What Athletes Should Know About Honey

"39 weight-trained athletes were tested to see how protein supplements with carbohydreates could boost muscle recuperation. Following an intensive weight lifting workout, the athletes immediately consumed a protein supplement blended with sugar, maltodextrin or honey as the carbohydrate. Only the athletes who consumed honey maintained optimal blood sugar levels throughout the two hours following the workout. In addition, subjects taking honey showed favorable changes in hormone ratio that indicated a positive muscle recuperative state. "Honey appears to stand out as a better source of carbohydrate to ingest with post-workout protein supplements," said University of Memphis researcher, Dr. Richard Kreider. Greater detail about honey and muscle recuperation may be found at Honey Workout(source: National Honey Board News, May 2001)

Honey's Power Against Heart Disease and Cancer

"Scientists in the US have identified a host of health-giving chemicals that fight heart disease and cancer in honey. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign extracted antioxidant compounds from seven varieties of honey made from different floral sources. Antioxidants mop up dangerous free radical molecules that can damage cells and DNA. The properties of the seven honey varieties were analysed using a test called the Oxyten Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay. Oxygen-free radicals, created as a waste product of natural metabolism, are among the most destructive. Antioxidants identified in honey included phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and the enzymes glucose oxidase, catalase and peroxidase. The antioxidant power of honey appeared cheifly due to their phenolic composition. Dark-coloured honey had the highest ORAC value, showing it was especially good at removing free radicals. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologies in New Orleans. A conference spokesman said: "Characterisation of honey helps in understanding its antioxidant behaviour and therefore its use as a natural food ingredient and as a source of antioxidant in the human diet." (Source: Honey As Antioxidant)"


Honey Cranberry Sauce
4 cups cranberries
1 to 1-1/2 cups water
1and 1/2 cups honey
Wash the cranberries. In a saucepan, mix together the cranberries, 1 cup of water, and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the cranberries pop open and are transcucent. Add more water if necessary. Chill before using and keep in refrigerator. Makes about 3 cups.

A half cup of this sauce mixed with an additional cup of honey can be used as a glaze for ham. Cover a scored ham with this glaze during the last 45 minutes of baking.

Try this sauce on vanilla ice cream.

Glazed Carrots or Onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound carrots, cut in strips and steamed till tender, or one cup tiny onions, cooked and drained
Heat the butter and honey slowly in a pan. When melted, add the carrots or onions and carefully stir until coated thoroughly. For carrots, saute only until glazed, 5-7 minutes. Then serve plain or with chopped fresh mint or cinnamon or nutmeg. For onions cook slowly until browned, about 20 minutes. Serves 4.