Honey can be a powerful and effective natural source of carbohydrates for athletes. One teaspoon of honey has approx 6.6 g of carbohydrates so it can be ideal for hard working muscles. Carbohydrates are the main fuel the body uses and honey may help maintain muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates) providing that great energy boost that athletes need.
Different honeys are absorbed by the body at different rates – the rate depends on the ratio of sugars in the honey.
Honey with a high fructose level is absorbed more slowly and evenly than honey with a high glucose level – a little will go a long way. This makes high fructose honeys good for endurance sports. Honey takes about the same time as other carbohydrate gels to get from muscle to muscle. In an endurance event most runners glycogen stores can be maintained with approx 30-60 g carbohydrates per hour. A tablespoon of honey contains 17 g so two to three tablespoons per hour should be sufficient to keep glycogen stores maintained.
Honey that has a high glucose content is good for athletes requiring a quick energy boost.
Honey’s unrefined sugars are easily absorbed by the body and can be used pre, during and post strenuous activity.
The combination of glycemic index, positive metabolic response and effective energy production makes honey a great carbohydrate option for athletes.
Try this simple hydrating sports drink
1 tspn honey and a pinch of sea salt added to water bottle
Or why not try this
- 8 cups fresh cold water
- 3 tablespoons honey to taste
- ½ teaspoon fine pure salt
- ¾ teaspoon calcium magnesium powder
- Pinch of cayenne
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- juice of 2 lemons
- juice of 2 limes
- Pour 1 cup of water into a large pot.
2. Add honey, salt, calcium-magnesium powder, and cayenne.
3. Place pot over low heat and whisk until ingredients have dissolved.
4. Remove from heat and allow to return to room temperature.
5. Add juices to room temperature mixture in pot.
6. Pour in remaining 7 cups water and whisk until well blended.
Makes about 9 cups