Caffeine-taurine combination improves reaction time, agility and accuracy in athletes
The combination of good old caffeine with good old taurine, present in ninety percent of energy drinks, not only gives boxers more power, but also increases their coordination, balance and reaction speed.
Murat Ozan, a physiologist from Ataturk University, experimented with 20 male boxers aged 18-24 who were active at a high level. Ozan subjected the boxers to a battery of tests on 4 separate occasions.
On one occasion the boxers had taken a placebo [PLA] 60 minutes before the tests started. On the other occasion the subjects received 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight [CAF] and on another occasion they received 3 grams of taurine [TAU]. Finally, Ozan tested the boxers after they had taken both caffeine and taurine [CAF*TAU].
The supplements came from the webshop of the British MyProtein.
Supplementation with the combination of taurine and caffeine increased the subjects' power during a short sprint on a cyclometer. The boxers were therefore able to move faster by supplementing with taurine and caffeine.
Click on the tables and figures below for a larger version.
Ozan tested the boxers' ability to balance on a Sport Kat-4000. Sport Kat-4000 is a device on which athletes have to stand and, while the floor moves, keep their balance as well as possible. The device measures how quickly the athletes can change their posture in response to the momevents of the device. The shorter the time in which that happens, the greater their coordination ability.
Supplementation with taurine and caffeine increased coordination, according to the table above.
Finally, the boxers had to sit behind a laptop, where Ozan used a Stroop test to determine how fast their brains worked - and how many mistakes they made. Supplementation with taurine and caffeine increased the reaction speed, but at the same time reduced the number of errors.
Here you can read about how a Stroop test works.
Caffeine activates the brain and nerve tissue that controls the muscles, Ozan suspects.
Taurine activates the GABA-A receptor, temporarily deactivating other neurotransmitters. You could say that taurine resets neurons via the GABA-A receptor. This may speed up the transmission of stimuli from the central nervous system to the muscle tissue.
Nutrients. 2022 Oct 20;14(20):4399.
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