When you’re pounding the pavement and running miles prepping for that ultimate competition you need to stay hydrated and maintain energy reserves. You can fill your pockets with store bought energy gels or how about something more natural for carbohydrate replacement? Have you tried honey?
How does honey compare to an energy gel?
Energy gels are made for carbohydrate replacement during long runs and workouts. They’re 100 calories per 32 grams and they break down into maltodextrin and fructose- or glucose and fructose, simple carbs for easy digestion. The salt added to energy gels can help maintain electrolyte levels, critical during endurance exercise. Energy gels also have added caffeine for that much needed pick-me-up when fatigued and amino acids like leucine, valine, isoleucine that may be helpful in reducing muscle breakdown.
Honey is a 100% pure, all-natural carbohydrate. 1 ounce of honey, 28 grams, contains 100 calories and like the energy gels it’s a simple carbohydrate; glucose, which goes straight to depleted carbohydrate stores. Honey also has all the amino acids that the energy gels have; isoleucine, leucine, valine and plus more like tryptophan. This means honey helps reduce muscle breakdown when you’re potentially doing muscle damage while exercising.
Pros and Cons
Energy gels are produced in factories, they should be considered processed product. An example of this is the maltodextrin; processed from starch and used in candies and soda it’s labeled as a food additive. Also used in energy gels is sodium benzoate a preservative needed for longer shelf life.
Honey is a truly an all-natural product- there are no additives or preservatives to wreak your food products. Honey can be a sticky, troublesome substance to travel with though. If you’re not using the travel honey packets packaging your own honey for long distances can be tricky. But honey contains small amounts of sodium and potassium too therefore maintaining electrolyte levels just like the energy gels.
If you can choose to replenish carbohydrate levels with all-natural products like honey. While they may be harder to open and travel with they stack up; calorie to calorie, nutrient to nutrient, to energy gels. Energy gels win with convenience; they’re easy to eat on the run and travel with so using them for endurance training is a no-brainer. Remember that honey can replace your energy and electrolytes and because it’s found in nature it’s a prefect food for your working body.