What is it: Technically, it is not an amino acid though even in scientific journals it is usually referred to as an amino acid. The body makes taurine in the pancreas out of the amino acid Cysteine. Meat and fish are a good natural dietary source of taurine.
What does it do: Taurine is used in the body in many processes including bile production (digestion), cardiovascular health, antioxidation, osmosis, healthy nervous system function and cell membrane stability.
What will it do for me: While most pre-workout formulas will include taurine for its osmotic properties (helping to move water in and out of muscle cells), the main benefit to athletes is the cell membrane stability. Basically better cell membrane stability translates to EVERY cell in your body being able to perform to its maximum capacity. This results in more energy, better performance and better recovery!
How do I take it: Most pre-workout formulas contain between 500-2000mg of taurine per serve. While we had trouble finding any research on the toxic effects of large doses of taurine, there is also little evidence to support the benefits of taking larger doses either. Bottom line, 2000mg per day (usually 30 min before training) will be sufficient to improve exercise performance and health.