Is the Honey and Salt Pre Workout Beneficial or Just a Trend?
When working out, fueling your body with the correct nutrients is crucial, and that’s why some are turning to honey and salt pre workout snacks or drinks. Some fitness enthusiasts swear by the benefits of this pre-workout snack, claiming it can boost energy levels and optimize performance.
Below, we discuss the potential benefits, composition, timing, and side effects of combining honey and salt in a pre-workout snack. Read on!
- Benefits of a Pre-Workout Snack
- What’s the Salt and Honey Pre-workout Snack?
- Composition Ratio for Your Salt and Honey Mix
- Considerations when Taking a Honey and Salt Pre-workout Snack
Benefits of a Pre-Workout Snack
Generally, pre workout nutrition offers a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your exercise routine and overall fitness. They include the following:
Quick Energy Boost
It’s one of the primary benefits. Most pre workout supplements contain carbohydrates that your body breaks down into glucose, which fuels your muscles and brain during exercise. Having readily available energy helps you perform your best from the beginning of your workout to the end.
Reduced Muscle Fatigue
Consuming a pre workout supplement or snack can delay the onset of muscle fatigue. When you exercise, your muscles use glycogen (stored glucose) as their primary energy source. Having ample glycogen reserves can prevent early muscle exhaustion, allowing you to exercise more comfortably and efficiently.
Prevention of Hypoglycemia
People who engage in prolonged or intense workouts, especially on an empty stomach, have a higher risk of experiencing low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), leading to dizziness, weakness, and reduced performance.
Hence, taking a pre-workout snack may prevent this condition by providing a controlled release of glucose into the bloodstream. It’s even better when the snack has carbohydrates and some protein to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the session.
Enhanced Mental Clarity
A pre-workout snack enhances mental focus by regulating blood sugar levels. The carbohydrates ensure a steady supply of glucose to your brain to maintain optimal cognitive function, keeping your mind sharp and focused during exercise.
The big question is, does the honey and salt pre workout combination give you such benefits?
What’s the Salt and Honey Pre-workout Snack?
It has two primary ingredients: honey and salt. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what each of these ingredients provides:
The type of honey you use in your pre-workout drink or snack ensures you get the most benefits from this combination. As such, heavily processed honey adulterated with added sugars, syrups, or artificial flavorings isn’t the same as pure, natural honey.
The recommended options may have labels like raw honey, unprocessed, or 100% pure on the packaging.
While you can opt for varietal or local honey for added flavor and potential health benefits, these choices are optional and don’t significantly impact the core benefits of the pre-workout snack. Here are the benefits of adding honey to your drink or snack.
Honey has carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars, such as glucose and fructose. These sugars serve as a quick and easily digestible energy source.
Honey contains antioxidants, which can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation that may occur during strenuous exercise.
One popular choice is manuka honey, characterized by high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO), a natural compound responsible for its potent antibacterial and antioxidant effects.
Vitamins and Minerals
Although in smaller quantities, honey also provides essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and iron, which can contribute to overall health.
Honey’s natural sugar sweetness enhances the flavor of the salt drink, making it palatable and enjoyable.
Honey contains varying amounts of water, ranging from 14% to 18%. Viscous honey has a lower water content.
Trace Amounts of Protein and Fats
While honey is not a significant source of protein or fat, it has trace amounts of both. These components are in small quantities, with protein usually accounting for less than 0.5% of the total weight and fats making up even less.
Phytonutrients and Enzymes
Honey also contains a variety of phytonutrients, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, associated with various health benefits.
Additionally, honey contains enzymes such as glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide, contributing to honey’s natural antibacterial properties.
Low in Sodium and Cholesterol-Free
Honey is naturally low in sodium and is cholesterol-free, making it a heart-healthy sweetener option when used in moderation.
Pink Himalayan salt is a popular choice for the honey and salt pre-workout drink or snack.
Unlike processed table salt, it retains more natural mineral content. Further, it has a milder, more balanced flavor than regular table salt, making it a suitable addition to honey.
Sea salt is another good choice because it contains essential minerals, although the specific composition may vary depending on its source. Like Himalayan pink salt, it has a natural and balanced flavor that compliments the sweetness of honey.
The primary components of salt are sodium and chloride ions. These electrolytes are crucial for maintaining proper fluid balance, muscle function, and nerve signaling. During exercise, you lose electrolytes through sweat. Hence, adding salt to your drink replenishes these electrolytes, preventing dehydration and muscle cramps.
On top of that, sodium encourages water retention, aiding in maintaining proper hydration levels during physical activity.
Composition Ratio for Your Salt and Honey Mix
A popular ratio for the honey and salt pre-workout snack is 1-2 tablespoons mixed with a pinch (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon) of salt. This combination provides a balanced dose of carbohydrates and electrolytes to prepare your body for a workout.
When and How to Consume It
Ideally, consume the honey and salt pre-workout snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. It allows your body to digest the nutrients and make them available for energy during exercise.
There are several delicious and convenient ways to add this combination to your pre-workout routine.
One of the simplest ways is to make a refreshing drink using the following steps:
- Add the honey and Himalayan salt to a glass of water.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly until the two ingredients dissolve.
- Adjust the amount of honey and salt to suit your taste preferences, but be mindful not to overdo it, as too much salt can be overpowering.
- Consume this blend about 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.
Make a smoothie if you prefer a thicker pre-workout snack option. This method allows for more versatility in adding other nutritious ingredients like bananas, berries, mangoes, Greek yogurt, milk, or a dairy-free alternative like almond or soy. Further, you can add some ice cubes.
The other popular recipe is an energy bite. It’s easier to carry to the gym in bite-sized balls. In addition to salt and honey, you can add oats, peanut butter, and dried fruits like raisins.
Considerations when Taking a Honey and Salt Pre-workout Snack
Unlike commercial pre-workout supplements that may contain artificial additives, sweeteners, or stimulants, the honey and salt pre-workout snack is a natural and wholesome choice. It relies on simple, minimally processed ingredients readily available.
While honey and salt pre-workout may benefit many, it’s essential to be aware of the following:
Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort if they consume this snack too close to their workout. Consuming a significant amount of sugar in a short period can overwhelm the digestive system, leading to discomfort. The rapid influx of sugars can cause bloating, gas, and even diarrhea in some individuals.
Since honey has an osmotic effect, it draws water into the intestines and can cause loose stools or diarrhea when consumed in excess or by individuals with sensitive digestive systems.
High Blood Pressure
Salt and honey, when consumed in excessive amounts, can contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension), but the mechanisms by which they do so differ.
Excessive salt intake can cause your body to retain water, increasing blood in your bloodstream and adding pressure on the vessel walls. Further, high sodium levels can also cause blood vessels to constrict or narrow.
This narrowing increases resistance to blood flow, which, in turn, raises blood pressure. Your kidneys may also have difficulty excreting the excess sodium. Too much honey can indirectly contribute to high blood pressure through weight gain and obesity. It can lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which your body’s cells don’t respond effectively to insulin.
Consequently, if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions that require you to monitor your sugar or salt intake, consult a healthcare professional before adding these ingredients to your pre-workout routine.
The ideal ratio of honey to salt can vary from person to person. A popular guideline is to mix one to two tablespoons of honey with a pinch of salt in a glass of water (about 8-12 ounces). Adjust the proportions based on your preferences and how your body responds. However, avoid overdoing it to achieve a palatable mix, as you may consume too much honey.
Consuming this mixture too close to your workout may not allow your body enough time to process and utilize the energy. Consuming a heavy meal or pre-workout drink too close to exercise can lead to stomach discomfort, cramping, or even nausea. You can reduce such issues by giving your body time to digest the drink.
While salt can help with hydration, drink additional water alongside the honey and salt mixture to stay adequately hydrated during your workout. When you exercise, you lose fluids through sweating. Consuming a pre-workout drink with honey and salt without adequate hydration can exacerbate fluid loss because they have a diuretic effect that may increase urine production.
On top of that, although sodium is essential for proper muscle function and hydration, it needs to be balanced with an adequate intake of fluids. If you don’t drink enough water alongside your salt-containing pre-workout beverage, you might disrupt this delicate balance, potentially leading to electrolyte imbalances or cramping.
Aim for a Balanced Diet
A honey and salt drink should complement a well-balanced diet, not replace it. Hence, consume nutrients from other foods to support your overall health and performance.
Everyone’s body is unique. Experiment with the mixture, timing, and amount. Listen to your body’s signals and adjust accordingly.
The honey and salt pre-workout combination may boost energy levels and improve your workout performance. However, it’s essential to use high-quality ingredients, consume them at the right time, and be mindful of potential side effects. As with any dietary change, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist to determine if this pre-workout option suits you.
Is it okay to take honey before a workout?
Yes, honey can provide a quick source of natural sugars and energy, making it a suitable option for a pre-workout snack.
What does adding salt to a pre-workout snack do?
Salt replenishes electrolytes lost through sweat during exercise, maintaining proper muscle function and preventing dehydration.
What do honey and pink salt do?
Honey and pink salt provide a balanced combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes, offering a natural and effective way to enhance energy and performance before a workout.
Last Updated on November 10, 2023