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Old 07-05-03, 09:13 AM   #1
Big H
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Energy Gells - honey as alternative????

Hi

In one of our recent publications of Bicycling South Africa they suggested that one could use honey as a alternative to energy gells ( we have Vooma, Perc and other) They suggested to add small amount of salt (for mineral replacement????) and some cinnamon and nutmeg for added flavour. They suggested to place this in measured quantities in a small ziploc bag (I use 20g) and use in the same way as the proprietary gells. I tried this as honey is much cheaper (R16-00 for 500ml) as to R6-00 and more per scahet of 20 ml of the gells. I did not like the nutmeg but added some lemon juice which combined with the cinnamon and salt is quite tasty and the lemon breaks the sweetness a bit. I have used this concoction now in various races with no real change in effect. My question now is......????? Does honey also have all the long chain polymers they advertise for the manufactured gells, is it suitable as a energy gell, is the glycogen replacement the same (hope I have this right) In short how does honey which is a natural product compare with the gells that is most likely full of chemicals and preservatives???????

Thanx

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Old 07-05-03, 09:57 AM   #2
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First this is a fairly complex subject as I don't think the optimal blend of carbs for race level performance has been scientifically determined and much of the research done is sponsored by affected parties. To start let me say I don't think glycogen replacement is the issue as during exercise insulin response is somewhat blunted to favor energy usage over energy storage rather I believe what you want is to provide readily available glucose for energy possibly sparing muscle glycogen(however I don't think the research has shown a glycogen sparing effect to carbs for cyclists).
Honey contains approx 38%fructose,31%glucose,17%water and the rest various nutrients/antioxidents etc. Most gels by comparison contain maltodextrin combined with dextrose or other short chain carbs.While maltodextrin is a long chain corn starch product it has been significantly refined making it a very high glycemic carb higher than honey whose level is moderated relatively by lower glycemic fructose . A few summarized passages from an article linked below "The high glycemic carbs glucose,sucrose,soluble cornstarch and maltodextrin have similar effect on metabolism and performance when consumed during exercise.Fructose causes a minimal increase in insulin levels however it is only slowly oxidized and when consumed alone can cause adverse gastrointestinal symptoms and impaired performance.When small amounts of fructose are combined with other carbohydrates fructose does not cause any GI stress and may enhance overall carb and fluid intake.The most accepted and practical recomendation for carb ingestion is to consume 4-8% solution of mixed carbs early on and throughout exercise at a rate of 600-1200 ml/hr."
Thus it would appear honey contains a carb profile suitable to performance cycling as long as the fructose level is not causing any GI stress .I include a link to research sponsored by the National Honey Boad showing honey effective pre/post and during exercise .One note you may want to go with unheated"raw" honey as it appears to have a lower GI index and is less runny and darker honeys generally have more nutrients.
Link to referenced article: http://www.activehealth.co.nz/glycogen_sparing,htm.htm
Link to National Honey Board research on honey and enhanced athletic performance: http://www.nhb.org/research/index.html#ath

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Old 07-05-03, 10:43 AM   #3
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As a side note to the raw honey thing- if you do get the raw honey, do be sure to keep it away from small children. I remember reading articles about how sometimes raw honey contains botulin spores in it (as it is untreated from heating) that can lead to botulism in small children.

Just a caveat to be aware of, just in case....


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Old 07-05-03, 11:47 AM   #4
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Hi,
you could try making your own gels that were part honey. But you have given me an idea...... I have a large patch of old fashion mint in my yard (much milder and more pleasant that the stuff most think of as mint). I could make a sports drink with honey and mint, and......not sure about the rest of it yet.
Prob try some feshly squezzed juices and see what works. Anybody have a suggestion for a homemade sports drink that includes a little honey?
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Old 07-05-03, 11:53 AM   #5
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Koffee It appears heating can destroy the bacteria but not the dormant spores which is what is found in raw honey.So infants under a year should avoid all honey as weell a certain home canned products and corn syrup. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/41/1739_50129
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Old 07-05-03, 12:04 PM   #6
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Yeah, that's what I was referring to RWTD.... little kids will probably be ok, but infants and babies- you just need to avoid giving it to them, as they have less mature immune responses.

I just remember reading about these unaware parents feeding their babies honey- plus I saw it on an episode of ER too.... strange how sometimes tv can really bring home a point.
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Old 07-05-03, 12:20 PM   #7
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There is a commercial Energy Gel that is honey based. They had a booth at last years Interbike. I tried it but did not like it. I want to say it was called "Stinger" but I could be wrong.
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Old 07-05-03, 12:30 PM   #8
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Old 07-05-03, 03:05 PM   #9
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Big H,

Hoe Gaan Dit mit Jou?

(sorry If I spelled that wrong).
Have no idea about the honey but couldn't resist
jumping on.
Lived in Gauteng (Rivonia) for 5 years, have been in
U.S for 2,5. I'd kill for biltong or Driewors.
Hey, I'll trade you gel for biltong, we can start a new
international trade agreement (if the U.S. would allow
biltong here).

Marty
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Old 07-06-03, 01:43 AM   #10
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Hallo Marty

Dit gaan goes, net baie koud. Middel van ons winter.

Buddy, I can always send you the recipe for biltong and droė wors (dried spiced sausage), surely in Texas you have beef and the rst to make biltong and boerewors. I mean biltong ....... not jerky??? A nice half dry piece with a thin strip of fat down the side. If humidity is a problem a box with a normal lightbub and a fan will suffice to dry. Talking of biltong (dried cured with salt strips, the rest of the uncivilised world knows it as jerky!!!!!!!!) I like to eat some the day before a big race. Not only is it salty but because it is raw dried meat it contains natural creatinin. It is an amazing protein scource. I prefer to stock up with a mixture of carbohydrates a few days before a big race and then the day before use protein which is available immediately the next day. Works for me.

Keep those wheels spinning and cheer for Lance !!!!

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Old 07-06-03, 06:52 PM   #11
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yah, but where in the hell am I gonna get Kudu for
REAL biltong and not that Woolies stuff?

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