Daily nutrition can be such a complex yet interesting topic, discovering how certain foods (like honey) and macros can greatly boost the body with energy and somehow also hold us back if not regulated properly. Honey, with its simple sugar components, one tablespoon can energise a person to tackle a full day’s worth of work, but what might not be known is just how different bees can produce different kinds of honey from a variety of flowers, each of those products exhibit different benefits and nutritional qualities.
Understanding Honey’s Composition and Benefits
The main nutritional and health-relevant components are carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose, but also about 25 different oligosaccharides. Containing small amounts of proteins, amino acids, and essential minerals, if consumed at higher doses of 50 to 80 grams per intake, has shown nutritional effects. Regular consumption of honey has shown to possess antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, amongst many others. Due to its high carbohydrate content and functional properties, honey has shown to be an excellent source of energy for athletes, imagine what benefits it can bring to a casual day.
The Science Behind Optimal Honey Consumption
Honey effectively is nectar collected from plant and tree blossoms converted to a concentrated mixture of fructose and glucose, exhibiting similar properties to the flowers harvested. Contained in the honey are small amounts of other sugars, amino acids, phytonutrients, bioflavonoids, and at least 16 varieties of antioxidants. When consumed, the best nutrients are available for immediate absorption into the body for energy. Due to this fast absorption, the most optimal time to use this is in the morning, either in a yoghurt bowl topped with granola and fruits or in a smoothie mixed with other fruits for their anti-oxidants and vitamins; kiwi, being a super fruit, is a great addition with added honey for the ultimate kick-starter smoothie.
This optimal time again is based on the intention of what you may seek from the product; for someone who is already quite high energy may not necessarily need a pick-me-up in the morning. An alternative time where honey has shown many benefits can be when consumed at night mixed with other ingredients such as milk, nutmeg and cinnamon, for some, it may improve sleep habits. If, for athletic purposes, have it on hand either before a game or on hand for a quick half-game, pick me up.
Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Honey Consumption
As the three main energy suppliers of the body derive from protein, carbohydrates and fats, sugar becomes an important energy supply material for exercise. Though some facets, such as fat, are only consumed after prolonged exercise, a large amount of sugar energy is still consumed at the beginning of exercise. With the extension of exercise time, the supply of fat to the body capacity increases when the final sprint stage is reached, sugar is still the main energy supply. For almost every sport, sugar supplement energy consumption is the first thing that takes place.
After high-intensity exercise, athletes will fall to physical fatigue, affecting the quality of technical movements. In this fatigued state, a sugar supplement such as honey can delay fatigue, and accelerate the recovery of physical strength. This kind of sugar supplement, after a game or competition where a large portion of energy has been consumed, is conducive to the rapid recovery of the athlete.
Barely scratching the surface of the nutritional qualities behind this natural sugar, through research and study based on its chemical structure, we have been able to talk about its ability to promote energy throughout the day and applications in rigorous activities. Imagine what other benefits may be promoted through different varieties of honey.