1. Honey is super natural. Most sports gels and drinks aren’t.Most sports gels on the market are sickeningly sweet and loaded with artificial ingredients, dehydrating caffeine, and inflammatory refined sugars. And don't get us started on sports drinks that look like they were milked out of a neon sign. If you're looking to fuel your body naturally, look no further than the hive. Raw honey is au naturale and filled with unrefined, raw sugars, which are easily digested by the body. Additionally, it contains an array of performance-boosting vitamins, nutrients, and even a bit of protein, making it the perfect nourishment mid-sweat. Plus, come on, you can't beat that taste!
2. Honey is a superior source of antioxidants.
A study out of the University of California demonstrated that honey is significantly richer in antioxidants than the sugars found in most energy gels (ahem, corn-derived dextrose). Why does this matter? To put it simply, exercise is a form of stress on the body. By ingesting antioxidant-rich honey before, during, or immediately after a workout, those antioxidants can prevent free radical damage caused by stress and help you recover faster. Processed sugars simply can’t do that.
3. Honey is “time released” fuel.Raw honey's unique natural sugar concoction keeps blood sugar levels stable all the way through your workout. In fact, research has shown that a pre-workout tablespoon of honey keeps blood sugar levels steadier than other carb choices. In one trial of 39 men and women, after an intensive workout “each subject immediately consumed a protein shake blended with sucrose, maltodextrin, powdered honey or placebo as a carbohydrate. The honey sweetened ‘muscle shake’ was the only one to keep blood sugar levels steady for over the two hours following exercise.” This is because the fructose in honey is more slowly digested by the body, meaning a little bit of the sweet stuff will go a long way—through your workout and beyond. Imagine the effects when you replace powdered honey with the real raw stuff!
4. A sweet spoonful will prevent mid-workout fatigue.Along the line of "time-released" fuel, the fructose and glucose in raw honey can stave off a drop in energy right when you’re about to send it, whether you’re topping out at the rock gym or taking a run to your local post office. A spoonful of honey just before exercise prevents the body from dipping into glycogen stores in the muscles for energy. This is especially important if you’re working out intensely for more than 60 minutes at a time, which is when the body normally begins to dip in to its glycogen stores. A little honey on your tongue at regular intervals (after the first hour) is a surefire way to keep your energy output and outlook bright.
5. Raw honey can actually enhance your speed, strength, and endurance.
A spoonful of honey before a race practically gives you superpowers. It improves speed, power, and boosts energy. Seriously, it's science...
In a study conducted by the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, when competitive cyclists were given honey at regular intervals during a 40 mile race, they experienced a significant increase in both power and speed. Obviously, honey isn't going to miraculously make you an Olympian, but it will help you achieve your peak performance potential. Yeah, honey is pretty powerful. Of course, no one wants to go on a long run with a jar of honey clunking inside their backpack. Instead, incorporate honey into your fitness routine with these creative ideas...
- Add a spoonful of honey and a pinch of pink salt into your water bottle for a hydrating sports drink that replenishes electrolytes.
- Make nourishing energy bites with our Superfood Cacao Honey
- Eat some BeePowered straight out of the jar pre- or post-workout and refuel your muscles on a cellular level.
- Stash a stick or two of B.Chill in your fanny pack for the ultimate post-workout cool down.