|Honey has long been claimed by a vocal minority to be the natural energy food of choice for outdoor activities. While some other manufacturers have bashed on down a development path to create super ‘frankenstein’ foods that require a chemistry degree to understand the ingredients list, Honey Stinger have gone back to Nature and sound science. Honey was used by the Ancient Greek Olympians to fuel their sports so they were certainly ahead of their time. They also used to compete naked so is it a surprise that we adventure racers have a thing for 2nd skin lycra wear…?
The Honey Stinger gels are a range of five flavours: Gold, Ginsting, Banana, Chocolate and Strawberry. All five include pure honey from the USA, water, sodium, potassium, B complex vitamins (Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B1, B2, B6, B12) and all-natural flavours. Strawberry and Ginsting flavours contain kola nut extract,which is a natural source of caffeine. All come in a 37gram sachet giving about 120 calories each.
The benefits of Honey are something that the guys at Iso Active, the Edinburgh based nutrition experts and UK Honey Stinger distributors, are keen to convey. Their Honey Stinger website is a good place to check out the full details yourself, but in essence this is what they have to say about Honey:
Honey Stinger™ contains an ideal balance of carbohydrates for optimal performance before, during and after trainingA near 50/50 Fructose – Glucose ratio gives ideal levels of glycogen to muscles and liver.
Ensuring the liver is properly fuelled is an insurance policy for the muscles. The liver is the only source of Glucose for the brain. If the brain runs low, you may find it difficult to continue training. The only way for the liver to produce more supplies is to break down muscle tissue. Taking Honey Stingers on board during training sends Fructose to the liver and Glucose to the muscles ensuring optimal performance and strength.
Honey Stinger™ uses honey as the main source of carbohydrates, as opposed to man made carbohydrates commonly found in other energy gels. Studies show that honey is low on the glycaemic index and therefore provides a long, steady source of energy instead of a spike and crash. Honey is also a natural source of antioxidants.
As someone who doesn’t normally actually like honey then this product test initially seemed a bit like an ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me On TV” jungle challenge. However, it also meant that I saved the gels for when I really needed them and taste or texture didn’t matter and I didn’t have a belly full of breakfast still fuelling me. The gel sachets are fairly small, pocket-friendly, easy to open and after the first few I actually grew to quite like them, the consistency feeling a bit more natural on the tongue than some of the other energy gels on the market. The low GI index of honey was apparent and it felt like I was getting a steady slow release of energy rather than a massive spike, so the gels are the sort of fuel to consider taking regularly over the course of your activity as an easily digestible food source. As honey is water soluble you can add it to your water bottle to make an energy drink or even spread it on your toast or bagel post-workout.
All the flavours were palatable and natural tasting, though my favourite was probably Ginsting, which also contains Siberian Ginseng for ‘mental clarity, energy and increased stamina’ plus 32mg of caffeine from kola nut extract. I also found they work even well below freezing as although the honey thickens up, it’s still perfectly edible.
Individual sachets retail at £1.25, however, cheaper bulk buy prices are available and you can buy each flavour in a 340ml bottle, equivalent to 9 sachets, for £8.50.For more details please visit: http://www.honeystinger.uk.com