New Zealand Manuka honey is one of the most famous superfoods in the world.
From A-List celebrities to models and chefs, this amber nectar has good reason to be loved as it contains unique anti-microbial properties that other honey doesn’t have.
But could Manuka honey be the secret that’s missing from your workout?
To examine the evidence, we looked to the experts and athletes who swear by Manuka honey:
1. Honey can be a good carb option
According to studies at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, honey did as well (or better) in several areas as a source of carbohydrate for athletes.
One trial involved 71 subjects who were given one of seven carbohydrate gels, including honey and placebo. Honey produced only mild increases in blood sugar and insulin, prevailing over dextrose (glucose) and maltodextrin, and was similar to a popular commercial carbohydrate gel.
A second trial studied 39 weight-trained women and men. Following an intensive workout, each subject immediately consumed a protein shake blended with sucrose, maltodextrin, powdered honey or placebo as a carbohydrate. The honey sweetened "muscle shake" was the only one to sustain blood sugar over the two hours following the exercise.
The final trial focused on nine competitive cyclists who were given a honey, glucose or placebo gel prior to and at 10-mile intervals of a simulated 40-mile race. Honey significantly increased power and speed over placebo, equalling the performance of dextrose.
Author Dr. Kreider commented:
"Our first study suggested honey could operate as a 'time released' muscle fuel for exercising muscles. Our second experiment suggested that honey would be a good carbohydrate source to replenish muscles. However, our last study convinced us that honey can improve endurance exercise capacity."
Read more about this study here.
2. Manuka honey can form part of a workout diet
Former World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall has revealed the diet plan which has helped him lose just over 38 kilograms. Eddie likes to pair his Manuka honey with a whole punnet of strawberries, and keeps some aside for snacking with fruit later in the day. And the diet works! Eddie is shaping up for his next challenge with an impressive looking six pack in his recent Instagram posts.
Read more here.
3. Manuka honey can keep your training on track
According to healthy eating author Dale Pinnock in Men’s Running Magazine, Manuka can keep you going during training. He says:
"Manuka honey has so many health benefits from improving digestion to boosting your energy and is a fantastic addition to a healthy lifestyle.
"When you wake up each day, whether you have the first signs of a cold or not, take two teaspoons of Manuka honey , one clove of garlic (finely chopped) and a tablespoon of water to keep the potential bacteria away.
"If the cold is already at its start then opt for the higher strength 1000+MGO Manuka honey and take the above every couple of hours to help go towards eventually eliminating the bacteria.
"With the above concoction you pretty much have a potent medicine cabinet staple which can be used to boost your immune system or simply maintain good health."
Read more here.
4. You can snack on Manuka honey
Health and wellness blogger, Lottie Murphy likes to create small, homemade snacks with Manuka honey such as energy balls, for a quick and effective boost.
Lottie told the Holland & Barrett website that the Manuka "provides an extra surge of energy during a work-out, as well as a nutritional kick, with its numerous antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits."
Read more here.
5. It could help your recovery
Manuka honey is high in MGO (Methylglyoxal), the natural compound which gives it anti-microbial properties. When you’ve exhausted your body on a tough session, endurance race, or run is exactly when your immune system could be vulnerable as your body is working hard to recover and repair itself.
A spoonful of Manuka honey in your recovery drink or post-activity will ensure that you are getting high levels of MGO.
Find out more about Manuka Doctor’s range of genuine New Zealand Manuka, click here.