The latest fitness super-food is hardly a newcomer to the diets of high-performing athletes. Olympians throughout history ate honey in many forms to boost energy and enhance overall performance. Now Hispanic athletes - like world speed-skating champion Jennifer Rodriguez, MLS All-Star Ryan Suarez, and surfing powerhouse and recent ESPY winner for Best Female Action Sports athlete, Sofia Mulanovich - are all benefiting from honey as a potent raw energy source. Studies* have proven that athletes who eat honey before and after competition recover more quickly than those who don’t. And it doesn’t just help the pros; activity aficionados everywhere can tap honey’s energy boosting and post-exercise recovery powers.
"Honey contains B-complex vitamins, amino acids and enzymes. It can be the perfect food to fuel exercise and recoup from a vigorous workout," says Jennifer Seyler, M.S., R.D. at Bally Total Fitness Nutrition department. Besides, the fructose in honey provides sustained energy so you don’t ‘crash’ after eating it."
On any given day, former Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year Ryan Suarez drinks his favorite "Honey Orange thirst quencher" to give him a boost during and after practice sessions that can last more than six hours a day. Surfing world champion Sofia Mulanovich drizzles honey over her favorite tropical fruits, like mangos and papaya. Speed skater Jen Rodriguez replaces white sugar for honey in many of her daily meals.
"Honey is an ideal and natural way to sustain energy," says Bruce Wolk, director of marketing for the National Honey Board. "Importantly, you can trust the many varieties of honey found in the U.S. to be pure and a delicious way to boost power and endurance."
"Honey doesn’t just taste great, it adds an easy nutritional punch to the diet," continues Seyler. "You can add it to almost anything."
*Research project conducted at the University of Memphis by Richard Kreider, PhD
Super Athlete Honey Recipes
Jen Rodriguez’ honey breakfast milk shake:
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup milk
1 cup of fresh strawberries
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until well mixed. More milk may be added for a thinner shake.
Ryan Suarez’ honey orange thirst quencher
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp light salt
2 cups orange juice
5 1/2 cups water
Combine ingredients. Using lukewarm water will aid in dissolving honey. Then cool.
Sofia Mulanovich’s summer fruit salad with honey
1 sliced peach
1/2 cup apple chunks
1/2 cup honey dew melon
1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt
2 tbsp honey
Fold fruit into yogurt and drizzle with honey.
source: National Honey Board
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