Jonathan Horton, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastic team, faced a particular challenge during his training. He suffers from a problem with his blood sugars, which causes him to become shaky during workouts. His solution: honey. According to Horton, whenever he would feel weak and shaky from low blood sugar, he would consume honey to boost his blood sugar. Kerry Walsh Jennings, a gold medalist in indoor and beach volleyball, swears by honey. Her diet includes almond butter and honey sandwiches. She eats them especially before competitions to give her energy.
During the past 50 years, a significant volume of scientific research has consistently shown the critical role of glycogen for optimalathletic performance. Glycogen is how the body stores carbohydrates for energy at the muscular level.
Research indicates a correlation between training and competing with high muscle glycogen content and improved exertion capacity and overall performance.
Glycogen is the body’s predominant source of energy during moderate- to high-intensity exertion.
Results suggest that muscle glycogen availability can affect performance during both short-term and more prolonged high-intensity intermittent exercise.
Richard Kreider, Professor and Department Head, Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University, conducted three studies that showed how honey can improve endurance exercise capacity. All studies demonstrated that honey could be an alternative, improved option for endurance athletes and strength athletes, for improving athletic performance.
In “Honey and Sports nutrition: Report for the American Honey Board,” 2001, Kreider highlights that it is important for athletes to maintain a consistent blood-sugar level throughout their exercise and competition. It is known that a high-glycemic index can cause spikes in blood sugar and energy. Honey has a moderate glycemic index (he measured it as 43 out of 100, where he placed white bread.)
By Sridevi Balamurugan
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