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Does taurine supplementation increase fat burning during aerobic exercise?

Background

Some evidence suggests that taurine supplementation may increase lipid metabolism during high-intensity exercise, potentially resulting in conservation of muscle glycogen stores.[1] Fasting, especially when combined with exercise, can similarly affect lipid metabolism by increasing free fatty acid utilization.[2] Does taurine supplementation combined with fasted moderate-intensity aerobic exercise increase lipid oxidation?

The study

This randomized crossover trial enrolled 17 healthy young men (aged 24 years on average) and assigned them to take taurine (either 3 g or 6 g) or a placebo 90 minutes before a 1-hour submaximal running session (60% of VO2max). Following an overnight fast, the participants completed 3 exercise sessions separated by a 1-week washout period. Blood samples were collected before and after exercise, and respiratory gases were analyzed (to measure lipid and carbohydrate oxidation) for 10 minutes immediately after exercise.

The primary goal of this study was to examine whether pairing fasted aerobic exercise with supplemental taurine promotes additional effects on lipid metabolism. Secondarily, the researchers aimed to determine the effects of the varying doses of taurine.

The results

Lipid oxidation increased by 40% and carbohydrate oxidation decreased by 4% in the participants taking 6 grams of taurine compared to the placebo group. Interestingly, 3 grams of taurine increased lipid oxidation by 20% compared to the placebo but did not affect carbohydrate oxidation. Glycerol concentrations increased equally in all groups as a result of the fasted exercise.

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