This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are many so-called “weight loss drinks” that don’t actually help. What about pineapple juice, is it good for weight loss?
Pineapple is a popular fruit due to its sweet taste. Regular pineapple can benefit your weight loss journey by helping you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet.
Pineapple juice on the other hand doesn’t have any fiber. This makes it a high calorie drink that’s not very filling. The vitamins and minerals in pineapple juice are not enough to make it good for weight loss.
In general, you want to avoid liquid calories when you’re trying to lose weight. This also applies to pineapple juice.
How is pineapple juice made?
The way pineapple juice is made is pretty simple. The process starts with the whole fruit, the pineapple.
You then press out the juice of the pineapple. You can either strain out the pulp or leave it in. Finally, some pineapple juice brands add sugar and other sweeteners.
These different methods make it so the nutrition in pineapple juices can be different. This in turn makes it so they have different effects on weight loss.
In this article, the nutrition info of unsweetened pineapple juice will be used (1). If you buy or prepare pineapple juice at home you want to avoid the ones with a lot of added sugar and other sweeteners.
Micronutrients in pineapple juice
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in pineapple juice.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of pineapple juice provides you with approximately (1):
- Manganese: 25% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Folate: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
- Thiamin: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
- Copper: 3% of the DV
And some other micronutrients in smaller amounts. These numbers are not that impressive per 100 grams but the thing is that 100 grams of a fluid are easily consumed. One glass of pineapple juice would already be around 200 grams.
Pineapple juice can help you consume decent amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, there are many foods that can provide you with a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Pineapple juice also contains antioxidants, substances that can help your body deal with oxidative stress. It’s not clear if and if they do, to what extent, these substances can help you lose weight.
Will pineapple juice help you lose weight?
Let’s take a closer look at the macronutrients in pineapple juice.
53 calories per 100 grams. 50.8 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (12.9 g per 100 grams of which 0.2 g fiber).
First of all, pineapple juice is not suited for low carb diets like for example the keto diet. Secondly, if this was solid food, 53 calories per 100 grams would not be that much. The problem is that pineapple juice is a liquid.
Solid food will leave you feeling full a lot longer. Partly because liquid is easier to process, partly because solid whole foods often contain more fiber. Try eating 100 grams of potatoes vs drinking half a glass of pineapple juice or any other liquid.
This makes the calories in pineapple juice not very filling. The extra micronutrients are nice but they are not enough to make drinking all those calories from sugar a good thing for your weight loss and health.
Often manufacturers also add extra sugar to fruit juices. Even without the added sugar the amount of calories in pineapple juice is not great for weight loss.
Like with most foods, you can have some pineapple juice and still lose weight but this drink won’t help your efforts.
Eat and drink these things instead
While it’s probably better to drink pineapple juice over most other soft drinks, you should stay away from it if you’re looking to lose some weight. It’s better to consume these calories in solid food that will actually satisfy your hunger and provide you with more nutrients.
If you’re looking to drink something else than water with a little more taste you can try coffee, tea, or other healthy water drinks.
When to drink pineapple juice for weight loss
If you do decide to drink pineapple juice, the time you drink it may influence your weight loss.
The calories in pineapple juice are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s why you preferably want to drink pineapple juice earlier in the day or at least not right before bed.
Which is better: pineapple or pineapple juice?
100 grams of pineapple contains about the same amount of calories, 50 per 100 grams (2) but the whole fruit also contains more fiber (1.4 grams per 100 grams) and more micronutrients.
Fiber has multiple benefits. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
If you have to choose between the two a regular pineapple would be better for weight loss.
Stay away from liquid calories
If you’re looking to lose weight one of the first priorities should be to stop drinking calorie-rich drinks. The number of calories per 100 grams in them might not be that high compared to certain whole foods but they are a lot worse in the bigger picture.
Fruit juices should be avoided too. It’s a common beginner weight loss mistake to think that juices are healthy just because they have the word fruit in them. By juicing fruit all you are left with is water with sugar and vitamins.
Often you don’t have to look far to find food that has the same amount of vitamins, minerals, fewer calories, and more fiber. You can still lose weight while drinking liquid calories. However, it will be harder to stick to a plan that puts you in a calorie deficit because of all the hunger you will experience.