Protease supplementation has been purported to decrease muscle injury/soreness following intense exercise by decreasing inflammation. A study by E. Hall and colleagues from Elon College, North Carolina, investigated the effects of protease supplementation on physiological recovery from downhill running. Downhill running is one of the most effective ways to promote muscle soreness and damage. Five matched pairs of males ran down a 10 percent grade at 80 percent of predicted maximal heart rate for 30 minutes. In a double blind and randomized manner, subjects ingested either a placebo or two capsules containing 325 mg pancreatic enzymes, 75 mg trypsin, 50 mg papain, 50 mg bromelain, 10 mg amylase, 10 mg lipase, and 10 mg lysozyme four times per day for four days prior to performing the run trials. Ratings of muscle soreness and strength tests were performed prior to running and at 24, 48 and 72 hours after running. Results revealed that the subjects ingesting proteases experienced less muscle soreness and maintained muscle performance to a better degree than those ingesting a placebo. The researchers concluded that protease supplementation may facilitate muscle healing and allow for a faster resolution of muscle function following intense exercise.
Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise. 33:S85, 2001.