From buckwheat and clover to Manuka and orange blossom, there are dozens and dozens of honey varieties. Each one has its own unique flavor and compounds of nectar, making some better at others to heal what ails you. Or, as proven by scientific study, “honey delivers a significant performance boost to athletes during strenuous exercise.”
Benefits for Martial Arts Training
Martial artists need “staying power”, and extra carbohydrates are the norm for sustaining energy during tough training. Raw honey – unpasteurized – contains the perfect combination of natural carbohydrates.
“Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.”
Glycogen gives us energy
Performance athletes, including martial artists training at an intense level, need endurance as well as skill. You can be technically fantastic, but if you “hit the wall”, ( i.e. no energy left at all, cooked, baked, finito, put a fork in you) you’re done. And in the martial arts that could mean the difference between walking away and being carried.
The body can store around 2,000 calories of glucose as glycogen. This can become an impediment for endurance athletes, who can burn that many calories in a couple of hours. When they run out of glycogen, they will almost immediately be unable to perform, a state commonly described as “hitting the wall.”
Honey is the all-natural glucose gel
Some endurance athletes supplement before and during exercise with glucose gel. Typically glucose gel is used by those with diabetes and hypoglycemia to raise their blood sugar levels. For martial artists, this gives the body the carbohydrates (glucose) it needs to replenish and keep going.
Raw, unfiltered honey gives the perfect combination of natural carbohydrates and it wasn’t created in a lab. I suggest purchasing locally – it’s cool to know that maybe that honey bee you saw pollinating last Spring in your backyard contributed to that harvest!