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Nature's energy food

Supplier: Capilano Honey
16 January, 2012

Everyone from growing kids to elite athletes need enough of the right type of fuel such as carbohydrate to perform at their best.

Honey is high in carbohydrate and therefore can be very useful as part of a healthy diet for providing the right fuel.

The benefits of including honey as part of your daily healthy eating plan for performance include:

  • Honey can be added to both foods and drinks - making it a very convenient choice for everyone
  • Honey is quick and easy to digest and does not leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable
  • Honey is a low to moderate acting carbohydrate providing reasonably sustained energy - this is of particular value to athletes during training, recovery and competition.

To achieve your best performance every day, start with a nutritious breakfast of honey with toast, muffins or crumpets. Try on your cereal with milk and fruit. This type of breakfast will provide a large proportion of your daily intake of fibre, iron, calcium and B vitamins. This is important not just for your everyday performance but also your overall health and well being.

Eating a low fat, high carbohydrate breakfast also kick-starts your body’s metabolism and thus is beneficial for managing weight.

Pre-Exercise Nutrition

Regular exercise should be a part of everyone’s day. It doesn’t really matter what time you exercise - this will often depend on work, study and family commitments.

After a night’s sleep, the liver’s stores of carbohydrate fuel (glycogen) are decreased and should be replenished before undertaking any exercise. If you plan to exercise in the early morning start the day with a carbohydrate-rich snack (eg. toast with Capilano honey) prior to the session. This will relieve hunger and help replenish liver glycogen stores.

Even if you exercise at other times during the day, a carbohydrate snack eaten about two hours before exercise helps ensure adequate energy. This keeps your muscles and brain functioning while you exercise and stops the hunger pains. This will help you get more out of your exercise session. For the individual who exercises longer than two hours or who exercises twice a day, this pre-exercise snack is necessary to keep up with increased daily energy needs.

Honey is a rich source of carbohydrate and therefore very useful as part of a well-balanced diet for providing fuel to working muscles. Part of this carbohydrate is fructose, which your liver will use to help top up its fuel stores. Honey can form part of your pre-exercise snack; it’s high in carbohydrate, has no fat, is easy to digest and tastes great too.

Post-Exercise Nutrition Carbohydrate is one of the important fuels used during exercise. Carbohydrate is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. These stores can became depleted during prolonged exercise (for instance, cycling or running) or intermittent high intensity exercise (such as squash, team sports and aerobics).

If you are exercising everyday and glycogen stores are not replenished adequately, they can gradually become depleted. This results in general tiredness and an inability to maintain high intensity exercise. Hence, it is important to provide your body with adequate carbohydrate to ensure an adequate fuel supply.