Honey and Exercise
Two of our favorite things go hand in hand
Sioux Honey Association Co-op members are not scientists; they’re beekeepers. But if you’ve ever talked to a longtime beekeeper, you might think they have a Ph.D. in chemistry or biology.
In one sentence, they’ll tell you all about the components found in honey, like fructose, glucose, vitamins, minerals and so on. In the next sentence, they’ll talk about honey byproducts, like propolis, pollen, royal jelly and beeswax.
And the bees? They’re the true chemists. They make honey through a complex process using enzymes and dehydration to convert sugar found in nectar into the supersaturated solution – and superfood – we call honey. That’s Nobel Prize-level work there.
The point is, we’re not here to make scientific claims about honey. We’ll leave that to the real Ph.D.s. But we can certainly tell you about our experience with honey – in particular, how honey gives us an energetic feeling before, during and after workouts.
But don’t just take our word for it; consider what others say about honey and exercising:
“If you are looking for an energy boost during your next workout, or something to help with your recovery from a tough session at the gym, you may want to consider honey,” says AmpFitness.com.
“Due to its carbohydrate composition (low glycemic index, mostly fructose and glucose), honey may theoretically exert positive effects when consumed before, during or after exercise,” says the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to NIH’s report, “Honey Supplementation and Exercise: A Systematic Review,” (which you can read at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), “Due to the potential health benefits and to offset the risks posed by supplement contamination, many athletes, practitioners and researchers espouse a ‘food-first’ approach to sports nutrition.
“As honey is a natural substance comprised of 80% carbohydrates (primarily fructose and glucose), and is known to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, there exists a theoretical basis for its use as a nutritional supplement in exercising populations.”
Like we said, we like the way honey makes us feel before and after we work out. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that one.
More on honey and exercise
According to Healthy Living, “Depending on how intense your workout was and whether you properly fueled up beforehand, your blood sugar can drop dangerously low. Having a tablespoon or two of honey after a workout is an effective way to keep your blood sugar up. Even if you don’t enter the danger zone, honey will refuel your body, giving you energy for whatever you need to do next.”
Still another source: “Honey may also be useful before and during your workout. If you eat honey before body building or any exercise, you allow for a slow and steady release of glucose into the blood. Honey can be absorbed into the bloodstream without the process of digestion,” says LiveStrong.com.
“When honey is eaten before a workout or athletic activity, it is released into the system at a steady rate throughout the event. During exercise, consuming carbohydrates, such as honey, during a workout helps muscles stay nourished longer and delays fatigue,” according to Biology and Medicine.
A final thought before you head to the gym
As we said at the beginning, we’re not mad scientists. But we are happy campers when we eat honey before and after we exercise – whether that’s walking the dog, riding a bike, pumping iron at the gym or taking in a yoga class.
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