Honey is truly amazing. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals and bacteria-fighting enzymes. Researchers report that honey also contains a variety of polyphenol compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent heart disease and cancer. Honey can actually help keep you healthy!
Experiments with honey in the lab have demonstrated that it can decrease the rate of oxidation of the bad LDL cholesterol in human blood. Once oxidized, LDL cholesterol becomes the basis of plaque deposits in blood vessels, which can lead to stroke and heart disease.
Many sports nutritionists believe that honey may be one of the most effective forms of carbohydrates to ingest prior to working out because it is easily digested and released into the body at a steady rate for use during exercise. It also can help one’s muscles recuperate after intense exercise.
But, did you also know that it is important to eat differently in the winter (than in other seasons) to sustain one’s energy when exercising? While we still need a combination of carbohydrate, protein and fat at every meal, we need to eat foods that are slightly higher in fat and proteins about two hours before working out in the winter. Digesting food increases our core temperature, which helps to keep our muscles warm and working better. Eating a little more food in the winter helps slow down digestion and sustains one’s energy longer in colder temperatures.
For a great pre-workout snack, drizzle Bee America Orange Blossom Honey over your protein balls. Not only will you get a carb boost, you will also ingest small amounts of proteins and minerals such as B6, riboflavin, and amino acids. These compounds help us metabolize bad cholesterol and fatty acids. You could drizzle honey over citrus fruits (high in immune-boosting vitamin C) and add a dollop of yogurt for some much-needed protein.
Looking for something heartier? Try oatmeal with walnuts, cinnamon and honey. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate rich in soluble fiber and protein. Walnuts give it even a greater protein kick and cinnamon and honey are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants to help fend off winter colds.
And just because you’re all bundled up and on the move, don’t forget to hydrate in the cold. Often winter athletes tend to avoid fluids due to the hassle of bathroom breaks, but being adequately hydrated helps one to maintain endurance and muscle strength. Drinking hot chocolate or tea is a great way to stay hydrated without chilling one’s core or getting a brain freeze!