Anxiety is described as feelings of worry, stress, or fear about things that are about to happen or something that could happen in the future.
It’s likely that everybody has experienced anxiety to some capacity during their lifetime, particularly when coping with big life changes or stressful events.
Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel threat or fear, and can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
While more severe cases of long-term anxiety must be addressed by a health professional, there are supplements that exist which help us combat any feelings of general day-to-day anxiety and stress.
One of these supplements is taurine, a sulphur-containing amino acid found naturally in the body and thought to play a big role in the functioning of the brain, retina, and skeletal muscle.
This article explores the use of taurine for anxiety, as well as the recommended dosage and side effects. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about taurine for anxiety!
What is Taurine?
Interestingly, taurine was first discovered in the bile of bulls, hence the name “taurine”, derived from “taurus”—the Latin word for ox or bull.
You may be more familiar with taurine as a sports supplement, commonly found in energy drinks and other ergogenic aid formulas. However, there is much more to taurine than that!
Taurine is actually one of the most abundant compounds found in the brain, central nervous system, brain, and many other areas of the body. So, as you can guess, it plays an important role in many aspects of health and function of the body’s organs.
Taurine is categorized as a “non-essential” amino acid, meaning our body naturally produces most of our requirement, though we have to consume it through diet to meet all of our needs.
Food sources of taurine include high-protein foods such as poultry, seafood, and dairy.
So, how exactly does taurine help anxiety?
Taurine for Anxiety
While taurine has many functions in the body, the most noted one is that it helps increase glycine and acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and helps protect the brain from the harmful effects of glutamate.
GABA is our body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that its primary job is to inhibit the activity of nerve cells in our nervous system. GABA essentially keeps our mind relaxed and disengaged from alert, wakeful states.
Low levels of GABA have been associated with low mood, anxiety, overthinking, and increased tension, so it’s no surprise that increasing your GABA levels through supplementing with taurine would be beneficial for anxiety.
Taurine: Other Common Uses
Not only is taurine effective in increasing GABA, thus easing symptoms of anxiety, but it also has other uses, particularly among athletic populations.
Taurine is essential for a healthy heart, brain, bones, vision, and more, which makes it one of the most essential compounds our body produces.
It is also thought to increase physical stamina and athletic performance, as well as relieve muscle soreness and cramps, which is why you may often find it in sports supplements.
You may also find taurine in energy drinks such as “Red Bull” due to its effects on improving physical function, a great partner alongside caffeine!
Taurine: Dosage for Anxiety
Typical effective dosages range between 500-2000 mg, though some studies have noted dosages as high as 3g per day to also be effective.
Taurine Side Effects
There have been no noted adverse effects from supplementing with taurine. As taurine is naturally produced in the body, it’s not a shock for us to process when taken as a supplement as it’s a familiar substance.
However, as with any supplement, it’s important to follow dosage guidelines and consult your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Other Ways to Increase GABA
Increasing your GABA levels would result in a calming effect on the brain, which would in turn help:
- Reduce mental and physical stress
- Ease symptoms of anxiety
- Decrease muscle tension
- Promote a calmer mood
- Balance blood pressure
- Promote good quality sleep
There are many ways which we can increase our GABA levels, such as meditation, exercise, healthy diet, and experimenting with herbs.
There is also the option to take a supplement such as Mind Lab Pro, one of the most powerful nootropics available.
Mind Lab Pro is a combination of 11 ingredients that all work to help you optimize your brain power to enhance your memory, increase your focus and concentration, and help you cope better with the effects of stress and anxiety.
You have likely experienced anxiety on some level before, whether that be due to exam stress, financial worries, or work-related anxiety.
While there are many nutrition and lifestyle changes we can make to help ease symptoms of anxiety and help us cope better with stressful situations, it’s a good idea to also consider our natural brain chemicals and what we can do to boost them.
Taurine is just one of the many important compounds found in our body that plays a functional role in many areas. While it’s more commonly found in sports supplements, there is a lot more to taurine that meets the eye.
Increasing our intake of taurine, whether through food or supplementation, will in-turn increase GABA, our body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA is the chemical that helps keep our mind in a calm, peaceful state, thus helping ease any symptoms of anxiety.
Effective dosage of taurine for anxiety ranges from 500-2000 mg per day and is not associated with any side effects, though you should always consult a doctor before taking any new supplements.
Another effective way to increase GABA production is to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle (actively and nutritionally), and potentially consider a nootropic supplement such as Mind Lab Pro!