Have you heard the latest buzz?
Honey Stinger is all the rage in the endurance world, and it is in large part to the unique taste of the products offered that expand upon the traditional gels and chews. According to honeystinger.com, the idea for a honey-based energy product was devised in 1954, by a beekeeper named Ralph Gamber and his wife Luella – together, the two created the “EN-R-G Bar” and introduced "quick energy" packets of honey as ways to fuel on-the-go. Fifty years later, the brand Honey Stinger was founded, and the same principle applies today as honey is used as the main sweetener in all of the products.
In most nutrition products, a ratio of glucose (maltodextrin) to fructose is used to facilitate quick energy release and a sweet, tasty flavor. In Honey Stinger, USDA certified organic pure honey gives an all-natural, easily digestible energy alternative to the other products out there.
Now I should mention that I typically use an assortment of gel packets as my go-to fuel of choice during long runs and races, mostly because of the ease of use that comes with food that can be swallowed in one gulp, versus constant chewing. Honey Stinger offers honey-based gels in organic flavors including acai-pomegranate, vanilla, and fruit smoothie, and classic flavors of honey GOLD and honey GINSTING (with ginseng and 32mg caffeine). My personal favorites are the fruitier varieties, but all of the flavors have a hint of honey aftertaste.
Energy chews, therefore, are used as a snack of choice before my workouts or as a treat during the day. Basically a more glorified version of the kid-friendly fruit snacks that we would pack in our school lunches (or maybe you are still a kid at heart and will prefer these as a more adult-ified option), these are packed with cramp-busting electrolytes and a hefty dose of vitamin C for antioxidant (anti-inflammatory) properties. Pink lemonade, fruit smoothie, and acai-pomegranate are fabulous flavors we carry and recommend, and as a bonus, taste GREAT when eaten cold (HINT: put in the freezer for a refreshing treat).
Protein bars – available in 10 gram and 20 gram options, these bars are best when eaten as a recovery snack 30-45 minutes post-workout to replenish those glycogen stores and get those muscles rebuildin’! Chocolate coated peanut butta (did you say Reese cup?) is a good one. If you like coconut, try the dark chocolate coconut almond flavor. You can't go wrong here if you like anything coated in chocolate.
And drumroll please… introducing the star of the show, the waffle!!!
A waffle, you ask? Inspired by the ‘stroopwafel’ in Europe, this all portable, all-organic version is basically a mix between a cookie, waffle cone, graham cracker, vanilla wafer… basically it is a dessert disguised as a nutritious energy source. A great option for biking, and while not the easiest to eat on the run, with a running buddy (a belt-less accessory pouch), anything is possible.
So you have the facts, now here are some first-hand testimonials of just how palatable the Honey Stinger products are by some of our local running and walking enthusiasts:
“I'm not coordinated enough to run and chew at the same time. With other brands, their energy chews are either HUGE or really hard, so I can't actually use them on the run. The Honey Stinger chews are awesome, though. They're smaller & softer, which makes them way more convenient on the run - plus, I can put these things away like candy.”
“Honey Stinger waffles are awesome! Although they're pretty much a tasty cookie, they're also quick to digest and make a perfect pre- or post- run snack. Vanilla is the best! The gels are perfect for quick boost of energy during a long run, but I would recommend taking them with water since they're so sweet.”
And here at the Columbus Running Company, we go to the extreme for our customers. What is better than one Honey Stinger product? How about a Honey Stinger sundae?! Pictured below, this beauty includes vanilla yogurt topped with Honey Stinger pink lemonade energy chews, Honey Stinger chocolate covered peanut butta protein bar sprinkled on top, and a Honey Stinger strawberry waffle drizzled with Honey Stinger acai-pomegranate gel.
The Verdict: “It wasn't too bad, but now (my) tummy hurts and I have a bad aftertaste in my mouth.”
Conclusion: Maybe just stick to one Honey Stinger at a time.
Full product information and nutrition facts are available at: http://www.honeystinger.com/common/pdf/ProductInfoPacket.pdf