L-Taurine is a non-essential amino acid in humans with a volume of uses. Frequently included in energy drinks to reduce the peripheral stimulation of caffeine, taurine has an excellent safety profile up to three grams per day. Used as a solo nutraceutical, taurine has the potential to reduce anxiety. The mechanism of action is likely due to its similarity with the master control of central nervous system inhibition known as gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA).
Taurine may be taken prior to bedtime for insomnia reduction as a result. Taurine is found naturally in meat products, but supplements provide a direct therapeutic without extraneous stimulatory amino acids such as glutamate and phenylalanine, which would provide contradictory effects.
Taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat, which means they are fundamentally obligate carnivores. In addition to their cognitive benefits, Taurine use is a relatively common use among bodybuilders. Although it has not been proven to enhance exercise performance, its use as an ergogenic agent is likely due to its ability to promote peripheral vasodilation (colloquially known as "pumps"). This may point to a larger pool of available nitric oxide molecules, a temporary free radical that may improve the "veiny" appearance of bodybuilding competitors.