Does Taurine Break A Fast?

Taurine is an amino acid that is often included in energy drinks to improve mental alertness. Generally, taurine will not break your fast – given that you are taking it alone and in capsule form.

Taurine is also sometimes taken as a dietary supplement for its purported health benefits, which include improving heart health, cognitive function, and exercise performance.

Let’s explore all that we know about taurine as it relates to fasting.

Does Taurine Contain Calories?

Taurine as a plain, unflavored powder or in capsule form is devoid of calories, according to most sources.

This means that, on its own and in these forms, taurine will not break a fast or stall weight loss.

However, many commercial energy drinks that contain taurine also pack a lot of added sugar, which can quickly add up to several hundred calories per serving.

Red Bull contains taurine and has 11 calories

This will clearly cause weight gain and stall any progress being made during a fast, so it’s best to avoid these sugar-laden ones while fasting.

Related: Intermittent Fasting For Improved Metabolism

Will Taurine Raise Blood Glucose Or Insulin Levels?

Pure Taurine powder or capsule does not have an impact on glucose or insulin levels. When consumed in energy drinks, the impact on blood glucose and insulin is significant.

The carbohydrates contained in such drinks are rapidly absorbed and cause an acute blood sugar spike with a sharp insulin response. This will quickly break a fast.

Will Taurine Affect Autophagy?

Taurine has been shown in studies to induce a greater degree of autophagy. This is especially noteworthy in fat cells, where it would appear that taurine could potentially help improve the benefits of fasting by increasing fat loss.

Of course, this benefit will be negated completed if you consume taurine in the sugar-laden energy drinks. The sugar will override any potential autophagy benefits of the taurine.

Can I Use Taurine on Fasting Days?

Taurine can be taken on fasting days, but with a few caveats.

If you are using taurine for its potential health benefits and want to minimize any impact on your fast, it’s best to take it in capsule form on an empty stomach. This way, you’ll avoid any potential spikes in blood sugar or insulin levels.

It can also be taken during the actual fast and not cause it to break.

Additionally, be sure to stay well hydrated while taking taurine supplements by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as taurine is an osmoregulator.

An osmoregulator effectively maintains hydration inside working cells, over the rest of the body. For example, activity that taxes the heart will lead taurine to prioritize hydration of cardiac cells over every other type.

This can lead to dehydration of other cell types.

Final Words

Taurine is a safe and effective amino acid supplement that can offer some health benefits, especially when it comes to autophagy.

When taken in capsules or plain unflavored powder on an empty stomach, taurine will not break a fast or cause any negative blood glucose or insulin spikes.

Just be sure to stay hydrated, avoid taking it too late in the day, and steer clear of the sugary energy drinks while fasting.

This way, you can reap all the potential benefits taurine has to offer without jeopardizing your fast.

Curious what else might break your fast? Read these:

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Michael Jessimy, BSc(Pharmacy)

Michael is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.

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2 Comments

  1. > Just be sure to stay hydrated, avoid taking it too late in the day, and steer clear of the sugary energy drinks while fasting.

    Thanks for the detailed article! The possibility of enhancing my extended fast is what I was looking for. [b]What is the effect of taking it late in the day?[/b] Is there a good cutoff time?

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