Honey vs Gel
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Thread: Honey vs Gel

  1. #1
    leon2982
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    Honey vs Gel

    I just tried for the first time using honey instead of gels. Maybe it was something else but I sure seemed to get a real kick from the honey. I used a mix of honey, blackstrap molasses, and sea salt. Just curious if this has been discussed previously and if there was a consensus. I'm planning on continuing with honey for now.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I used to have over a hundred hives, so I could never see paying a buck for a gel which was essentially what I was feeding my bees each spring at ten cents a pound. Honey worked fine for me, but I always found it a bit harsh if my throat was at all dry. I'd mix three tbp's into a bottle and found it worked well. Adding molasses and sea salt? Yuck!

  3. #3
    waterproof*
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    I've been using honey cut with water in a gel flask for several years now.

    +1 it can hit my throat pretty harsh if I take a big gulp while working hard, so I just chase it with a swig from the water bottle.

    One thing I have noticed, I can take just the tiniest little taste, not even a sip, and it perks me up and I feel better. Placebo? Who cares.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  4. #4
    leon2982
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    Molasses and Sea Salt

    The addition of a little black strap molasses and sea salt gives me my electrolytes. That way I only carry water. It's a lot easier to find water out on the road and I can use it to squirt on my back and head on hot days. The taste wasn't that bad really.

  5. #5
    Pack Fodder.
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    I'm really into Honey Stinger chews, but never could stomach the pure stuff on a ride. Just a little harsh for me.

  6. #6
    leon2982
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    Honey Stinger Chews

    I was looking at those. I'll probably try them now because I did get a knarly throat for a day after my first try with honey/molasses/seasalt.

    Kind of weird how honey can make your throat knarly when so many people use it to soothe sore throats,

  7. #7
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    It's dry, usually about 13% moisture content. It helps with wounds (and sore throats) because it's bacterial static; so dry that bacteria can't live in it. You might want to thin it a bit with water; I'm sure that's all the Honey Stinger folks do.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeRider
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCharmer
    I could never see paying a buck for a gel which was essentially what I was feeding my bees each spring at ten cents a pound.
    I am confused now...I thought bees made honey, I didn't know you fed it to them???
    Last edited by andulong; 08-25-2010 at 04:07 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCharmer
    It's dry, usually about 13% moisture content. It helps with wounds (and sore throats) because it's bacterial static; so dry that bacteria can't live in it.
    Then how does the bacteria that gives infants botulism live in honey?

  10. #10
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    I have been using straight honey for a little over a year now. I totally feel it hit my system as well. I prefer to buy from a local producer (hives are about 10 miles away [and I live in the LA Metro Area]) who sells at a few local farmers markets. I tried the strapped molasses and salt thing. I really didn't like the taste and fuss. Stuck with pure honey. I don't have any problems with dry mouth.

    I put a bit of honey, bee pollen, and chia seeds on my oat meal in the mornings as well.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  11. #11
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    I am a rookie rider, but have kept bees for awhile. I love honey anyway, and realize the quick energy boost it can give. Glad to hear others are experimenting with it and having success. Ain't nuttin' better

  12. #12
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    botulism

    Quote Originally Posted by e34john
    Then how does the bacteria that gives infants botulism live in honey?
    It's dry enough to keep bacteria from growing (bacterial static), spores survive no matter what. Interestingly, the whole botulism in honey thing is a crock; that nuck that just fell on the kitchen floor probably has more spores on it than an entire jar of honey.

  13. #13
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    Today on my long run I used honey in my gel flask. Mixed in a drop of vanilla extract and a little of the leftover coffee from this morning. The coffee thinned it out just a little, and it wasn't so harsh. Delicious.

  14. #14
    leon2982
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    Honey Powder

    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven
    I have been using straight honey for a little over a year now. I totally feel it hit my system as well. I prefer to buy from a local producer (hives are about 10 miles away [and I live in the LA Metro Area]) who sells at a few local farmers markets. I tried the strapped molasses and salt thing. I really didn't like the taste and fuss. Stuck with pure honey. I don't have any problems with dry mouth.

    I put a bit of honey, bee pollen, and chia seeds on my oat meal in the mornings as well.
    I've seen honey powder lately in a couple of the local asian stores. Do you know if that disolves like sugar?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCharmer
    It's dry enough to keep bacteria from growing (bacterial static), spores survive no matter what. Interestingly, the whole botulism in honey thing is a crock; that nuck that just fell on the kitchen floor probably has more spores on it than an entire jar of honey.
    Makes sense. I didn't really believe the whole not giving it infant thing either, I mean if they are healthy, they should be fine even with their supposed weaker immune systems. Maybe I should carry a tube of honey with me, eat it and slather it on road rash if I'm ever down.

  16. #16
    leon2982
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    slather it before going down

    Quote Originally Posted by e34john
    Makes sense. I didn't really believe the whole not giving it infant thing either, I mean if they are healthy, they should be fine even with their supposed weaker immune systems. Maybe I should carry a tube of honey with me, eat it and slather it on road rash if I'm ever down.

    Then you'll just slide down the road.

  17. #17
    Rodie Persona
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    Quote Originally Posted by e34john
    Makes sense. I didn't really believe the whole not giving it infant thing either, I mean if they are healthy, they should be fine even with their supposed weaker immune systems. Maybe I should carry a tube of honey with me, eat it and slather it on road rash if I'm ever down.
    I suspect honey power is different than bee pollen. Bee pollen is pollen that is collected on the bees legs and is collected into little pellets. I was told by our bee guy to that the bees treat the honey as their carbohydrates and the pollen as their protein. I don't know if he meant this figuratively or literally. Maybe one of the other responders can comment. Bee pollen is a good source of energy and essential nutrients, and is linked to longevity.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  18. #18
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    HFCS in the spring

    Quote Originally Posted by andulong
    I am confused now...I thought bees made honey, I didn't know you fed it to them???
    Sure, they need corn syrup or sugar syrup in the spring to boost the population for splitting with new queens. Feeding them with honey supers on (the boxes over the main hive) is illegal and basically amounts to diluting honey with HFCS, something pretty common in the honey coming in from China.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by aslanspaws
    Today on my long run I used honey in my gel flask. Mixed in a drop of vanilla extract and a little of the leftover coffee from this morning. The coffee thinned it out just a little, and it wasn't so harsh. Delicious.
    Terrific idea. Will see how that works tomorrow.

  20. #20
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    I've had honey probably since the day I was born! Never had a problem.
    My grandfather also had bees and we've had tons of honey in the house as I was growing up. Today I still use honey that I purchase from a local farm (local Honey) and it helps with my alergies, cycling and as a sweetner to mention a few!

    I'm actually thinking of starting my own bee hive this spring since I own about an acre of land... should be enough space.

    I've included a photo of grandpa in 1935!

    Honey is very healthy and sure helps me in cycling.

    Peter
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  21. #21
    So. Calif.
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    Packaging ?

    I'm confused on how you all "package" the honey, to eat while on the bike ??

    I'm sure honey would agree well with me, and I'd like to give it a try.
    I already eat honey on greek yogurt, oatmeal, add it to smoothies, and drizzle it over peanut butter sandwiches.
    Good stuff !

  22. #22
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    botulism lesson

    Hey guys,

    I'm a microbiologist and I see there's some confusion on honey and bacteria.

    What generally keeps bacteria from growing in honey is not a low water content. It's the very high sugar content. Sugar is similar to salt in it's effect on cells and it causes the water to exit the bacterial cell, thus killing (or greatly slowing metabolism) the cell. This is why things like jelly can last so long and why people used to salt their meat for preservation.

    The deal with infants and honey is that, while the normal cells won't grow in honey, Clostridium botulinum (the species that causes botulism) produces endospores that can withstand very harsh conditions. They will be just fine in honey and when they get into a place that has favorable growth conditions, they'll start growing. In non-infants, there is a population of bacteria that normally grow in your intestines. If a few (such as the very small number one would find in honey) Clostridium spores get into an adult's guts, they would not find the conditions for growth favorable due to all the other bacteria that's already there. However, in an infant, that normal flora has not been established and the Clostridium will find conditions suitable for growth. That's when they'll have a problem.

    Interestingly (at least to me), something similar can occur in adults after taking antibiotics. The antibiotics kill off the normal flora, and a related Clostridium (whose spores survive the antibiotic) is able to start growing and cause problems.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_h
    I'm confused on how you all "package" the honey, to eat while on the bike ??

    I'm sure honey would agree well with me, and I'd like to give it a try.
    I already eat honey on greek yogurt, oatmeal, add it to smoothies, and drizzle it over peanut butter sandwiches.
    Good stuff !
    In little plastic bears!



    ^^
    That was an interesting bit of info on the honey and spores.

  24. #24
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    Interesting

    You may be absolutely right, but in honey production it is all about moisture content. We have to have our honey dry down to about 15-17% moisture content, the level bees will dry down nectar to when the weather is not too wet. Above 20% moisture, and we'll get spoilage in the honey as the yeast can grow. I don't think the sugar content hasn't changed much in that small range of moisture, but yeast and bacteria can begin growing.

    Regarding botulism in kids, I understand the idea, but I'm pretty sure there are papers out there showing no difference in botulism rates in the US (where the gov is warning that honey for kids < 2 years old is dangerous) and those in western Europe (where there are no warnings and small children are regularly given honey). I would guess there would be more botulism spores on that nook that was just rescued from the kitchen floor than there are in a couple of tablespoons of honey, but that's just a guess.


    [QUOTE=brigang]Hey guys,

    I'm a microbiologist and I see there's some confusion on honey and bacteria.

    What generally keeps bacteria from growing in honey is not a low water content. It's the very high sugar content. Sugar is similar to salt in it's effect on cells and it causes the water to exit the bacterial cell, thus killing (or greatly slowing metabolism) the cell. This is why things like jelly can last so long and why people used to salt their meat for preservation.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Been using it to make energy drinks for my rides lately. Jasmine tea with lots of honey. It's been a revelation.

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