Now this can be surprising for many - studies have shown that too much intense exercise can weaken immunity and make you more prone to illness (Plos One Journal, 2015). During intense physical exertion or extreme exercise, such as marathon or triathlon, the body produces stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline that raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system.
Honey has long been recognized as a great fuel for exercise. Ingesting it before, during, or immediately after exercise can help to maintain performance and improve endurance capacity. A research study went further and showed that consuming 70g honey prior to each training session over periods of eight to 16 weeks could reduce the negative inflammatory effects of intense exercise (Nutrients, 2019). Oxidative stress levels were reduced for participants who consumed honey. The natural antioxidant properties of honey appeared to be able to prevent free radical damage caused by stress in exercise and speed up recovery.
The same article also reported that consumption of honey combined with an exercise programme over six weeks could lead to significant increases in serum alkaline phosphatase, indicating greater bone formation. It was suggested that components such as vitamin K, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium found in honey could contribute to improved bone health.
Honey comprises 80% carbohydrate (with 1:1 ratio of glucose and fructose) and 19% water, and contains many other components such as organic acids, proteins, amino acids, minerals, polyphenols, vitamins, aroma compounds, and about 500 enzymes. It also possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial substances such as polyphenols. The glycaemic index (GI) of honey ranges from 32 to 85, depending on botanical source. Low GI honey floral varieties produce a lower insulinemic response and a slower delivery of glucose into the systemic circulation, thus helping to maintain our blood glucose levels.
1. Honey is the best fuel for the liver during exercise. Details in: 1 Truth Athletes Must Know About Energy Food.
2. Eat honey before, during and after workout to improve energy levels and recovery times. Check out Honey Energy Drink.
3. Resistance exercise can raise metabolic rate and help us burn more calories. More in: Jump unto the Resistance Exercise Bandwagon!.
4. If you need to motivate yourself to exercise, read: 6 Great Reasons Why We Need to Exercise.
5. The lymphatic system - probably the most neglected system of the human body. More in: Exercise is #1 Factor for Healthy Lymphatic Systeme.