The Pre-Workout Power of Honey

The Pre-Workout Power of Honey

Hitting the gym is a fantastic way to boost your health and well-being. But to truly maximize your workout, proper pre-workout nutrition is crucial. Choosing the right food provides the energy you need to push yourself and optimizes your results. So, you may wonder: what’s the best thing to take one hour before a workout?

While there's no single "best" option, nature offers a strong contender — honey.

But before we get into honey’s abilities, let’s understand why pre-workout nutrition must not be overlooked.

Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition

Imagine your body as a high-performance car. Before a race, you wouldn't just fill the tank with any random liquid you can find. It must be the right fuel.

Similarly, your body needs the right fuel for an effective workout. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your muscles, and having adequate stores is essential for peak performance. Eating the right pre-workout snack replenishes glycogen, the energy stored in your muscles and liver. This translates to better endurance, stronger lifts, and a more productive workout.

However, timing is key. Eating too close to your workout can lead to digestive discomfort while fueling up too early can leave you feeling sluggish. Ideally, aim for a pre-workout snack 45-60 minutes before you hit the gym. This window allows your body to comfortably digest and absorb the nutrients for optimal energy availability.

Honey: the ideal pre-workout snack

Honey shines as a pre-workout option due to its unique composition. Unlike processed sugars that deliver a fleeting energy burst followed by a crash, honey offers a sustained release of energy. This is because honey is a complex carbohydrate composed primarily of fructose and glucose. Your body readily absorbs these simple sugars, providing a steady stream of fuel throughout your workout. 

Here's a closer look at why honey stands out:

Rapid Energy Delivery: Honey gets absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, offering a readily available source of energy for your muscles. This translates to improved performance and a stronger push during your workout.

Sustained Release: Sugary drinks or processed snacks release energy quickly while honey releases its energy gradually, preventing the dreaded sugar crash that can derail your workout. This ensures you have consistent energy levels throughout your gym session.

Natural Goodness: Unlike artificial pre-workout supplements, honey is a natural, unrefined source of energy. This means you avoid unnecessary additives, artificial ingredients, and excessive amounts of sugar.

Muscle Repair: Honey offers more than just a quick carb boost. It contains a small amount of protein and specific amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. This can aid in muscle repair and recovery after your workout, especially beneficial for those focused on building muscle mass. 

Finding Your Sweet Spot

While honey is a fantastic pre-workout option, it's important to find the right amount for your body. A common recommendation is 1-2 tablespoons of honey, consumed about 30-60 minutes before exercise. This provides enough carbohydrates for energy without causing any stomach upset.

Remember, everyone reacts differently to food. If you're new to honey as a pre-workout snack, start with a smaller amount (perhaps a single tablespoon) and see how you feel. You can adjust the quantity based on your individual needs and tolerance.

Honey Pairings to Enhance Your Pre-Workout Diet

Honey is a fantastic addition to your pre-workout diet, but it must not be a solo act. To maximize your performance, consider these additional tips:

Pair with Complex Carbs: Combine your honey with complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat toast, oatmeal, or fruit. They're packed with fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This can be especially beneficial if you tend to feel hungry before your workout. Fiber also aids in digestion, ensuring your body can focus its energy on your workout, not digestion struggles.

A Touch of Protein: Include a small serving of protein, such as Greek yogurt or a handful of almonds, to support muscle repair and growth.

Electrolyte Boost: Consider adding a pinch of sea salt or a splash of coconut water to your pre-workout snack. Honey provides energy, but electrolytes help maintain proper hydration and muscle function during exercise.

Fat for Slower Release: Including a healthy fat source like avocado slices or a smidge of nut butter can further slow down the energy release from your pre-workout snack. This helps prevent a sugar crash and provides sustained energy throughout your workout.

Hydration is Key: Don't forget about hydration. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to stay hydrated and enhance your performance.


Raw honey is a surprisingly sophisticated gym buddy. It ditches the sugar crash of its artificial counterparts and offers a sustained energy release, keeping you fueled throughout your workout. Plus, it's a natural source of sweetness that won't weigh you down with unnecessary additives.

Remember to personalize your pre-workout snack with complex carbs, protein, and a dash of electrolytes for a more equipped fuel tank. Now get out there and conquer your workout goals – with a little honey by your side!

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