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Rory Warnock, Owen Jeffries, Stephen Patterson and Mark Waldron

Taurine, a sulfur-containing amino acid, is 1 of the primary ingredients in the most popular energy drinks. 1 In addition, most energy drinks contain caffeine, a methylxanthine drug commonly consumed by athletes as an ergogenic aid. 2 Caffeine ingestion (3–6 mg/kg body mass) has been shown to

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Jane A. Rutherford, Lawrence L. Spriet and Trent Stellingwerff

This study examined whether acute taurine (T) ingestion before prolonged cycling would improve time-trial (TT) performance and alter whole-body fuel utilization compared with a control (CON) trial and a placebo (PL) trial in which participants were told they received taurine but did not. Eleven endurance-trained male cyclists (27.2 ± 1.5 yr, 74.3 ± 2.3 kg, 59.9 ± 2.3 ml · kg−1 · min−1; M ± SEM) completed 3 trials in a randomized, crossover, blinded design in which they consumed a noncaloric sweetened beverage with either 1.66 g of T or nothing added (CON, PL) 1 hr before exercise. Participants then cycled at 66.5% ± 1.9% VO2max for 90 min followed immediately by a TT (doing 5 kJ of work/kg body mass as fast as possible). Data on fluid administration, expired gas, heart rate, and ratings of perceived exertion were collected at 15-min intervals during the 90-min cycling ride, but there were no differences recorded between trials. There was no difference in TT performance between any of the 3 trials (1,500 ± 87 s). Average carbohydrate (T 2.73 ± 0.21, CON 2.88 ± 0.19, PL 2.89 ± 0.20 g/min) and fat (T 0.45 ± 0.05, CON 0.39 ± 0.04, PL 0.39 ± 0.05 g/min) oxidation rates were unaffected by T supplementation. T ingestion resulted in a 16% increase (5 g, ~84 kJ; p < .05) in total fat oxidation over the 90-min exercise period compared with CON and PL. The acute ingestion of 1.66 g of T before exercise did not enhance TT performance but did result in a small but significant increase in fat oxidation during submaximal cycling in endurance-trained cyclists.

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John L. Ivy, Lynne Kammer, Zhenping Ding, Bei Wang, Jeffrey R. Bernard, Yi-Hung Liao and Jungyun Hwang


Not all athletic competitions lend themselves to supplementation during the actual event, underscoring the importance of preexercise supplementation to extend endurance and improve exercise performance. Energy drinks are composed of ingredients that have been found to increase endurance and improve physical performance.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a commercially available energy drink, ingested before exercise, on endurance performance.


The study was a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. After a 12-hr fast, 6 male and 6 female trained cyclists (mean age 27.3 ± 1.7 yr, mass 68.9 ± 3.2 kg, and VO2 54.9 ± 2.3 ml · kg–1 · min–1) consumed 500 ml of either flavored placebo or Red Bull Energy Drink (ED; 2.0 g taurine, 1.2 g glucuronolactone, 160 mg caffeine, 54 g carbohydrate, 40 mg niacin, 10 mg pantothenic acid, 10 mg vitamin B6, and 10 μg vitamin B12) 40 min before a simulated cycling time trial. Performance was measured as time to complete a standardized amount of work equal to 1 hr of cycling at 70% Wmax.


Performance improved with ED compared with placebo (3,690 ± 64 s vs. 3,874 ± 93 s, p < .01), but there was no difference in rating of perceived exertion between treatments. β-Endorphin levels increased during exercise, with the increase for ED approaching significance over placebo (p = .10). Substrate utilization, as measured by open-circuit spirometry, did not differ between treatments.


These results demonstrate that consuming a commercially available ED before exercise can improve endurance performance and that this improvement might be in part the result of increased effort without a concomitant increase in perceived exertion.

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Nnamdi Gwacham and Dale R. Wagner

Consumption of energy drinks is common among athletes; however, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of these beverages for short-duration, intense exercise. The purpose of this research was to investigate the acute effects of a low-calorie caffeine-taurine energy drink (AdvoCare Spark) on repeated sprint performance and anaerobic power in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football players. Twenty football players (age 19.7 ± 1.8 yr, height 184.9 ± 5.3 cm, weight 100.3 ± 21.7 kg) participated in a double-blind, randomized crossover study in which they received the energy drink or an isoenergetic, isovolumetric, noncaffeinated placebo in 2 trials separated by 7 days. The Running Based Anaerobic Sprint Test, consisting of six 35-m sprints with 10 s of rest between sprints, was used to assess anaerobic power. Sprint times were recorded with an automatic electronic timer. The beverage treatment did not significantly affect power (F = 3.84, p = .066) or sprint time (F = 3.06, p = .097). However, there was a significant interaction effect between caffeine use and the beverage for sprint times (F = 4.62, p = .045), as well as for anaerobic power (F = 5.40, p = .032), indicating a confounding effect. In conclusion, a caffeine-taurine energy drink did not improve the sprint performance or anaerobic power of college football players, but the level of caffeine use by the athletes likely influenced the effect of the drink.

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Richard B. Kreider, Robert Klesges, Karen Harmon, Pamela Grindstaff, Leigh Ramsey, Daryll Bullen, Larry Wood, Yuhua Li and Anthony Almada

This study examined the effects of ingesting nutritional supplements designed to promote lean tissue accretion on body composition alterations during resistance training. Twenty-eight resistance-trained males blindly supplemented their diets with maltodextrin (M), Gainers Fuel® 1000 (GF), or Phosphagain™ (P). No significant differences were observed in absolute or relative total body water among groups. Energy intake and body weight significantly increased in all groups combined throughout the study with no group or interaction differences observed. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry-determined body mass significantly increased in each group throughout the study with significantly greater gains observed in the GF and P groups. Lean tissue mass (excluding bone) gain was significantly greater in the P group, while fat mass and percent body fat were significantly increased in the GF group. Results indicate that total body weight significantly increased in each group and that P supplementation resulted in significantly greater gains in lean tissue mass during resistance training.

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Christopher Tack, Faye Shorthouse and Lindsy Kass

“ascorbic”[All Fields] OR “taurine”[All Fields]), AND (“healing”[All Fields] OR “repair”[All Fields] OR “collagen”[All Fields]) AND dietsuppl[sb]. Search terms were informed by a feasibility search and in conjunction with a health information librarian. Citations of key articles found in the feasibility

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Nicholas A. Ratamess, Jay R. Hoffman, Ryan Ross, Miles Shanklin, Avery D. Faigenbaum and Jie Kang

The authors aimed to examine the acute hormonal and performance responses to resistance exercise with and without prior consumption of an amino acid/creatine/energy supplement. Eight men performed a resistance-exercise protocol at baseline (BL), 20 min after consuming a supplement (S) consisting of essential amino acids, creatine, taurine, caffeine, and glucuronolactone or a maltodextrin placebo (P). Venous blood samples were obtained before and immediately after (IP), 15 min (15P), and 30 min (30P) after each protocol. Area under the curve of resistance-exercise volume revealed that BL was significantly less than S (10%) and P (8.6%). For fatigue rate, only S (18.4% ± 12.0%) was significantly lower than BL (32.9% ± 8.4%). Total testosterone (TT) and growth hormone (GH) were significantly elevated at IP and 15P in all conditions. The GH response was significantly lower, however, in S and P than in BL. The TT and GH responses did not differ between S and P. These results indicated that a supplement consisting of amino acids, creatine, taurine, caffeine, and glucuronolactone can modestly improve high-intensity endurance; however, the anabolic-hormonal response was not augmented.

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Jonathan. P. Little, Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Stephen M. Cornish and Philip D. Chilibeck

Creatine (Cr) supplementation increases muscle mass, strength, and power. Arginine α-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) is a precursor for nitric oxide production and has the potential to improve blood flow and nutrient delivery (i.e., Cr) to muscles. This study compared a commercial dietary supplement of Cr, A-AKG, glutamine, taurine, branchedchain amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides with Cr alone or placebo on exercise performance and body composition. Thirty-five men (~23 yr) were randomized to Cr + A-AKG (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1 Cr + 0.075 g · kg−1 · d−1 A-AKG, n = 12), Cr (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1, n = 11), or placebo (1 g · kg−1 · d−1 sucrose, n = 12) for 10 d. Body composition, muscle endurance (bench press), and peak and average power (Wingate tests) were measured before and after supplementation. Bench-press repetitions over 3 sets increased with Cr + A-AKG (30.9 ==6.6 → 34.9 ± 8.7 reps; p < .01) and Cr (27.6 ± 5.9 → 31.0 ± 7.6 reps; p < .01), with no change for placebo (26.8 ± 5.0 → 27.1 ± 6.3 reps). Peak power significantly increased in Cr + A-AKG (741 ± 112 → 794 ± 92 W; p < .01), with no changes in Cr (722 ± 138 → 730 ± 144 W) and placebo (696 ± 63 → 705 ± 77 W). There were no differences in average power between groups over time. Only the Cr-only group increased total body mass (79.9 ± 13.0→81.1 ± 13.8 kg; p < .01), with no significant changes in lean-tissue or fat mass. These results suggest that Cr alone and in combination with A-AKG improves upper body muscle endurance, and Cr + A-AKG supplementation improves peak power output on repeated Wingate tests.

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Matthew S. Ganio, Jennifer F. Klau, Elaine C. Lee, Susan W. Yeargin, Brendon P. McDermott, Maxime Buyckx, Carl M. Maresh and Lawrence E. Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a carbohydrate-electrolyte plus caffeine, carnitine, taurine, and B vitamins solution (CE+) and a carbohydrate-electrolyte-only solution (CE) vs. a placebo solution (PLA) on cycling performance and maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). In a randomized, double-blind, crossover, repeated-measures design, 14 male cyclists (M ± SD age 27 ± 6 yr, VO2max 60.4 ± 6.8 ml · kg−1 · min−1) cycled for 120 min submaximally (alternating 61% ± 5% and 75% ± 5% VO2max) and then completed a 15-min performance trial (PT). Participants ingested CE+, CE, or PLA before (6 ml/kg) and every 15 min during exercise (3 ml/kg). MVC was measured as a single-leg isometric extension (70° knee flexion) before (pre) and after (post) exercise. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured throughout. Total work accumulated (KJ) during PT was greater (p < .05) in CE+ (233 ± 34) than PLA (205 ± 52) but not in CE (225 ± 39) vs. PLA. MVC (N) declined (p < .001) from pre to post in PLA (988 ± 213 to 851 ± 191) and CE (970 ± 172 to 870 ± 163) but not in CE+ (953 ± 171 to 904 ± 208). At Minutes 60, 90, 105, and 120 RPE was lower in CE+ (14 ± 2, 14 ± 2, 12 ± 1, 15 ± 2) than in PLA (14 ± 2, 15 ± 2, 14 ± 2, 16 ± 2; p < .001). CE+ resulted in greater total work than PLA. CE+, but not PLA or CE, attenuated pre-to-post MVC declines. Performance increases during CE+ may have been influenced by lower RPE and greater preservation of leg strength during exercise in part as a result of the hypothesized effects of CE+ on the central nervous system and skeletal muscle.

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Romain Meeusen and Lieselot Decroix

/kg Foskett et al. ( 2009 ) + (soccer) ↑ motor skills     6 mg/kg Stuart et al. ( 2005 ) + (rugby) ↓ perception of effort   Caffeine + glucose 1.6 mg/kg caffeine + 0.64 g/kg carbohydrate Stevenson et al. ( 2009 ) + (golf) ↑ alertness   Caffeine + taurine + glucose 200 mg caffeine +/– 2,000 mg Taurine +/– 50 g