If you are a bodybuilder you know amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are twenty-two known amino acids and of all the amino acids, glutamine is probably the most well-known. It is the most abundant amino acid found on the skeletal frame. It is well documented that glutamine speeds recovery, preserves muscle tissue and is the body's main fuel used by the immune system.
Despite the magnificent anabolic capabilities of glutamine, you may be compromising your long-term goals due to the absence of one of the most underrated and underutilized amino acids in the bodybuilding community, namely taurine.
Multifaceted, meaning it can do a variety of things, emerging science continues to validate taurine's anabolic capabilities For example, taurine is now recognized as a primary building block of every other amino acid and in practical terms, taurine is a key element in driving the anabolic growth and, repair cycles in the development of lean muscle tissue. Taurine is also intimately involved with the proper digestion of fats thus aiding in the maintenance of a lean and muscular look.The Chemical StuffWhile taurine is classified as a non-essential amino acid, its composition is a little different than that of other amino acids. Taurine contains sulfur acid groups rather than carboxyle acid groups and physiologically it is not combined or merged into other proteins, thus its non-use in protein synthesis. It is however, the most prolific free form amino acid in body tissues, especially the skeletal, cardiac, brain and muscle tissue. Taurine is made from the amino acids methionine and cysteine and its production is dependent on the presence of pyridoxa1-5'-phosphate (PSP), the active form of vitamin B6.The Secret's OutTaurine's role in human physiology is relatively new, only being identified some forty years ago. Taurine is a neurotransmitter in the brain and has a calming effect on other neurotransmitters, having some benefit in treating epileptic seizures. Taurine is also found abundantly in the heart, assisting in regulating the heart's rhythm and its ability to contract with ease.
Scientists have also discovered that taurine is intimately involved with the immune system, stimulating the production of natural killer cells and the release of interleukin-1, a major agent in the immune system's arsenal of weapons. As a bodybuilder this is a crucial attribute that can help you reach your body building goals as taurine can help reduce exercise induced oxidative stress and keep your immune system functioning at peak levels thus keeping you in the gym working and not on the sidelines.
Taurine is also involved with regulating blood pressure and mimics the action of insulin. As you know insulin is one of your most anabolic hormones that is responsible for driving nutrients into the cell which are critical to enhancing growth. Furthermore, taurine is the second most abundant amino acid next to glutamine, found within skeletal muscle tissue and has powerful antioxidant capabilities. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage, and have dynamic anti-aging properties. Antioxidants have also shown in recent studies to be valuable nutrients that help neutralize toxic waste by-products that can cause muscle fatigue and wasting.The Natural Fat BusterAs previously stated insulin stimulates the uptake of amino acids and glucose into muscle tissue. This helps you burn fat more efficiently, while building lean tissue. Recent studies have shown that taurine has the same anabolic affects as the hormone insulin via its ability to also regulate glucose metabolism. Taurine also assist in regulating bite acid metabolism, so much so, that, physiologically, the body transforms it into a substance named chenodeoxychloic acid.
This is one of the body's most abundant bile acids. Bile acids assist in breaking down dietary fats and aids in the digestive process. Researchers also now know that a deficiency of taurine creates an internal environment that promotes fat storage, by suppressing the body's fat burning activities. This happens due to the fact that low taurine levels are associated with a decrease in the body's resting metabolic rate. In other words, low taurine levels will cause a reduction in the internal metabolic machinery that keeps your fat burning mechanisms on high, even while you are at rest.Muscle PowerTo date, however, one of the key discoveries surrounding taurine's anabolic capabilities centers on the opening remarks by Dr. Eric Serrano, a well known physician in Pataskala, Ohio, who specializes in sports medicine. That statement focuses on the fact that taurine is more voluminous, concentrated or bulkier in striated type 2 muscle fibers than glutamine. What importance does the above statement have in reference to your ability to build more muscle tissue, and more importantly what are striated type 2 muscle fibers?Types Of Muscle FibersSkeletal muscles are generally striated. Striated muscle fibers are characterized by transverse (lying or reaching across) dark and light bands that are made up of elongated (stretched out slender) fibers. There are two types of skeletal muscle fibers, type I (slow twitch) and type II (fast twitch). Slow twitch fibers tend to have more mitochondria (energy factories) and rely on aerobic metabolism and are geared for endurance.
About 500% of your total muscle mass is made up of these fibers and are much smaller and weaker that type II fibers. Fast twitch fibers (type 2) tend to have smaller amounts of mitochondria and are capable of more powerful (shorter) contractions and for you. This is, just what the doctor ordered. Weightlifters and bodybuilders usually have more twitch fibers. These fibers are larger, stronger and tend to grow much more efficiently when stimulated by resistance training and the right supplements.Taurine Is The Right StuffWhile taurine helps modulate muscle fiber growth during intense weight-training sessions, taurine also participates in the transmission of electrical signals in muscle tissue, which has a direct affect on muscle contractibility and your workout performance. As you know, creatine is widely used for its ability to promote the production of ATP (adenosine-triphosphate), the energy molecule. This energy molecule provides fuel to tired muscles helping you workout longer and harder with better recovery. Creatine also helps expand you muscle cells so that they hold more water. This physiological action signals you muscle cells to utilize more protein, a critical element in the muscle building process. Simply put, taurine like creatine actually creates an environment in the cell that enhances the growth potential of your muscles.A Nitric Oxide PotentiatorCurrent studies have confirmed taurine’s ability to increase nitric oxide production. Low levels of taurine are associated with faulty endothelium (the thin layer of flat cells that line the blood vessels) action, which leads to impaired vasodilation responses. The process of vasodilation widens your blood vessels, which speeds the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle cells and tissues. Without nitric oxide this process (vasodilation) is severely hampered. Paradoxically, current data indicates that low levels of taurine can cause a reduction in nitric oxide production.The Exercise RadoxWithout a solid workout routine in place, you will never be able to build the body you desire. It is a proven fact that your body’s stores of various nutrient levels decline as a direct result of your physical activities, hence the need to continually supplement.
Taurine is one of those nutrients that significantly declines with exercise, as well as with age. So supplement daily with this nutrient as it will' increase exercise performance and will protect your muscle tissue from a nasty process that interferes with nutrients getting to your muscle cells known as ischemia reperfusion (restricted circulation).Dose RangePresently, there is no established dose range for taurine. However, reliable and relatively consistent data suggest that two grams three times a day will produce therapeutic effects. Current data also indicates that taurine maybe most effective if taken 30 minutes prior to training and right after your workout session. Based on all the mounting data concerning taurine's ability to preserve and protect your health, as well as it's sheer anabolic capabilities, this maybe just the right time to turn to taurine to help you reach and maintain some of your bodybuilding goals!