Taurine is a popular ingredient that is combined with caffeine to help produce energy drinks. Its name came from the Latin word Taurus, which means bull, because it was first isolated from the bile and semen of a red bull.
However, the taurine found in energy drinks is not a byproduct of a bull's testicles. Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an organic acid. It is the main component of bile and can be found in the lower intestine and in small amounts in the tissues of many animals, including humans.
But in energy drinks, taurine is a synthetic element. Energy drinks usually say that taurine boosts your metabolism and increase your energy level. Taurine is simply an amino sulfonic acid that contains sulfur. It is derived from the amino acid cystein, which is roughly 10% of sulfur found in your body.
Taurine is mostly found in the heart, brain and muscle because it’s vital in regulating the nervous system. There is no one doubt that taurine is effective in stimulating the nervous system and increasing energy, but taurine could also have negative side effects if consumed in high concentrations.
FactExpert 2005. "Facts about Energy Drink Taurine".
Kelly Spies. "Energy Drinks Made From Bull Testicles? ". Associated Content Health & Wellness, May 08, 2007.