Benefits of Honey & Exercise January 23 2019, 0 Comments

Right after you've put yourself through the exhilarating exertion of a workout, you need to refuel your body. You should put something into it that will start repairing muscle damage and help you recover in general. You've most likely heard that carbs and protein is optimal. When examining the benefits honey has to offer, you'd think it was tailor-made by nature to be your go-to pre/post-workout food. Honey has a variety of benefits: maintains blood sugar levels, assists with muscle recovery, offers antioxidant benefits, & fits into a raw food diet, just to name a few.

Maintains Blood Sugar Levels:

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.

Helps With Recovery:

Muscle growth and recovery go hand in hand, and they're both enhanced by getting some post-workout nutrition. The 30 to 45 minutes after you work out is called the anabolic phase, the time when your body goes to work to build muscle and recover. It's an ideal time to reload your system's energy supplies. Carbohydrates and protein are both useful for this purpose and even more effective when used together. Added to a protein shake and acting as the carb component, honey can help your body to make the most of the anabolic window of muscle building and repair that starts when your workout ends.

Offers Antioxidant Benefits:

As you challenge your body during a workout, you're doing more than burning up fuel. You're also leaving your body vulnerable to the effects of oxidation, which can affect all your body tissues as well as your immune system. Honey is useful as a post-workout supplement because it contains antioxidants. Dark honey in particular may contain almost as many antioxidants as spinach and garlic. So indulging in a dose of honey after a workout can help keep your immune system working to maintain the health of your muscles and the rest of your body.

Fits Into a Raw-Food Diet:

Honey is recommended by sports dietitians and personal trainers for a healthy, quick shot of energy. Honey is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes, all good for you and vital for optimal health, but only when it's in its unprocessed form. The method for processing honey leaches the nutrition out, reducing or, in some cases, eliminating the favorable effects you're relying on honey to provide. When you use honey after a workout for the benefits listed here, make sure you're eating raw honey.

The Science:

The problem with many post-workout carbohydrates is the hypoglycemia cycle. Ingest a simple carbohydrate for refueling and it's quickly digested & absorbed. This results in a spike in blood sugar followed by a quick and potentially dangerous drop. Honey may be one of the best carbohydrates to refuel with to avoid this hypoglycemia effect.

Honey After Exercise:

In a review in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" by Dr. Richard Kreider, chair of the Department of Health, Human Performance & Recreation at Baylor University, the effectiveness of honey after a workout is examined. Kreider and colleagues explain that honey is an effective means of post-workout recovery. In addition, honey does not result in a state of hypoglycemia. Instead, it can maintain blood glucose more effectively than sucrose or maltodextrin.

Mechanism:

Honey has a lower glycemic index than other sugars, which may make it superior for carbohydrate recovery. The glycemic index is a method of rating foods based on their effect on your blood glucose. The scale extends from zero to 100, with the higher numbers leading to a greater spike in glucose levels. Honey scores around a 43, making it a medium-glycemic food. It attenuates the response of your blood glucose, leading to a longer and more sustainable rise in blood sugar over time.

Importance:

Post-workout carbohydrate ingestion is an important part of recovery. During exercise, your blood glucose levels can drop because your muscles use available glucose for energy. You must ingest carbohydrates after your workout to replenish your blood glucose. In addition, during recovery, your muscles take in extra blood glucose to replenish their internal stores of glucose, or muscle glycogen. During recovery, your muscles also compensate by increasing their stores for your next workout. If blood glucose is unavailable to your muscles at this time, your body cannot recover adequately.

Honey Benefits Before & During Exercise:

Honey may also be useful before and during your workout. If you eat honey before exercise, you allow for a slow and steady release of glucose into the blood. This can keep your body from using its stored muscle glycogen as fuel. Sparing muscle glycogen can keep fatigue at bay. During your workout, honey may also be effective at increasing the power output of your muscles, improving your performance.

*Chronic Strength Products handcrafted using natural, unprocessed, raw honey:

Our Peanut Butter Protein Truffles pack the most honey out of all of our products vs. the Protein Crumble which has less honey in total per serving. The protein Granola would contain the least amount of honey, while the Protein Cookie Dough's & Protein Truffles made with dates (Vanilla, Fudge Brownie, Pumpkin Pie, Key Lime Pie, Mint Chocolate) do NOT contain any honey. Your best option for a pre/post workout snack would be our Peanut Butter Protein Truffles or Protein Crumble.