Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple that can help athletes recover faster after a strenuous exercise. It helps soft tissue heal from injuries and relieves from shoulder or knee pain. Actually, pineapple is the only dietary source of bromelain!
What is bromelain?
Bromelain is an enzyme found only in pineapple. It has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.
Also, bromelain can help the body burn more fat. That’s a key reason why pineapple is good for weight loss!
How much bromelain in pineapple?
Actually, pineapple is the only dietary source of bromelain. Every part of the pineapple plant has bromelain. The stem is the richest part of pineapple in bromelain, though.
Therefore, you shouldn’t throw away the core. You can use a juicer to extract the liquid from the core, or add a small piece into your smoothie.
Moreover, you could drink a glass of pineapple juice before/after exercise. Sugars will help recover faster, while bromelain will prevent joint pain.
How much bromelain do I need in a day?
In fact, there isn’t a recommended daily intake for bromelain.
You could find a wide variety of dietary supplements containing bromelain on Amazon.
“mg” is the amount of bromelain, while GDU (Gelatin Digesting Unit) is a measure of activity for bromelain. The greater, the better.
Usually, bromelain supplements contain 250-1000 mg of bromelain per tablet and 600-3,000 GDU. Prefer supplements with GDU equal or greater than 2,400.
Bromelain speeds up recovery from injuries & surgery
Bromelain may help recover faster from an injury or surgery. Mainly due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In fact, bromelain can be used instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (2). So, consuming pineapple may be a healthy alternative to drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Furthermore, bromelain is beneficial for fighting inflammation in tissues, due to injuries (2).
Pineapple is the only known dietary source of bromelain. Eating a few pieces a day may help athletes with shoulder or knee pains after a workout.
Bromelain may prevent swelling as well. If you get injured, small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, causing swelling. Bromelain can reduce the swelling and speed up recovery. Also, bromelain can reduce the pain, improve circulation, and speed up wound healing (2,3).
Strenuous exercise produces free radicals in your body. Thus, eating foods high in antioxidant promotes muscle recovery. Consuming foods with omega-3s is also crucial.
Helps with knee & shoulder pain
Studies have shown that bromelain can help reduce soft tissue swelling, and joint stiffness (2).
Knee and shoulder pain or stiffness is common among athletes. Bromelain may reduce these symptoms. Also, bromelain can help you move the knee or shoulder through its full range of motion.
Additionally, scientists believe that bromelain is so powerful, that it could be used in many musculoskeletal disorders (2).
Finally, bromelain could be useful in the treatment of several chronic inflammatory disorders. For instance, for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (1).
Moreover, bromelain has analgesic properties. It may influence pain mediators, such as bradykinin. Bradykinin is a compound released in the blood and plays an important role in chronic pain. Moreover, bromelain reduce pain as it can reduce swelling. It can reduce pain in patients by 80%.
As a rule of thumb, a dose of 400 mg is enough. In most studies, patients consumed 60-1,890 mg of bromelain daily with great results (2).
Bromelain speeds up wound healing
Moreover, bromelain seems to be beneficial for wound healing. Bromelain cream can be used on damaged tissue, and on second/third degree burns. Bromelain cream can speed up the healing process (4). Prefer creams with at least 35% bromelain.
Additionally, you’ll benefit from consuming food high in vitamin C and vitamin A. These vitamins are vital for collagen synthesis. Collagen is found in abundant in the connective and soft tissue. In fact, pineapple fruit and, especially, pineapple juice are pretty rich in vitamin C.
Is it good to eat pineapple every day?
Bromelain intake is safe for daily consumption. In studies, patients consumed huge dosages of bromelain with no adverse effects (1). You should consult your health care provider before taking any supplement, though.
- Efficacy of proteolytic enzyme bromelain on health outcomes after third molar surgery. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
- University of Southampton: Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies
- Biomedical Reports: Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications
- Institute of Biomedical Education and Research: Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review.