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It’s no secret that honey will be in the back packs of many athletes going to the Summer Olympics in London this year.  But this is nothing new because honey has been an aid to athletes for as long as the olympics has been in existence.

Why Do Gymnasts Use Honey?

One group of athletes, gymnasts in particular, use honey to help with their grip when they grab those bars.

Gymnast Use Honey For Grip

Gregory Bull/AP Danell Leyva Pours Honey In Hands

One of those gymnasts going to the Olympics is Jonathan Horton.  Read what he tells  The Telegraph:

“You start slipping off the parallel bars and you’re like, ‘How do I hold onto this?’ When you’re a kid I guess you don’t really think about it. Then you get older and you’re like, ‘Man, this should be easier.’ You just start figuring out, ‘Ok, what can I put that’s sticky on my hands to make me do this?’”

“Growing up, I tried pancake syrup and Karo syrup, then I was like, ‘Ok, honey,’ and I tried a million different types of honey until I finally found one that really works. Everyone kind of has their own little combination of how they like it.”

So some of the gymnasts use chalk on the apparatus and then they place honey on the palms of their hands and fingertips to help guarantee a better bar or ring grip when they swing.  I’m sure others have different methods to keep a tight grip.

Gymnast Use Chalk

What Are Some Of The Benefits of Honey For Athletes?

If we go back in time to the first Greek olympic games, you will also find honey there as well.  The Greeks realized that honey provided mental alertness, increased performance and aided in a quick recovery.   It is known as the best source for quick energy.

Honey is the only known animal carb that is actually sweet and has a low glycemic index.  It is far superior to sugar because honey’s two main components, fructose and glucose, both provide energy to the body.  Your body uses the glucose right away, while the fructose acts as slow-release energy.  So honey is  excellent for athletes who require both a quick source of energy and then a slow release.

Speaking of honey jars,  Jonathan Horton says –  “I have one to drink,” he said, “and one to put on my hands.”

So the next time you take out that honey jar, take a moment to reflect on the amazing benefits of honey both off the sports arena and on.  And the next time you see an athlete take out an unidentified bottle or jar, maybe, just maybe it might be that wonderful gift to man – honey.

How many of you use honey to aid in your exercise or athletic performance?  Leave a message below.


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