Is Honey Good For Cyclists?

Is Honey Good For Cyclists?

Is Honey Good For Cyclists?

In the quest for the ideal energy source, cyclists have dabbled between high-tech energy gels to more natural options. Among these, honey stands out as a remarkable, yet often overlooked, choice.


This golden elixir, which has acted as a natural remedy for ages, is now at the forefront of scientific research, revealing its hidden prowess in enhancing athletic performance. In particular, cyclists and endurance athletes are finding honey to be more than just a sweet treat; it's a potent fuel for their strenuous journeys.

How is honey good for cyclists?

Honey could be the secret ingredient for cyclists to power through their rides. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2004 revealed a fascinating insight. Nine competitive cyclists were given either a tablespoon of honey, dextrose, or a placebo gel before and during a 40-mile race simulation. The results were telling: while the placebo led to poorer performances, honey, and dextrose boosted both speed and power, especially in the final stretches. This suggests that the natural sugars in honey are just as effective for maintaining a strong pace as engineered sugars.

But the benefits of honey extend beyond the ride itself. A 2015 study highlighted that consuming a honey-infused drink post-workout could enhance future endurance performance, more so than just water. It is crucial to quickly replenish muscle glycogen after intense exercise, and a spoonful of honey is a simple, effective way to do this.

In addition, a meta-analysis in 2017 proposed that consuming lower glycemic carbohydrates like honey before exercising could boost endurance. This might be due to their role in maintaining stable blood sugar levels and altering how the body uses fuel during physical exertion. Therefore, starting a ride or race with a quick hit of honey ensures your body is ready for the challenge.

Lastly, a 2016 German study involving 24 male cyclists found that those who consumed about 3 tablespoons of honey 90 minutes before their rides experienced reduced oxidative stress and DNA damage compared to those who didn’t consume honey. The natural antioxidants in honey are thought to mitigate some of the negative effects of intense exercise, such as inflammation. However, it’s worth noting that consuming any antioxidant-rich food, like apples or blueberries, could potentially offer similar benefits.

Honey vs. Energy Gels

Cyclists who prefer a more natural diet or those sensitive to artificial ingredients in commercial gels may find honey to be an excellent alternative thanks to the following reasons.

Honey is great for endurance:

Honey is primarily composed of carbohydrates, essential for fueling prolonged physical activities like cycling. Honey is as effective as glucose, which is commonly found in commercial energy gels used for enhancing sports performance. This is particularly significant for endurance sports like cycling, where sustained energy release is critical.

Honey is absorbed fast:

A critical aspect of any sports supplement is the rate at which the body can utilize it. Honey excels in this aspect due to its unique composition, allowing for swift absorption, typically within 15 minutes of ingestion. This rapid conversion to usable energy is like what is offered by standard energy gels, making honey a natural and effective alternative.

Honey is safer for your digestive system:

Honey’s benefits for athletes go beyond mere energy provision. Its composition, rich in anti-inflammatory agents, offers additional health benefits. Unlike many commercial energy supplements filled with artificial preservatives and sweeteners, honey is naturally gentle on the stomach. This is particularly important for athletes who are prone to gastrointestinal issues due to high-intensity physical exertion.

Honey ensures a stable energy release:

Honey's lower glycemic index ensures a more balanced energy release, reducing the peaks and troughs often experienced with high-sugar supplements.

Honey has a diverse nutritional profile:

Honey’s array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants makes it a well-rounded supplement, supporting overall health in addition to athletic performance.

Honey is easier to incorporate into your diet:

Incorporating honey into a cyclist's diet can be both practical and enjoyable. It can be consumed directly, added to pre-workout and post-workout snacks, or mixed into hydration solutions for extended exercises.


Which honey is best for cyclists?

As a cyclist, you have no business with processed honey that contains added sugars or preservatives. Cyclists should opt for pure, unprocessed honey to fully maximize its benefits. Consuming local honey can also be beneficial for cyclists since this type of honey is usually unprocessed as well. However, don’t forget to confirm the source of a honey jar before purchasing it.


For cyclists looking for an efficient, natural energy source, honey presents a compelling option. Its ease of digestion, coupled with a lower glycemic index, makes it not only effective but also agreeable to the body. The natural sugars in honey provide quick, accessible energy, perfect for the high demands of cycling.

In a sport where every ounce of energy counts, opting for a natural, time-tested energy source like honey can make a significant difference. Embracing honey as part of your cycling nutrition could be the key to not only performing better but also enjoying a more natural, healthier approach to sports nutrition.

Click here to explore our range of pure, natural jars of honey, and fuel your next ride the natural way.


National library of Medicine (2004). Low vs. high glycemic index carbohydrate gel ingestion during simulated 64-km cycling time trial performance. Retrieved from

National library of Medicine (2015). Effects of Post-Exercise Honey Drink Ingestion on Blood Glucose and Subsequent Running Performance in the Heat. Retrieved from

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