fatigue.
Taurine and Cellular Waste
Blood flow improvements also help to remove waste from muscle tissue. During a hard workout your cells are producing a substantial amount of chemical waste, including lactic acid and ammonia.
Taurine supplementation allows you to remove this waste more efficiently. This can potentially reduce the onset of fatigue and allow you to push sets, cardio sessions and workouts harder. This improvement in the rate of waste removal may also assist with recovery between sets, allowing you to get back after it more quickly.
Taurine and Stress
Taurine has the ability to calm the CNS, or central nervous system. By facilitating GABA production, a neurotransmitter, taurine can work to reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Low taurine intake can leave your central nervous system prone to stress. In this state you are susceptible to having higher cortisol levels, which has also been linked to increases in body fat levels.
Taurine and Insulin Sensitivity
Taurine works in several ways to improve the uptake of glucose and insulin binding. First, it acts as an anorexigenic on the hypothalamus gland, creating a capacity to reduce feelings of hunger and improve metabolism and energy levels. 
Additionally, taurine has been shown to reduce inflammation in the hypothalamus. With an inflamed hypothalamus you will experience more pancreatic insulin production, and along with it the potential for obesity and notably higher insulin levels.
Taurine and Testosterone Levels
A study found that taurine supplementation was able to stimulate testosterone production.  We are all aware of the near endless benefits that come with healthy testosterone levels.
Final Thoughts on Taurine
Taurine provides numerous and substantial benefits to the muscle head looking to build muscle, both as a workout and general health enhancer.
Taken in a pre-workout formula, such as Vasky from MTS, taurine has the potential to improve muscle pumps, glucose shuttling, workout energy levels, workout recovery, and muscle protein synthesis. Taken for its health benefits, taurine can improve testosterone levels, cardiovascular function, reduce blood pressure, help regulate insulin levels, fight fat gain, reduce stress and much more.
Any liter serious about gym performance, body composition and health should consider adding taurine to their daily supplementation plan.
1) “Two Weeks Taurine Supplementation Reverses Endothelial Dysfunction in Young Male Type 1 Diabetics. – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.
2) 1. Biolo, G. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein, Am. J. Physiol. 273 (Endocrinol. Metab. 36): El22-E129, 1997
3) “The Effect of Acute Taurine Ingestion on Endurance Performance and Metabolism in Well-trained Cyclists. – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.
4) Solon, C., Franci, D., et al. Taurine Enhances the Anorexigenic Effects of Insulin in the Hypothalamus of Rats. Amino acids. 2011.
5) Yang, J., Wu, G., et al. CSD mRNA Expression in Rat Testis and the Effect of Taurine on Testosterone Secretion. Amino Acids. June 2010. 39(1), 155-160.