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

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Feb;50(2):344-352. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001432.


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 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects*
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Taurine / administration & dosage*
  • Taurine / pharmacology
  • Torque
  • Young Adult


  • Taurine
  • Caffeine