Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood. Taurine is also thought to have antioxidant properties.
Taurine is known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, or L-taurine. It's a derivative of cysteine, an amino acid which contains a sulfhydryl group. Taurine is one of the few known naturally occurring sulfonic acids.
Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish and breast milk, and it's commonly available as a dietary supplement. Some studies suggest taurine supplementation may support athletic performance and endurance, which may explain why taurine is used in many energy drinks. Other studies suggest taurine combined with caffeine supports mental performance, although this finding remains controversial.
Up to 3,000 milligrams a day of supplemental taurine is considered safe. Any excess taurine is simply excreted by the kidneys. Moderation is important, however. Little is known about the effects of heavy or long-term taurine use.
It's also important to remember there may be high amounts of other ingredients in energy drinks, such as high amounts of caffeine or sugar. Too much caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability. And added sugar may provide unwanted added calories.
Article courtesy of MayoClinic.com, and found here.