Because Honey Heightens Athletic Performance.
Taking honey prior to vigorous activity, such as cycling, can benefit performance, and it may be more economical than sports gels. Cyclists who consume 15 g of honey prior to a race, and every 16 km, perform better in time trials than cyclists who consume regular sports gels. In addition, both of these groups have increased power and higher resting heart rates then cyclists taking placebos, according to a study in the February 2002 issue of "Strength and Conditioning Journal."
If you've been buying sports gels to keep you going during your workout, you might want to try honey instead. According to findings presented at the annual Experimental Biology conference, honey delivers a significant performance boost to athletes during strenuous exercise.
"Numerous studies have singled out carbohydrates as a critical nutrient in endurance exercise," says principal investigator Richard Kreider of the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory. "Most of the studies to date have shown supplementation with glucose to provide the extra staying power.
We were pleased to find that honey, a 'cocktail' of various natural sugars, performed just as well."
Three of the studies were done by Richard Kreider of Baylor University.
The first trial gave 71 subjects one of seven carbohydrate gels. Honey was found to not induce hypoglycemia, producing only a mild increase in blood sugar and insulin. Kreider said honey actually is a blend of natural sugars and thus takes longer to digest than table sugar. He said this study suggested honey could “operate as a time-released muscle fuel for exercising muscles.”
The second study gave protein shakes with different sweeteners to 39 women and men after intense weight training. The honey sweetened shake was the only one to sustain blood sugar over two hours, suggesting to Kreider that honey is a good carbohydrate source to replenish muscles after a workout.
Most surprising was the third study. Nine competitive cyclists received honey, glucose or a calorie free placebo for each of three weeks, then rode a simulated 64 km time trial. The cyclists that recieved the honey-based nutrition significantly increased power and speed over those who had the placebo.
This, said Kreider, “convinced us that honey can improve endurance exercise capacity.”
As an added benefit, another study, at the University of Illonois, found that honey slowed the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL’s, the so called “bad” cholesterol) a process that leads to atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries that can bring on heart attack or cardiac arrest.
The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.
To experience health benefits of honey, here are a few tips for you:
1. Next time before you go for a workout, take a spoon of honey to enable you to go for the extra mile.
2. If you are feeling low and lethargic in the morning, instead of reaching out for a can of carbonated energy drink , try honey. Spread it on hot toast or replace the sugar in your tea with it for a refreshing surge of energy.
3. If your kids are finding hard to cope with the physical strain from the buzzing activities at school, prepare them a honey drink, some sandwiches with honey, butter and ham to make sure they have enough energy to sustain through the day. And for optimal sleep and recovery cycle at night, give your child a spoonful of honey before sleep on a daily basis. They may not care a bit about the health benefits of honey now, but will be grateful and love what you do for them when they grow up!
Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most impressive to me is that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. It's antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease. Start every brand new day with this cleansing tonic if you want to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink it.
Try raw honey spread on a slice of bread. The plant enzyme amylase present in the raw honey is effective in breaking down and helping the predigestion of the starches in the bread. Taking honey also helps to raise the level of antioxidants required in the body.
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