What Are the Benefits of Pineapple for Bodybuilding?

As a healthy carb, pineapple makes a good addition to your bodybuilding diet. It not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but eating pineapple after a heavy workout may also help muscle recovery. The tropical fruit is a rich in carbohydrates, which you need for energy repletion, and antioxidants that may help relieve soreness.

Antioxidants in pineapple may soothe your aching muscles. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Pineapple Nutrition

Like other fruits, pineapple is low in calories and fat-free. It's also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. A 1-cup serving of fresh pineapple chunks has 83 calories, 22 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It also meets 131 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 77 percent of the daily value for manganese.

The sweet fruit is also a source of a number of other nutrients in smaller amounts, including vitamin A and K, a variety of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper.

Carbs for Energy

As a bodybuilder, your focus may be on getting enough protein in your diet, but carbs are equally important. In fact, without enough carbs in your diet, your muscles may not have the opportunity to strengthen and grow.

Carbs provide your body with energy, and an adequate intake is necessary so your body doesn't use protein from your muscles for energy. The key is to include high-quality carbs that offer other nutritional benefits.

Antioxidants for Muscle Recovery

Vitamin C and manganese are both powerful antioxidants. Exercise, including lifting weights to build muscle, puts the body under additional stress. Antioxidants help your body fight against the stress. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2006 found that vitamin C reduced muscle soreness and oxidative stress from exercise. However, this study used high doses of supplemental vitamin C. When it comes to improving health, the Harvard School of Public Health recommends you get your antioxidants from food, like antioxidant-rich pineapple, and not a supplement.

Enjoying Your Pineapple

As a super-sweet fruit, pineapple goes well with a number of protein foods. For your post-workout snack, serve pineapple with low-fat cottage to get the carbs and protein your body needs for healing. Or whip it up in a blender with nonfat Greek yogurt and ice for a healthy and sweet smoothie you can drink on the go. At lunch, place a slice in your sandwich or add a few cubes to your salad. You can also grill the hearty fruit and serve it with your chicken or fish at dinner.

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