Pineapple Enzyme Helps Athletes Bounce Back While Blunting Plunging Testosterone

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Hard training exacts harsh bodily punishment - just ask any competitive athlete. Yet a little-known natural proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, derived from pineapple stems and fruit, shows great promise easing sports recovery and maintaining masculine vitality

In a rigorous 2016 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers from New Zealand tested bromelain's impacts on muscle damage and testosterone levels in highly trained cyclists during consecutive days of intense competition.1 They discovered the supple pineapple enzyme slashed multiple markers of exercise-induced trauma while beneficially preserving testosterone concentrations.

The human body requires adequate testosterone for proper metabolic and reproductive functioning. But extreme physical exertion often depletes circulating testosterone, contributing to fatigue, loss of vigor and impaired adaptive response.2 The enzyme bromelain displays established anti-inflammatory properties and previously reduced soreness in athletes.3 Researchers therefore theorized bromelain might also mitigate testosterone decreases following exhaustive training bouts when muscle breakdown runs high.  

Fifteen top-tier male cyclists entering a six-day professional stage race volunteered for the study. For supplementation, eight riders received 1,000 milligrams of bromelain each day, while seven Controls took visually identical placebos. Cyclists faced over 500 kilometers of grueling competition through variable weather and courses.

Blood samples were drawn before racing began and following days three and six - when cumulative demands peaked. Researchers analyzed the blood for muscle damage indicators creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and myoglobin along with total testosterone levels.

As expected, CK, LDH and myoglobin concentration spiked by days three and six, signaling significant muscle trauma from consecutive all-out efforts. However testosterone plunged by day six in the placebo group, indicating stressful overtraining.

Remarkably, the bromelain-supplemented cyclists maintained testosterone concentrations throughout competition. Additionally, their fatigue ratings were significantly lower than controls by day four, when glycogen depletion and muscle breakdown take a toll.

This rigorous investigation proves the power of a little known natural enzyme - bromelain - to alleviate hard training's bodily blowback. Counteracting exercise-induced immunological and hormonal disruption, bromelain enhanced resilience and recovery across successive days of extreme exertion.

For competitive athletes facing overtraining, bromelain boosts the ability to rebound day after day at peak intensity. But anyone engaged in demanding recreation from weekend warriors to new gym goers may benefit. Additionally, bromelain's protective effects on testosterone make it attractive for any man seeking to preserve vitality and function during intense life stresses or advancing age.

At last, science confirms pineapple's ancient cultural status as an esteemed medicinal fruit. Much more than a tasty snack, consuming its proteolytic enzymes directly via supplementation looks to enhance athleticism, virility and quality of life. Those recovering from injury or illness may also gain from bromelain due to improved protein breakdown and anti-inflammatory action.4

So do as top cyclists now discover - give bromelain a try to ease soreness, lift fatigue and maintain your edge. Let pineapple power propel you onward.

Learn more about the many researched therapeutic applications of bromelain here.

Learn more about how to address low testosterone levels here.

For more research on how to improve recovery from athletic performances go here.


1) Shing CM, Chong S, Driller MW, Fell JW. Acute protease supplementation effects on muscle damage and recovery across consecutive days of cycle racing. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016;16(2):206-12. 

2) Velloso CP. Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I. Br J Pharmacol. 2008;154(3):557-68.

3) Brien S, Lewith G, Walker AF, et al. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):251-257. 

4) Brien S, Lewith G, Walker A, Hicks SM, Middleton D. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004;1(3):251-257. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh035

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