Energy Drinks Could Hold the Key to Anti-Aging, New Research Show
Certain animals are already reaping the benefits.
In the world of anti-aging, there are plenty of known ways to turn back the clock—eating high-nutrient superfoods, using specially formulated facial serums, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise. But you probably didn't expect drinking energy drinks to land on that list, too.
According to a 2023 study published in the journal Science, energy drinks contain taurine, an amino acid and "a semiessential micronutrient" that's been recently attributed to a longer, healthier life span in animals. While the research is limited to mice, worms, and monkeys thus far, experts are confident that taurine could yield similar results in humans as well.
Typically found in dark chicken, meat, dairy, and fish, taurine allows our cells to produce energy. The amino acid can help "the body process bile acid and balance fluids, salts and minerals, among other actions," per Mayo Clinic. Taurine also happens to be a common supplement in energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy.
In mice, monkeys, and humans, researchers discovered a significant deficiency in taurine levels—as much as 80 percent—with age. Vijay Yadav, an assistant professor at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons who co-authored the study, said researchers are still trying to figure out the cause behind the steep decline in older species.
That said, research shows that distributing taurine supplements to middle-aged mice and monkeys can improve their health—or, in other words, help with anti-aging.
The benefits had a greater impact on mice than monkeys, who saw an improvement in blood sugar levels, bone density, and immune system function. In mice, an uptick in taurine resulted in improved bone density, muscle endurance, and immune system function.
Mice also achieved a healthier weight and saw a 10 percent longer lifespan. Researchers estimate that the latter could equate to seven or eight years in humans.
While anti-aging remedies like chemical peels and laser treatments can leave your skin looking younger, taurine doesn't exactly work the same way. "It's hitting the brakes on aging, not putting things in reverse gear," Yadav previously explained during a news briefing, as reported by NBC News.
It's important to reiterate that the health benefits of taurine supplements are specific to animals alone—at least for now. If you want to incorporate more taurine into your diet, there are healthier and more natural ways to do so than by consuming energy drinks, which are violently high in caffeine, sugar, and other not-so-great ingredients.
Mayo Clinic warns that energy drinks can lead to dehydration, nervousness, and tenseness and that some people may experience difficulty falling asleep. Heart complications, including heart failure, and anxiety are also possible side effects, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Instead, try cooking with more shellfish, like scallops or mussels, and dark meat to improve your taurine levels.