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The Effect of Acute Taurine Ingestion on Human Maximal Voluntary Muscle Contraction


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 2 - p 344–352
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001432
Applied Sciences

Purpose This study aimed to examine the effect of taurine ingestion on maximal voluntary muscle torque and power in trained male athletes with different caffeine habits.

Methods Fourteen male athletes 21.8 ± 2.5 yr old were separated into caffeine and noncaffeine consumers to control for the effect of caffeine withdrawal on muscle function. On separate occasions, participants performed four isokinetic or three maximal isometric knee extensions with and without taurine (40 mg·kg−1 body mass) after a double-blind, counterbalanced design. Muscle contractile performances were compared between the first sets as well as between the sets where these variables scored best.

Results In response to isokinetic contraction, taurine treatment in the noncaffeine consumers resulted in a significant fall in first (−16.1%; P = 0.013) and best peak torque (−5.0%; P = 0.016) as well as in first (−17.7%; P = 0.015) and best power output (−8.0%; P = 0.008). In the caffeine consumers deprived of caffeine, taurine intake improved best power (5.2%; P = 0.045). With respect to the isometric variables, there was a significant decrease in the first (−5.1%; P = 0.002) and best peak torque (−4.3%; P = 0.032) in the noncaffeine group, but no effect in the group of caffeine consumers deprived of caffeine. Taurine ingestion increased blood taurine levels but had no effect on plasma amino acid levels.

Conclusions Taurine ingestion is detrimental to maximal voluntary muscle power and both maximal isokinetic and isometric peak torque in noncaffeine consumers, whereas taurine ingestion in caffeine-deprived caffeine consumers improves maximal voluntary muscle power but has no effect on other aspects of contractile performance.

1Sport Science, Exercise and Health, School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA; 2School of Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA; and 3Empire Clinic, Leederville, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA

Address for correspondence: Zi Xiang Lim, B.S., School of Human Sciences and Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia; E-mail:

Submitted for publication June 2017.

Accepted for publication September 2017.

© 2018 American College of Sports Medicine