Honey is one of our most natural, tasty and versatile foods, with a variety of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. There are many reasons to eat honey as part of your everyday diet, but did you know it can also provide you a lasting energy boost for sports and physical activity?
Proven to pack a punch!
Several clinical trials conducted at the Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory found that honey:
- Acts as a ‘time released’ muscle fuel for exercising, and does not induce hypoglycaemia
- Was the only tested carbohydrate gel to sustain blood sugar over the two hours following exercise, speeding up and replenishing muscle recovery
- Reduced the time to complete a simulated time trial for competitive cyclists while providing over 6% greater cycling power, which was equal in performance to glucose and high-end sports gels
How it works
The increased levels of carbohydrate in honey makes it a clinically proven option as a natural and stable energy boost for sports and endurance activity. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, whilst the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy delivery.
Stable blood sugar wins the race
Honey has been clinically tested* to sustain blood sugar levels for much longer periods than other types of refined sugar, sports gels and ‘carbo snacks’ which means it is great for everyone including kids, recreational players, athletes and fitness enthusiasts to stop you from ‘crashing’ and feeling lethargic.
Carbo loading for success
The Australian Institute of Sport recommends Carbohydrate Loading as one strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can maximise muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. In their program they list the addition of honey on certain foods as a way to achieve an extra supply of carbohydrate.
World Ironman Champion, Guy Leech also recommends natural carbohydrates to improve endurance performance:
“You don’t get the same result if you don’t look after what you put into your body, so particularly when you’re competing at a high level or for a long period of time it’s really important to take foods that give you energy like honey and natural type of products- it can literally be the difference between winning and losing at a high level”
- Scientific American – Honey Heightens Athletic Performance
- Exercise & Sport - Nutrition Lab
- Jissn – Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
- Kreider, R. Rasmussen,C. Lancaster, S. Kerksick, C. & Greenwood, M (2002) Honey: An Alternative Sports Gel, in Strength & Conditioning Journal, 24 (1)pp.50-51.
*Kreider, R Earnest, C. Lundberg, J. Rasmussen, C. Greenwood, M. Cowan, P. & Almada, A. (2007) Effects of ingesting protein with various forms of carbohydrate following resistance-exercise on substrate availability and markers of anabolism, catabolism, and immunity, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4 (18).