Combining caffeine and taurine boosts physical and mental performance, study finds
Turkish researchers have found evidence that the combination of caffeine and taurine has synergistic effects on physical and cognitive performance. Their results were published in the journal Nutrients.
The motivation behind this study was to investigate the potential ergogenic effects of caffeine, taurine and their combination on the performance of elite boxers. Elite athletes are always looking for ways to gain a competitive edge, and supplements have become an integral part of their training regimen.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays several important roles in the body. Taurine is naturally present in some foods, especially in protein sources of animal origin such as meat, fish and dairy products. It is also available as a dietary supplement and is often included in energy drinks.
Twenty elite male boxing athletes were recruited to conduct the study. They participated in five test sessions, which included a familiarization session and four experimental trials with different supplements: caffeine (6 mg/kg), taurine (3 g single dose), a combination of caffeine and taurine, and a placebo (300 mg of maltodextrin). Participants were randomly assigned to different supplement groups in a double-blind crossover design.
The researchers measured various parameters relating to anaerobic power, balance, agility and cognitive performance. The Wingate Anaerobic Test, which measures maximal anaerobic power, was performed on a specialized cycle ergometer. Blood lactate levels, ratings of perceived exertion, balance, and agility were also assessed.
Cognitive performance was assessed using the Stroop test, which is a well-known neuropsychological test. The Stroop test measures the effect of interference between reading the words and naming the color of the ink in which the words are printed. Participants are presented with color words (e.g., red, green, blue) written in different ink colors and are asked to ignore the word and concentrate on naming the ink color as quickly and accurately as possible.
The results of the study showed that caffeine, taurine and their combination had different effects on different performance parameters. Taking caffeine and taurine together improved the boxers’ power, meaning they were able to generate more force during the Wingate test. It also made them feel less exhausted during exercise.
Comparing the combined intake of caffeine and taurine to their separate intakes revealed differences in power output and other performance measures. This suggests that the combination of caffeine and taurine may have a synergistic effect and be more effective than taking them individually. The combined intake of caffeine and taurine also improved the boxers’ balance and agility.
In tests evaluating cognitive performance, the combined intake of caffeine and taurine improved the boxers’ reaction time compared to when they took taurine alone, caffeine or a placebo. This means that their ability to react quickly to stimuli has been improved.
But neither caffeine nor taurine, taken separately or together, had a significant effect on lactate levels. Lactate is a compound that builds up in muscles during intense exercise.
The researchers concluded that the combined intake of caffeine and taurine was the most effective supplementation strategy for improving anaerobic strength, balance, agility, and cognitive performance in elite male boxers. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to these supplements can vary, and more research is needed to fully understand their effects on athletic performance. Additionally, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind the effects of caffeine and taurine on performance.
In Study, Does Single or Combined Caffeine and Taurine Supplementation Improve Athletic and Cognitive Performance Without Affecting Fatigue Level in Elite Boxers? A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was written by Murat Ozan, Yusuf Buzdagli, Cemre Didem Eyipina, Nurcan Kl Baygutalp, Neslihan Yce, Furkan Oget, Emirhan Kan and Fatih Baygutalp.
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