This study investigated the effects of taurine on repeated sprint exercise, performed after fixed incremental ramp exercise to exhaustion at isokinetic high (90 r/min) or low (50 r/min) cadences. In a double-blind, repeated measures design, nine females completed an incremental ramp test to volitional exhaustion, followed by 2 min active recovery and 6 × 10 s sprints on a cycle ergometer, in one of four conditions: high cadence (90 r/min) + taurine (50 mg/kg body mass); high cadence + placebo (3 mg/kg body mass maltodextrin); low cadence (50 r/min) + taurine; low cadence + placebo. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate concentration B[La] were measured before and after the ramp test and after the sprints. Taurine lowered HR vs. placebo prior to the ramp test (P = 0.004; d = 2.1). There was an effect of condition on ramp performance (P < 0.001), with higher end-test power (d = 3.7) in taurine conditions. During repeated sprints, there was a condition × time interaction (P = 0.002), with higher peak sprint power in the placebo conditions compared to taurine (sprint 2-6; P < 0.05). B[La] was higher in taurine compared to placebo post-ramp (P = 0.004; d = 4.7). Taurine-lowered pre-exercise HR and improved incremental end-test power output, with subsequent detrimental effects on sprint performance, independent of cadence. Short endurance performance can be acutely enhanced after taurine ingestion but this effect might not be maintained across longer periods of exercise or induce the need for longer recovery periods.
Keywords: Amino acids; Cycling; Ergogenic aids; Supplementation.