Jewish Journal

Taurine Fiend

by Beit T'shuvah

June 20, 2013 | 11:34 am

By Inga Roizman

Energy drinks are a favorite with the young people in the sober community. I never thought I would be one of THOSE people. I used to judge them. The first time I tried one I felt jittery and didn’t indulge in one again for a long time. Then came a day where I had some of my friend’s energy drink…and it WORKED. I was alert and ready to go. I could function in the morning within the hour of drinking one rather than the 3 hours it would take to shake the fog off. Coffee alone wouldn’t cut it anymore. I was hooked.

But this is another addiction, like cigarettes and coffee, which is tolerated in the sober community.

Although it would take me 75.5 cans of Monster Ultra in one sitting to kill me from caffeine poisoning, I wondered what taurine does to me. So I did a little research. And after careful scrutiny, I secretly think taurine is the magical addictive ingredient.

Taurine is an amino acid manufactured in the body cysteine. Studies show synthetic taurine, used in energy drinks are linked to illnesses ranging from high blood pressure, strokes, seizures and heart disease. For these reasons, taurine has been banned in some Scandinavian countries.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College say they were “surprised” to find taurine “extraordinarily active” on brain receptors and they’re not sure if it effects as an upper or a downer which explains the serious crash we have a few hours. It’s not the caffeine wearing off, it’s the taurine knocking us out.

As of now, I’m working on a healthier habit involving green tea.

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