Athletes and gym goers are always looking for the next best thing to help them build more muscle, strength, boost endurance capacity, and optimize their workout recovery. Enter – Bromelain. Bromelain is a protein digesting enzyme found in Pineapple. Studies have shown that bromelain has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which could be a potential game changer for post workout recovery. We’re going to talk more about bromelain benefits and how it can help improve your health, wellness, and athletic performance.
What Is Bromelain
Bromelain is a group of enzymes, naturally derived from Pineapple. Bromelain is rich in proteolytic enzymes, or proteases, which help metabolize proteins into amino acids. Once protein is broken down, it is much more readily absorbed. (This is the exact reason why Swolverine adds protease and papain from papaya, in our Whey Protein Isolate.)
Studies have shown that bromelain can ease and enhance digestion for better digestive health. Research also shows that bromelain may aid in reducing inflammation in regard to reduced joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
4 Amazing Bromelain Benefits
1. Bromelain Benefits Post Workout Recovery
Bromelain contains powerful anti-inflammatory effects which can enhance and optimize post workout recovery by reducing swelling and inflammation.
Research investigating the effects of bromelain on knee and shoulder osteoarthritis, have shown positive clinical effects on reducing overall joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. In fact, several studies designed to assess the comparative effectiveness of bromelain with a standard treatment, the NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) diclofenac, have shown that bromelain is just as effective in treating knee osteoarthritis, specifically in joint pain and swelling [R].
A small study published in the journal Phytomedicine, showed preliminary clinical evidence, that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of bromelain can help reduce the symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis [R].
A study published in the journal Sports Science evaluated the effects of protease supplementation on muscle soreness and contractile performance after downhill running. Study participants were administered a combination of protease which included 50mg of bromelain, as well as papain, amylase, trypsin, and lipase. The experimental group demonstrated superior recovery of contractile function and diminished effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness after downhill running when compared with the placebo group [R].
2. Bromelain Benefits Digestion
Your body produces specific enzymes to break down fats, carbs, and protein. Bromelain is a protein digesting group of enzymes, which helps digestion by absorbing and metabolizing protein. In addition, studies have shown that bromelain can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines which can damage the interior lining of your gut, improving digestive and gut health.
3. Bromelain Benefits Heart Health
Research has also shown that Bromelain has been effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease as it is an inhibitor of blood platelet aggregation, thus minimizing the risk of arterial thrombosis and embolism.
Studies have also shown that bromelain can prevent and minimize the severity of angina. Angina occurs when there is decreased blood flow to the heart, which results in chest pain and heart disease.
Even more interesting, is that bromelain has been found to reduce nearly all and protect against many risk factors that can contribute to development of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, cholesterol, and stiffness of arteries.
In addition, pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Antioxidants can help reduce and protect your body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the antioxidant capacity of cells. Much like inflammation, our bodies need a certain amount of oxidative stress to function and protect our cells, however an imbalance of free radicals can be harmful and contribute to the development of age-related disease.
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4. Bromelain Benefits Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by intestinal hyper permeability and inflammation. Preliminary research suggests that bromelain may benefit IBD, by suppressing associated and disease mediated inflammation, and improving digestion.
A study published in Clinical Immunology assessed the effects of bromelain on inflammatory cytokines, from patients with Ulcerative Colitis with in vitro studies. Evidence suggested that bromelain reduced production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (cell-signaling proteins) significant in IBD and it’s disease progression [R].
Studies suggest that a dose between 80-400mg, two-three times daily can help provide therapeutic benefit. Various conditions may require alternative doses, such as arthritis, digestive health, and post workout recovery.
Bromelain Benefits: Takeaway
If you're looking for a way to improve your post workout recovery, and overall health and wellness, you should consider bromelain. Studies have shown that bromelain possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is an extremely effective enzyme, shown to improve post workout inflammation, reduce pain, and minimze joint stiffness. Studies have also shown that bromelain can ease digestion and support additional disease states characterized by chronic inflammation. Eating a few slices of pineapple per week is a great addition to your nutrition plan, however it won't help much in getting an adequate amount of bromelain. That's where supplementation comes into play.
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