Taurine in gaming energy drinks: We’ve got no beef with it…but do you really need it?
I’m from a generation that didn’t get asked for ID when I bought an energy drink. However, I certainly recall the infamous rumours that my fizzy elixir came directly from the nuts of a horned beast! Is that still a thing? Perhaps times have changed, and the rumours that used to spread faster than my fingers on a keyboard quickly got quashed under the current generation. But who knows?
So what exactly is Taurine?
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid (L-Taurine or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid). Almost two centuries ago, Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin made the discovery of this substance in ox bile. Those of you who know a little Latin can surmise the appropriate name creation: Ox or Bull = Taurus = Taurine. Found in many parts of animals, our pancreas can actually synthesise it too. Meat, eggs, seafood and milk are all food sources that contain Taurine.
What are the benefits of Taurine in our diets, and what about Vegans?
There are significant benefits to additional Taurine supplementation. The presence of Taurine strengthens the cardiac and skeletal muscles; so, from a physiological aspect, Taurine is an ideal supplement to take, improving muscular function and physical performance. Taurine also helps to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance. Some diets are more deficient in it than others, such as those observing vegan-based lifestyles. There are plenty of vegan derivative supplements available if you do choose to follow a lifestyle that excludes animal products.
This is made possible, by synthesising Taurine during chemical processes, instead of extraction from the natural source. This also has a fantastic commercial benefit, as it opens up the market for consumers that are conscientious about the origins of their foods. Another bonus is the cost benefits to both manufacturers and consumers, thanks to its rapid chemical availability.
The majority of us know about Taurine because of its common presence in energy drinks. We associate energy with movement or activity – so it makes sense to include Taurine in a product designed to boost physical performance.
Hang on, I hear you say… isn’t caffeine the ingredient that gives us energy though?
Caffeine is a very effective stimulant, and it’s important to remember that equilibrium is necessary to ensure both ingredients have a positive, non-detrimental effect when taken together. Taurine activates our inhibitory GABA receptors in the brain. Caffeine affects our central nervous system, so there is a balancing act in play. Too much, or too little of each lead to fewer positive effects on performance.
So what about Taurine in gaming energy drinks, they all use it right?
Well, not all gaming energy drinks are created equal. That’s why Beyond NRG has taken us over 18 months of R&D to produce. We focussed on what our target audience really needed. The formulation is unique, because unlike other brands that have a questionable target audience…our focus has, and always will be on the gaming generation.
This type of activity requires cognitive stimulation: Boosting performance in problem-solving and reaction times, as well as reducing stress and anxiety under pressure. Whilst still providing essential blood flow to the brain. The goal was to curate a stack of ingredients that both aid in performance and serve a purpose.
There is no denying the many benefits Taurine can have in the right context. For now, we choose to exclude Taurine from our formula and replace it with additional brain-boosting ingredients, better suited to the wider gaming community.
When the industry evolves (which it inevitably will), into a world indicative of ‘Ready Player One’, with omnidirectional treadmills, we may consider the effective use of Taurine alongside nootropics in our formula.
Until then, game on, focus up, wash your hands and sanitise those controllers you filthy animals!