Honey Stinger Nutrition – Product Reviews
If you are a runner or endurance athlete, Honey Stinger should be a name you know by now. They offer a wide variety of endurance fuels, all the while keeping it organic. And yes, they even make their own wildflower honey which is for sale on their website.
The folks at Honey Stinger were kind enough to send me a variety of products to try. With a lot of long training runs coming up, I knew I was in for a treat and excited to test out some of the new flavors they had to offer.
But first, let’s answer the question…”Why honey?”
There are a wide variety of health benefits from honey. Most of which runners of all skill levels should capitalize on.
First, honey is enriched with nutrients like fiber, copper, vitamin c, antioxidants, magnesium, and calcium. Second, raw honey can help reduce blood pressure and heart disease. Third, honey can help boost your immunity, making it a great product during the winter months.
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels
I’ll admit, there have been a few times when I’ve been out of my favorite chews or gels, that I have taken a packet or two of honey along with me on a long run. Not my favorite, but it works. And the Gold Energy Gel definitely brought me back to those runs. This “flavor” is honey. However, it is not just honey. It is loaded with B vitamins and a bit of salt. In order to like this gel, you need to like slurping down honey, because essentially, that’s pretty much what you are eating – honey with vitamins.
However, I also received the Acai Pomegranate, Vanilla and Mango Orange flavors. The Vanilla was very, very vanilla, while the Acai Pomegranate flavor was extremely light. The Mango Orange had the best balance of all. The citrus of the mange and orange and the honey’s sweetness balanced each other out very nicely.
Winner: Hands down, the Mango Orange was my favorite.
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews
There is something to be said about a good chew. You feel better eating it rather than downing a pack of gummy bears or Swedish Fish. Honey Stinger really did a great job with their Pink Lemonade and Cherry Blossom chews, both with a sweet yet subtle flavor. I was hesitant at first to try the pink lemonade, thinking it would be too tart, but this was not so. It was a great balance of sweet with just enough citrus to give you that awesome lemonade taste. The Cherry Blossom chews also had great subtle flavor; however, I was overwhelmed with cherry aroma when opening the packet. The Cherry Blossom had a slightly stronger flavor than the lemonade, but nonetheless, a nice flavor.
Winner: Pink Lemonade. I’m a sucker for good lemonade and these had a great lemonade flavor.
Honey Stinger Organic Waffles
I definitely get tired of ingesting gel after gel or chew after chew when out on trails for a long time. More often than not, I crave real food 10+ miles into a long run. By mile 15, I’m usually planning out my meals and snacks for the rest of the day and find myself dreading another chew or gel. Carrying real food can sometimes be a little difficult, but these waffles make it possible. They are a welcomed and delicious break from the standard runner fuel.
I was able to try the Wildflower Honey, Gingersnap, Cinnamon, Strawberry, Lemon and Salted Caramel. The Wildflower Honey was the subtlest flavor out of all of them. The Cinnamon had a hint of cinnamon flavor, which gave the waffle an almost French toast-like flavor. The Gingersnap was certainly festive, and after the holidays (it’s February right now) I’m usually burnt out on all things holiday flavored. But like all the waffled, it was still pretty tasty. The Strawberry had a super strong strawberry aroma when I opened the packet, and yet the strawberry flavor was quite subtle when I ate it. However, I still found the Strawberry to be a little sweeter than the rest of the waffles, but not by much. Lemon was so mild I could barely taste the lemon flavor, which personally, I didn’t mind. But the Salted Caramel… It. Was. Amazing. It is definitely like having dessert on a run.
Winner: While I enjoyed all the waffles, no doubt, the Salted Caramel was the best. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the flavor was. I almost felt a little guilty eating it, and I could definitely see myself craving a good Salted Caramel waffle on a run or even as a snack.
Honey Stinger Protein Bars
If you are familiar with Honey Stinger, you probably know about their gels, chews and even, waffles. But did you know they make a variety of bars too? Protein bars are a great on-the-go option after a long, hard workout. However, sometimes protein bars can be too chewy, too chalky or just taste really bad. I am happy to announce that Honey Stinger got it right. I tried the Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond, Dark Chocolate Cherry Pro and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butta Pro. None of them had a fake taste or bad consistency like some protein bars do. Honestly, they all tasted like candy bars. I looked forward to my after workout snack when testing these babies out.
Winner: This was tough. They all were delicious, but I will have to go with the Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond, only because it reminded me of a favorite candy bar. But you cannot go wrong with any of the flavors here.
Honey Stinger Kids Organic Waffles and Chews
I did sample these, but I was lucky enough to bring in an expert to help me with this taste test: my 6-year-old daughter. She is definitely active, as most 6-years-old are, so I’m always trying to provide her good, healthy “fuel” which tends to be more real food then anything.
First up were the waffles, which are a mini version of the regular ones. We tried out Chocolate and Honey. We used this as “fuel” midway through two family hikes. She definitely got a sugar kick and her description for both was simply “yummy.” But no matter how yummy they were, she definitely was still hungry for more food than just the little waffle.
The chews were an after-school treat. We tried the Sour Citrus flavor and luckily (for me at least) were not sour at all. Like the citrus flavored items Honey Stinger offers, they were a nice subtle balance of sweet and citrus. She inhaled them and needless to say got a nice sugar rush afterwards to burn off at the playground.
I will say this, as a parent, I would not feed these items to her on a regular basis. Her favorite brand of gummies, which are also organic and an occasional treat, had less sugar than the Honey Stinger ones we sampled. And yes, the kid’s waffles were tasty, but they were not very filling. And since she is not participating in high endurance sports, I would not offer them to her except perhaps on special occasions.
Winner: Well, I let my daughter decide the winner for this and she chose the Sour Citrus gummies. And I must concur – they were really that tasty.
So there you have it. I truly appreciated that the ingredients were organic and that I could actually pronounce the ingredient list. Overall, the flavors tended to be more on the subtle side, which I personally preferred, especially when on a long run. Their products will not overwhelm your taste buds, but will provide simple, delicious fuel. I highly recommend their tasty fuel options. Especially the Salted Caramel waffle. Seriously. It was that good.
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