honey bodybuilding

The benefits of honey in bodybuilding: an overview of its virtues

I am the color of gold, sweet and appreciated since the dawn of time, I am used for gourmet purposesbut also therapeutics or even antiseptics. My glycemic index is weak and I'm a sportsman's delight, I am? Honey, of course! Now that you have the answer, let's discover the benefits of honey in sports and its many age-old virtues: what it can do for bodybuilding, its components, its variants, etc. But before getting to the heart of the matter, do you know how bees make honey?

Honey and bees

A quasi-military organization, the world of bees is, to say the least, structured! The queen, as leader of the troops, is responsible for the colony's continuity and cohesion. For the others, there is no routine: they will occupy different positions during their lives. They will take turns to be cleaners, foragers, nurturers, guardians, etc.

Inside or outside the hive, there's no time for boredom. The foragers are in charge of collecting nectar from the flowers. Once back in the hive, the receivers spring into action. They pass their precious harvest from one worker to the next, modifying the original sucrose in the process. I won't go into all the details, but to put it simply, one of their enzymes prevents the development of bacteria, while another protects the honey as it matures.

The nectar is then deposited in the heat surrounding the honeycombs. The worker bees, responsible for constantly ventilating the area, allow the moisture to evaporate until only around 20 % remains. Once the honey is dry enough, the bees close the cells with waterproof covers. Thus protected from external aggressions (air and humidity), the honey can continue to mature.

At the right moment, the beekeeper will harvest the honey. He will first remove the protective wax layer and then take the honey out of the cells. Before filtering it and putting it in a jar, the beekeeper will let the honey mature so that the last impurities and traces of wax come to the surface.

The healing power of honey

Do you know Professor Descottes? Eminent head of the Visceral Surgery and Transplantation Department at Limoges University Hospital, he is known for having demonstrated that on certain complex wounds, the result obtained with honey was faster than with an antiseptic product.

Antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties made possible by thyme and lavender honey, but above all by research and clinical studies initiated in the 90s.

More than a decade after his death, the Limoges University Hospital (and more particularly the digestive surgery, orthopedics and traumatology, gynecology and obstetrics, and intensive care departments) continues to consume several kilos a year, sourcing a third from a beekeeper in the Hérault region. Of course, this age-old tradition is not always a miracle product, but it has given new hope to many patients.

If you are interested, I invite you to read the story of the journalist and sportsman Antoine Bonfils.

Mentions of honey in history

Honey, a natural antiseptic

I have just spoken to you about its healing power, but you should know that honey is also an excellent antiseptic. When you have a strong cough or a sore throat for example, do not hesitate to take a spoonful of honey. Pure or mixed with hot water and lemon, this grandmother's remedy will allow you to spend a serene night. The effect will also be beneficial to your stomach and digestive system.

Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, you can also use it in case of cuts or abrasions. If you don't have any more spray in your pharmacy, don't hesitate to apply it to your wound. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and other minerals, honey and especially thyme honey is also effective in reducing acne and strengthening your immune system. Combined with baking soda, turmeric or cinnamon, it is a perfect ally to reduce red spots and destroy cysts. It treats but at the same time, it nourishes and moisturizes the skin.

Spanish and Italian researchers have also highlighted the inhibitory action of arbutus honey against the proliferation of colon cancer cells.

The benefits of honey on the body

Honeys have as many distinct characteristics as there are different kinds. Let's have a look at them:

  • eucalyptus honey Very sweet, not very acid, with a taste reminiscent of caramel. Ideal for coughing fits, purifying the respiratory tract, treating urinary tract infections or palpitations in menopausal women;
  • lemon tree honey This sweet, fruity and delicately acidic oil has a purifying and fortifying power to strengthen the body;
  • chestnut honey It is ideal to fight against fatigue, improve the functioning of the liver and the stomach;
  • acacia honey Recommended for children for its very sweet taste and delicate aroma, it is excellent for digestion, intestines and liver;
  • lime honey Sweet, minty and sometimes slightly bitter taste, to be taken in case of sleep disorders or anxiety and in case of migraine;
  • thyme honey slightly acidic, it is praised for its purifying, antiseptic and healing powers;
  • lavender honey : smooth and tasty, it is antirheumatic, antispasmodic and effective in case of insomnia;
  • fir honey Honey : very rare honey, sweet and without bitterness, it is very rich in trace elements and effective in cases of fatigue and anemia;
  • orange tree honey Delicate and fruity, it helps to calm insomnia, migraines, stress, etc.

Of course, I could mention others, but with this list, you have enough to do! Depending on what the bees gather, the flavours will be different. Above all, check their origin, because not all honeys are the same. Favour small producers if you can, the taste and quality of their production are incomparable.

honey and bodybuilding

Why consume honey in sport?

In addition to the flavour, the glycemic index (GI on the label or packaging) is a factor of choice. Choose your honey according to your deficiencies and your metabolism. I talk to you about this regularly, your diet is important.

Knowing the glycemic index of a food gives you an indication of its capacity to raise your blood sugar level, i.e. the concentration of glucose (sugar, if you prefer) in your blood. Yes, glucose is important, because it enables your body to function properly and provide energy. In a way, it's our body's fuel.

In the composition of honey, one will find fast sugars (glucose), but also slow sugars (fructose). Fructose, by passing more slowly into the bloodstream, helps to replenish glycogen reserves and thus avoid the famous energy crash.

For an endurance athlete, it is essential to master the GIs of foods. Indeed, this knowledge allows you to better manage your energy intake before, during and after exercise. During meals and before a competition, for example, foods with a low GI will allow you to charge your batteries so that you are at your best. After the effort or in the recovery phase, it is the opposite: it will be necessary to consume foods with a medium or high GI to create a rapid intake. As far as honeys are concerned, those with the lowest glycaemia intake are lime (heated to 38 degrees maximum), acacia, heather and chestnut honey.

Honey and bodybuilding: what you need to know

For bodybuilding enthusiasts, the physical preparation for the effort or competition is not exactly the same as for endurance sports such as marathons or trail running. The effort will be shorter and more violent. The body must therefore be able to respond if you want to prevent injury. Age, gender, type of activity or level of practice are parameters that come into play and mean that the body will not react in the same way and that energy expenditure can go from simple to triple!

When glycogen reserves (the molecule that stores energy) are empty, they must be replenished, especially with glucose ... present in quantity in honey. This is why honey is an effective source of energy, because it helps to raise insulin quickly and promote anabolism. By taking a spoonful of a honey preferably with a high GI, you will recover more quickly.

Some athletes choose to consume vitargo because its speed of absorption has superior effects to maltodextrin or dextrose. For example, diabetics must control their blood sugar levels and be monitored by a physician.


I hope you have enjoyed learning more about the subject. I mentioned the medicinal virtues of honey, their benefits on the body, the different kinds of honey. I could have talked about its efficiency for beauty care, but my wife would be better placed than me to talk about it ;o) I will conclude by telling you not to deprive yourself of this precious ally, 100 % natural. Integrate it into your food routine, your skyr will be even better.

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