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HONEY! What’s the deal?!

By Adam Galuszka
May 21, 2014

More and more sport nutrition products are swapping out traditional sugar for honey. Why? Honey is naturally unrefined and is easily absorbed by the body. It’s also vegetarian friendly (and beegan friendly).

What is honey:

Honey is a blend of natural sugar, water, vitamins, minerals, pollen and protein. The quality and make up of honey is totally impacted by the place where it is produced. Honey picks up the natural vitamins and minerals in the soil and can taste wildly different depending on the flowers and plants supplying the pollen.  You can also be ensured that when you eat a honey product it is pure honey. International regulations require that honey is pure, and no artificial additives, colorings or sweeteners can be used.

Honey also has great health benefits: From antioxidants to curing sore throats, a spoonful of honey can go a long way. Our number one tip for honey - if you have hay fever or heavy seasonal allergies find a local honey and eat a spoonful every day for a week. The small amount of local pollen inside the honey acts as an antidote to allergy symptoms. Seriously. It works.

Why Honey in Sports:

Studies have proved that honey is one of the most effective forms of carbohydrates to consume immediately before exercise.

Honey is 70% fructose and glucose. When more fructose is used the honey is runnier, and better for energy gels like Honey Stinger Gold or Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter. When honey is more glucose it is stickier, and better used to congeal contents in bars together like in WB Kitchen Honey Nut Bars, Honey Bunchies, and Simple Squares.

The only difference that occurs when the ratios of fructose and glucose change besides consistence is the rate of carbohydrate absorption. There is no difference in nutritional value or taste. Simply put, fructose is absorbed slower than glucose. This makes honey based gels with high fructose contents amazing gels for endurance events. However if you’re looking for that swift boost of energy look for a gel with more fructose. It all is marked on the label.

Using Honey:

You use honey to fuel sports just as you would any other carbohydrate. Studies have shown its just as effective, if not more (since you can alter the absorption rates), than other carbohydrates.

It takes about 15 minutes for the honey to get from your mouth to your muscles. A tablespoon of honey contains 17grams of carbohydrates, and most endurance athletes require about 30-60grams of carbohydrates an hour to maintain muscle glycogen.

The Sticky Side:

Okay, so honey is sticky. But luckily for you some great companies have come up with great ways to utilzie this superior sugar in bars, and with innovative packaging.

We love Pocket Fuels Chia, Goji & Honey Squeeze bottle. It’s easy to use and resealable.

Then there is our favorite bars with honey used to hold the ingredients together like Honey Bunchies and Simple Squares.

***Also - have no fear, honey isn’t being stolen from the bees. Hives often produce over three times amount of pollen they actually need***