Honey & Nutrition: advantages over glucose

Categories : Advice

Very appreciated by gourmets, honey is a healthy and natural food harvested by bees. If it has always fascinated humans, honey also has significant virtues in our nutrition. Honey has been used for a long time by sportsmen in their nutrition for its numerous contributions.

But before all that a question remains, how is honey made?

The manufacture of the precious liquid: from nectar to honey...

The manufacture of honey by bees is a long work. First of all, the workers collect the nectar, which they "gather" from the flowers. The nectar undergoes its first transformations even before arriving at the hive. Indeed, in its crop (the nectar "reservoir", it is in fact a small pocket located under the esophagus of the bee) the saccharose is metamorphosed into glucose, then into fructose.

The bees then bring it back to the hive and give it to other workers by "trophollaxis": from mouth to mouth. This process allows to enrich the honey in enzyme and to reduce the water contained in it. Thus, the body does not need to transform the honey. Its assimilation is thus easier for the body. The depletion in water is then continued once the honey is placed in the alveoli. It is heated and ventilated, once the desired state is reached, the bees close the cells with wax.

We are now going to see what are the nutritive virtues of honey...

Why is honey often used in sports nutrition?

Honey is used by athletes in particular for its composition: a clever mixture of glucose AND fructose. Glucose is a fast sugar & fructose is a slow sugar, so glucose will be found faster in the blood.

The increase in blood sugar will trigger insulin which will then feed the muscles to give them energy. As fructose passes more slowly into the bloodstream, it will be used to replenish reserves, whether the athlete is at rest or not. Thus, he will have less risk of having a craving!

This fructose/glucose mixture is used in particular in energy drinks. A study by Dr. Asker Jeukendrup, professor at the University of Birmingham in England, has even shown that endurance performance can improve by 8% after consuming a mixture of fructose / glucose, which can be found in honey, compared to an equal amount of glucose.

Let's now take a closer look at the constitution of honey...

Constitution of honey:

  • Carbohydrates: about 80% of which: 38% fructose, 31% glucose, sucrose and maltose
  • Water : less than 20
  • Proteins: less than 1% (containing various amino acids)
  • B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and C and other vitamins in lesser quantities
  • Mineral salts: less than 0.5% (from a list of about thirty elements such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron)
  • Lipids in small quantities

Is honey better than sugar in nutrition?

Sugar is composed entirely of sucrose. Sucrose is used as a standard reference to measure the sweetness of a product. Its sweetness is therefore 1. A sweeter product will be higher than 1 and a less sweet product will be lower.

Comparison of the sweetness of white sugar and honey :

  • Sucrose : 1
  • Fructose : 1.5
  • Glucose : 0.7
  • Honey : 1.3

Honey has a higher sweetening power than white sugar, which is a very interesting virtue for sport in addition to its other advantages.

Calories of honey and sugar:

  • Sugar: 400 kcalories
  • Honey: 320 Kcalories

Conclusion: honey brings less calories, for a higher sweetening power.

Comparison of sugar and honey in practice:

Considering that we sweeten a dish in an equivalent way. Let's see the quantity we need in both cases:

Sugar :

  • Quantity : 5g
  • Calories : 20

Honey :

  • Quantity : 3,8g
  • Calories : 15

Conclusion: You will need less honey than white sugar to sweeten your desserts! You need less honey to sweeten your dessert than white sugar. For your health, it is thus good to replace sugar by honey which is more digestible.

It is also an ideal source for athletes to compensate for energy losses during exercise!

Find Meltonic products, composed of honey, for all your sports outings: energy bars, energy gels, and many others, for an optimal digestion and a quality energy intake!

Do not hesitate to tell us when you use honey in comments! 

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