Drinking a cup of pineapple juice before or after a workout has many benefits for athletes. Due to its superior nutritional value, pineapple juice appears to:
- improve athletic performance
- accelerate recovery
- enhance muscle gain
- relieve joint pain
- delay muscle soreness
- hydrate the body
- aid in digestion
- protect the cardiovascular system
Above all, both endurance and bodybuilders should regularly drink pineapple juice because it’s the only food naturally containing bromelain!
Also, it’s packed with vitamin C, copper, vitamin B6, thiamine, folate, and electrolytes, while containing small amounts of iron, zinc, choline, riboflavin, vitamin K, selenium, and vitamin E.
Benefits of drinking pineapple juice after a workout
Pineapple juice is good for athletes because it supports muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.
Pineapple juice is particularly rich in vitamin C. Just a cup provides 120% of the Daily Value! Pineapple juice is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C.
Hard training sessions produce high amounts of free radicals in the body. Vitamin C keep them in balance, preventing fatigue and helping athletes perform more intense workouts.
Athletes of bodybuilding have increased vitamin C needs as compared to the general population.
Furthermore, vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis; the body’s most abundant protein, constituting approximately 30% of our total protein content.
Collagen also helps heal the body after exercise. Most noteworthy, it supports muscle repair and protects the body from injuries.
Collagen may help support joint health by promoting the integrity of cartilage. In addition, collagen is a key component of tendons and ligaments. It strengthens these connective tissues, aiding in injury prevention.
Collagen also reduces joint pain and stiffness. This is very beneficial for athletes engaged in high-impact sports.
Also, collagen contributes to bone density and strength.
Athletes don’t need collagen supplementation for faster muscle recuperation after workouts, or healthy joints and bones. The consumption of certain foods can easily boost the natural synthesis of collagen from the body.
Another key vitamin for muscle recovery is thiamine. It accelerates recovery after demanding workouts. Additionally, athletes should always have normal levels of thiamine because it’s implicated in energy metabolism.
Strenuous exercise depletes thiamine stores, though. Hence, athletes should consume a wide variety of foods with thiamine. A cup of pineapple juice provides 12% of the daily value.
Moreover, a serving of pineapple juice provides 4% of the daily value of riboflavin.
This key B vitamin enhances early functional recovery after exercise.
Additionally, high riboflavin intake might reduce muscle pain and soreness during and after prolonged exercise. Runners and other long-distance endurance athletes should be very mindful of consuming various foods rich in riboflavin.
Riboflavin protects the muscles from oxidative damage and enhances cell repair, as it exhibits potent antioxidant properties.
Relieves joint pain
Most noteworthy, drinking pineapple juice after exercise may prevent joint pain, due to injury or swelling, as it’s the only food naturally containing bromelain.
This powerful enzyme has potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
It decreases inflammation in the joints, relieving athletes from pain.
A cup of fresh pineapple juice has up to 120 mg of bromelain. However, this quantity can greatly vary. As bromelain is vulnerable to heat and processing methods, most packaged juices contain significantly less. Check the nutrition facts label for exact bromelain concentrations.
Or, you could take bromelain supplements if you experience acute joint pain. You can check prices on iHerb.
According to a study, highly trained cyclists felt less fatigued and maintained higher testosterone concentration when supplemented with 1,000 mg of bromelain a day.
Supports muscle gain
Furthermore, pineapple juice is a great post-workout beverage because it enhances muscle growth.
Firstly, bromelain helps digest protein. Along with other enzymes in pineapple juice, bromelain supports healthy gut microbiota, which is necessary for good digestion.
Additionally, pineapple juice is packed with vitamin B6. A cup provides 19% of the DV.
Vitamin B6 performs a wide variety of functions in the body. It’s involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions. It’s highly concerned with protein metabolism.
Also, vitamin B6 is vital for the replenishment of muscle glycogen stores after strenuous exercise. This process is key for faster recovery, improved physical performance, as well as muscle hypertrophy.
Helps run for longer
Furthermore, a cup of pineapple juice provides 19% of the recommended daily intake of copper.
Aerobic exercise results in high copper losses.
Copper supports the function of various enzymes that produce energy for the body, absorb iron, and build red blood cells, collagen and connective tissue.
Red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Also, they deliver produced CO2 to the lungs for expiration. They contribute to vasodilation and blood flow to the working muscles.
Hence, pineapple juice improves tissue oxygen supply during exercise, helping endurance athletes work out for longer.
Athletes can increase their daily copper intake by consuming certain foods, including various nuts and seeds.
In addition, pineapple juice may improve endurance because it contains some iron. A serving provides 4% of the DV.
Iron is one of the most important compounds supporting oxygen transport and energy metabolism.
Female endurance athletes are commonly diagnosed with iron deficiency. Iron regulation is crucial for sports performance.
Aids in digestion
It’s estimated that up to 50% of athletes suffer from gastrointestinal problems, which greatly limit their training and athletic performance.
Unhealthy gut function can block the absorption of nutrients and potentially lead to various adverse effects, like bloating, or stomach discomfort.
Pineapple juice may aid in digestion. Firstly, bromelain is the most effective protein-digesting enzyme.
Moreover, pineapple juice indirectly supports good digestion, as it stimulates the synthesis of collagen. Collagen supports gut health by promoting the integrity of the gut lining.
If you have digestive problems or peptic ulcer, better to avoid consuming bromelain supplements. Pineapple juice consumption is preferable.
Another key beverage for good gut health, weight loss, and athletic performance is kefir. Kefir is the richest common food in probiotics, which are beneficial for gut microbiota.
Protects the heart of athletes
Above all, pineapple juice may protect the cardiovascular system of athletes.
Vitamin B6 (19% DV) and folate (11% DV) in pineapple maintain normal levels of homocysteine. This amino acid is dangerous in high amounts in the blood.
Especially before big runs or demanding competitive events, athletes should consume high dosages of these B vitamins. High training volume or acute intense exercise increases homocysteine concentration.
In fact, we should get high doses of various vitamins to naturally lower elevated homocysteine levels.
Copper in pineapple juice also has cardio-protective properties.
Supports a lean body
Drinking pineapple juice helps athletes maintain a lean body. It has potent anti-obesity actions. It helps burn body fat while inhibiting the synthesis of new fat tissue.
For a lean body, prefer eating pineapple juice with foods high in fiber and protein. The combination of fiber and enzymes controls total energy intake, as it keeps us full for a long time. Also, it helps absorb the nutrients of food and aids in digestion.
Why should athletes drink pineapple juice before exercising?
Certainly, athletes could drink pineapple juice after, during, or before a workout. As it contains negligible amounts of fiber, it’s digested easier than raw pineapple. Athletes could eat foods with fiber at least a couple of hours before exercising.
Hydrates the body
Drinking pineapple juice during or after a workout hydrates the body. Proper hydration is necessary for achieving the best possible physical performance.
Firstly, pineapple juice is about 86% high-quality, purified water. Fruits are natural water filters!
Secondly, pineapple juice hydrates the body because it’s a great source of electrolytes. A cup provides:
- potassium, 9% DV
- magnesium, 7% DV
- calcium, 3% DV
- phosphorus, 3% DV
We have to replenish both lost electrolytes and fluids after exercise. Otherwise, electrolyte imbalances may severely affect athletic performance.
For instance, an imbalance in electrolytes can trigger leg cramps. These essential minerals are crucial for muscle contraction and relaxation.
Pineapple juice is rich in potassium, in particular. Potassium is needed by all tissues in the body. It’s implicated in nerve functions and muscle contraction.
High-intensity dynamic exercise depletes potassium stores. So, athletes have to consume various foods rich in this key mineral every day.
Moreover, magnesium controls pain modulation, muscle function and bone health. People with a high physical activity level have increased magnesium needs.
High magnesium intake may improve exercise performance, as it enhances glucose availability in the brain. It’s involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body!
Drinking pineapple juice before a workout is also good for sports performance because it’s an excellent source of energy.
Unsweetened pineapple juice has 10 grams of sugar per 100g or 16 grams of sugar per cup.
However, as it’s high in fructose, which has to be metabolized by the liver first and it’s packed with antioxidant compounds, pineapple juice has a relatively low glycemic index. It’s approximately 47.
Foods with a glycemic index value of 55 or lower exhibit a more gradual increase and decrease in blood glucose levels.
Hence, drinking pineapple juice before a workout can fuel up your muscles before your next training session.
Moreover, sugar in pineapple helps replenish muscle glycogen stores after intense exercise. This process is crucial for faster recovery.
How much pineapple juice should athletes drink a day?
A cup of pineapple juice a day, as part of a well-balanced diet is great for more athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or active people.
Long-distance endurance athletes or athletes of bodybuilding in the bulking phase could drink higher quantities.
After all, a cup of unsweetened pineapple juice has only 130 calories.
People with a sensitive stomach or certain health issues may experience side effects. In this case, you better consume smaller quantities or avoid drinking it on an empty stomach.
How to drink pineapple juice after the gym?
Athletes can drink pineapple juice right after exercise or with their post-workout meal.
As it helps digest protein, we can add it to our favorite post-workout smoothies.
Moreover, we could drink pineapple juice with other fruit juices.
Combining many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds exhibits enhanced health benefits and athletic performance.
One of the richest fruit juices in vitamins and electrolytes is prune juice! You could combine it with pineapple juice for a superior post-workout drink.
Also, pineapple juice can be a key ingredient in many recipes, including jams, sauces, or cakes.
What’s better for athletes? Raw pineapple or juice?
As a rule of thumb, raw fresh fruits are better for weight loss and maintaining a lean body year-round.
Fruit juices are packed with sugar. We should avoid consuming more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. The sugar naturally present in fruit juices counts as added sugar, though.
Unsweetened pineapple juice can have many benefits for athletes. Above all, it provides high amounts of bromelain.
On the other hand, raw pineapple provides 32% less sugar per serving. Also, a cup provides 2.3 grams of fiber, which is 8% of the daily value.
High fiber intake has been associated with better physical performance, healthy gut microbiota, and a lean body.
So, it’s a matter of preference. Athletes can drink pineapple juice as long as they consume adequate amounts of fiber.
Always consult a healthcare professional before changing your eating habits or taking any dietary supplement.