Why Athletes Include Manuka Honey in Their Nutrition Plans

Why Athletes Include Manuka Honey in Their Nutrition Plans
Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

5 minutes

Executive Summary:

  • Manuka honey contains antioxidants that can support recovery after intense physical exercise. 
  • The antibacterial properties of nutrients in Manuka honey support the immune system, offering a helping hand to high-performing athletes. 
  • Manuka honey also offers a clean, lasting energy boost, making it an outstanding addition to pre-workout snacks and beverages. 
  • Many athletes have reported noticeable improvements with consuming Manuka honey, from improved energy levels to faster recovery times. 


Manuka Honey: Athletes’ Top Choice for Nutrition

Being an athlete takes dedication, persistence, and hard work. Yet, when it comes to any athletic endeavor, it’s not just about the effort and time put into training. Providing the body with ample nutrients and energy can help it go that extra mile—and support recovery.

In particular, Manuka honey, an ever-popular type of honey hailing from New Zealand, has begun to gain traction among athletes for its beneficial nutrients. So, how can this yummy honey fit into your athletic regime? In this article, we take a closer look at why Manuka honey is a great choice for athletes.


What Makes Manuka Honey Special?

While Manuka honey shares many of the same traits as the golden treat we know and love, it’s also packed with a little bit more goodness. Manuka honey has a distinctive nutritional profile enriched with antioxidants and a powerful antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MGO). 

MGO is known for its antibacterial properties. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help with recovery after intense exercise. 

Furthermore, since it’s a carbohydrate with various amino acids and glucose, it can offer an energy boost before or after intense exercise. In other words, it’s an outstanding addition to a pre or post-workout beverage or snack. It’s the perfect touch of sweetness to complement a homemade sports drink or elevate a protein-packed Greek yogurt parfait.   


Benefits of Manuka Honey for Athletes

Manuka honey offers many benefits for athletes. From general health and wellness support to digestive health perks, this liquid gold has much to offer!

General Health and Wellness

As an athlete, it’s likely you continuously seek ways to improve your performance, recovery, and overall health. After all, you have to be at the top of your game to practice effectively and bring the heat in competition or during games. So, where does Manuka honey come into play here?

Manuka honey’s antioxidants can assist in recovery, helping athletes rest and recharge for their next venture. It also offers a clean boost of energy, helping support endurance and power through long-duration activities. It can even help support hydration, helping athletes avoid the dehydration that can accompany long bouts of exercise and fluid loss. 

Immune Health

Manuka honey’s nutritional profile offers antibacterial properties, making it an excellent addition to supporting a healthy immune system. Given that athletes often face a higher risk of illness due to higher training regimens that can affect the immune system, Manuka honey’s support for proper immune function can be incredibly beneficial. 

Digestive Health

A healthy gut is vital for nutrition absorption and overall health, especially for athletes who rely on optimal nutrition for performance. Luckily, Manuka honey is packed with nutrients that support digestion, and a balanced microbiome—and this makes Manuka honey an outstanding addition to an athlete’s lifestyle


Integrating Manuka Honey into an Athlete’s Diet

Adding Manuka honey to an athlete’s diet doesn’t have to be boring! Whether you stir it into your favorite cup of tea or drizzle it over a yogurt parfait, there are plenty of ways to add it to your diet, including:

  • Pre-workout boost: Add Manuka honey to your morning oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie for a pre-workout energy boost. 
  • Post-workout recovery: Replenish glycogen stores and boost muscle recovery by adding a spoon of Manuka honey to your post-workout snack, whether it be a protein shake or a slice of whole-grain toast. 
  • Warm tea: Stir a spoonful into a cup of warm tea for a soothing and yummy treat, perfect for enjoying post-workout (a cozy blanket and a good book are optional). 
  • Balanced breakfast: Slather a spoonful of honey on your go-to whole-grain toast, drizzle it over a bowl of oatmeal, or add it to a delicious whole-grain waffle topped with nuts and fresh fruit. 
  • Protein-packed dinner: Enjoying Manuka honey doesn’t necessarily require a sweet palette. For instance, you could add it to your favorite lunches and dinners as a finishing touch. Use it as a glaze for your roasted veggies or grilled salmon, adding spices for a mouthwatering balance of sweet and spicy. 
  • Indulgent dessert: Manuka honey can be an ideal finishing touch for your sweet treat, whether it be a bowl of yogurt topped with fruit or a sweet smoothie bowl.

Of course, it’s important to consume Manuka honey in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Remember to consider other sources of sugar you consume during the day, tweaking the amount of Manuka honey you incorporate to help you stay on track with your athletic endeavors.


Case Studies

Many athletes, from marathon runners to bodybuilders, have reported positive experiences with Manuka honey. Countless athletes have highlighted improved energy levels, quicker recovery times, and fewer incidences of illness after incorporating honey into their diets. 

Their anecdotal endorsements are a testament to Manuka honey’s growing reputation as a superfood in the sports world. They highlight its remarkable health-boosting benefits and role in a balanced diet that powers athletes.  


Manuka Honey: An Excellent Addition to an Athlete’s Lifestyle

Manuka honey is more than a sweet treat; it’s a superfood that can benefit any athlete’s lifestyle. 

Whether you’re looking for an energy-boosting ingredient for your pre-workout protein shake or a sweet treat that offers both delicious indulgence and recovery support, Manuka honey is well worth considering. 

Ready to experience the benefits of Manuka honey for yourself? Explore its remarkable properties and how it can elevate your athletic performance and overall well-being. 


Health Benefits of Manuka Honey as an Essential Constituent for Tissue Regeneration

Honey Supplementation and Exercise: A Systematic Review

Identification and quantification of methylglyoxal as the dominant antibacterial constituent of Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honeys from New Zealand

Influence of Dietary Factors on Helicobacter pylori and CagA Seroprevalence in Bulgaria

Manuka Honey Exerts Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities That Promote Healing of Acetic Acid-Induced Gastric Ulcer in Rats

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