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Why You Need to Include Honey when Taking Whey Protein

Why You Need to Include Honey when Taking Whey Protein

These 5 ingredients in performance whey protein and just 1 in manuka honey can make you the main hunk in the gym

Maybe I’m not the most original face in this world. In fact, following the rules at all costs is not typical for me.

So, for example, the steak must be bloody, the coffee hot, honey raw and only Manuka, Monday is for exercise, for the definition of muscle the best is summer and for weight gain winter.

Yes, yes, I know I’m old-fashioned, but these things make sense to me.

Also, questioning everything and doing research by experimenting on myself so that info you get here is valid is my kind of ‘game.’

And although I’m not a fitness expert, my knowledge about nature and the power of ingredients may help you become a fitness expert.

Not just that.

Today, you may get better with performance whey protein and manuka honey thanks to its unique ingredients – natural ingredients.

Their presence confirms that you need them if you want results within every bodybuilding session. Most importantly, they support health while building muscle.

So let’s start with the performance of whey protein.

Is whey harmful?


Who planted that idea in your head?

Whey is obtained by turning milk into light cheese.

Whey proteins are the most valuable proteins you can get into your body.

The benefits they bring are numerous. Proteins are the basic building blocks of every tissue in the body. Without protein, there is no functioning of the nervous system, no immunity, and therefore, no life.

Whey protein is usually thought of as a sports supplement. But, performance whey protein is not only intended for those who want to “build muscle,” but the value of whey protein is much more comprehensive.

5 lesser-known ingredients in performance whey protein

These are the protein fractions that form the basis of whey protein. You have heard that some of these fractions have immune-stimulating properties, but let’s go into more detail…


It makes up 55-65% of the protein fractions in whey. “Beta-lact” contains the power for binding minerals (such as calcium) and fat-soluble vitamins, primarily vitamins A, D3, and E. Research shows a vast role in the transport and absorption of these vitamins, and thus their more
efficient use. In addition, recent research indicates the antiviral properties of beta-lactoglobulin.


“Alpha lact” makes up 15-25% of whey protein. It is rich in amino acids – lysine, leucine, threonine, tryptophan, and cysteine.

“Alpha-lact” is the fastest digested of all whey protein fractions, so it is the basis of “infant formula” (breast milk substitutes). It is also used as a source of protein in patients who quickly “lose protein” due to kidney disease or more severe digestive tract diseases.

“Alpha-lact” is considered necessary in producing glutathione, the “master antioxidant” due to its richness in cysteine. Hence the anti-cancer properties are attributed to whey protein. Moreover, better and more purposeful immune response, fight against free radicals, better recovery from strenuous training, etc. (2)


GMP makes up 15-20% of whey protein. The first research on GMP was related to dentistry. Namely, the positive influence of GMP on the prevention of dental plaque formation and caries has been shown. Yes, whey protein for whiter and healthier teeth!

GMP is also associated with the production and release of CCK (cholecystokinin) from our digestive tract, which is one of the satiety hormones, “appetite suppressant”.

Recent research on GMP indicates the possible impact of this protein on the development of bifidobacteria (healthy intestinal flora), better circulation, skin health, and “strong immunity.”


BSA makes up 2-5% of whey protein. It is very rich in essential amino acids in an ideal ratio. Relevant research shows a significant effect on the activity of T-lymphocytes (cells of the immune system). Lymphocytes play the most important role in maintaining human health, recognizing and distinguishing foreign substances from those that belong to the organism, and destroying them.

BSA is also credited with powerful antioxidant properties.


Lactoferrin makes up about 1% of whey protein. This protein has the property of binding iron, and iron is necessary not only for humans but also for pathogenic microorganisms for normal functioning. So thanks to the binding property of iron, LF “takes it away” from microorganisms
that need it for growth. So there’s your antimicrobial effect.

Some recent research suggests a possible effect of LF in the fight against bacterial toxins and wound healing and mentions the ability to alleviate chronic inflammatory processes.

Why should you NOT consider bulking without carbohydrates?

Everywhere we look, we find a low-carb diet. Of course, everyone eliminates bread and dough from their diet, but most don’t know why.

Maybe, you know for sure, but I’ll mention it anyway: a low-carb diet was invented to regulate insulin levels.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the brain and muscles. In our body, they are stored in the form of glycogen.

If we have adequate glycogen stores in our muscles, we will be able to maintain an average or above-average level of exercise intensity. However, suppose the glycogen level in our body is lower for some reason (skipping meals, reducing diets with reduced intake or even no carbohydrates, etc.).

In that case, the ability to train will continue to deteriorate until the moment when low-intensity exercise will be a heavy load and create fatigue.

And not just that.

Reduced carbohydrate intake (especially for exercisers who train regularly and intensively) can be a health risk. In cases of prolonged reduction of carbohydrates, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and ketosis (increased levels of acid in the blood) can occur. Those, in turn, can cause nausea, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, nervous irritability, etc .

Manipulations with diet without consulting a professional (nutritionist or personal trainer) have proven to be a hazardous and unpredictable endeavor. That is why it is imperative to have the correct information regarding the amount, type, and adequate time for carbohydrate intake.

The caloric needs of a person who trains are very different from the needs of an inactive person. Therefore, one of the most common dietary concerns is when and how many nutrients to consume.

This is essential information for people for whom training has become a part of everyday life and needs to replenish their glycogen stores effectively.

Let’s get closer to the goal of gaining weight from that side.

When you eat carbohydrates – especially those with high glycemic index – insulin levels rise sharply. And then, when your insulin and blood sugar levels drop, you become hungry again.

If you’re applying this in the interest of bulking, always have in reserve some food that decomposes quickly. I personally suggest oatmeal, which everyone should choose according to their taste.

However, I would say something about this manipulative technique with insulin.

I recommend it to those who are ectomorphic types (they are thinner and more challenging to get fat). Insulin, as you know, is a storage hormone, and if you are genetically prone to fattening and want to reduce your fat deposits, I do not recommend this technique.

The side effects of playing with insulin could make you think twice.

Why should you consider having honey in your bodybuilding routine and not just performance whey protein?

Honey is formed primarily of carbohydrates (~80%) and contains many other compounds. Due to its carbohydrate composition (low glycaemic index, mostly fructose and glucose), honey may theoretically exert positive effects when consumed before, during, or after exercise.

Many bodybuilders still think that all carbs will make them fat.

But honey is a highly efficient source of carbohydrates for restoring muscle glycogen. It digests quickly yet ultimately does not radically spike insulin levels.

That means it is an ideal pre-and post-training carb source for bodybuilders who struggle to control body fat levels. Use honey before or after you work out.

Try two tablespoons in a workout shake or add to toasted white bread.

Considering that the average American consumes over 150 pounds of white sugar and high fructose corn syrup a year, honey seems to be a far better alternative as a sweetener. One tablespoon contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates. For being an intense sweetener, that’s only 68 calories. Pretty manageable as a part of any diet.

Primarily honey has been used as an energy source. Still, recent research has examined the use of honey as an ergogenic aid (a food or ingredient that helps an athlete’s performance) and wound healing agent, both of which were once considered age-old anecdotes.

If you also think that honey is merely an age-old tool that has been outdated, you should check out what one of the most famous bodybuilders says about honey.

In one of Arnold’s books, he talks about using honey and lime juice in water as a pre-workout. Therefore, it was good enough for him.

So maybe it’s not a wrong mentality to adopt: If it’s good enough for the most ‘swollen’ dude in the gym, it’s good enough for me.

Anyway, lifting requires brain work, too!

1 lesser-known ingredient in Manuka honey

Most likely, there is no person who does sports, and at least once in his life, he/she has not encountered the feeling of “muscle inflammation.”

That is what this ingredient is responsible for – anti-inflammation, and it’s called apalbumin-1.

Apalbumin-1 is the most abundant and accounts for 45% of total proteins.

We know that manuka honey has a more pronounced anti-inflammatory effect than other kinds of honey. Amanda Bean ( a former Ph.D. student at Peter Molan’s lab) identified the protein that bees add to honey – apalbumin-1.

Obviously, it is a complex substance to identify since it should be present in all honey bees make, no matter the floral source. Amanda, however, was able to show that the same special ingredient found in manuka honey that causes its non-peroxide activity reacts with this protein and makes the Manuka Honey much more anti-inflammatory.

Fed exclusively on honey, a larva becomes a bee. Then, nourished exclusively with Royal Jelly, rich in apalbumin-1, a larva becomes queen and will live up to 40 times longer than its congeners.

Go figure!

Majtán J, et al. The immunostimulatory effect of the recombinant apalbumin 1-major honeybee royal jelly protein-on TNFalpha release. Int Immunopharmacol 2006;6(2):269-78.


After a hard workout, it takes about 24 hours for the glycogen in the muscles to be completely restored. Modern research has established that when food intake (especially carbohydrates) is delayed after training, glycogen reserves in the muscles are reduced, and the recovery period is extended.

The same studies confirm that exercisers who consume 50-100 g of carbohydrates in the first half-hour after training increase the glycogen level in the muscles and thus can enter a new training cycle sooner. This post-workout meal is best taken through a shake as it shortens the process of digestion and food processing.

Simple carbohydrates have a higher glycemic index and thus increase glycogen levels in tired muscles faster.

Nutrition research on active recreationists and athletes has shown that combining protein with carbohydrates causes a faster rate of glycogen recovery and shortens the recovery period between workouts by as much as four hours.

In the end …

To summarize…

From white and healthy teeth, more prolonged satiety to better body resistance to infectious agents, the fight against cancer and skin health – whey protein.

After all this, can you allow yourself the thought that performance whey protein is “chemistry”?!

There is very little aftertaste, and the texture is super smooth with just a shaker/blender bottle.

This is the perfect afternoon snack to fill you up till dinner and satisfy your sweet tooth if you add a spoon or two of your precious – Manuka Honey.

Again, I’m not advising that everyone start pouring jars of raw honey over their food, but as a way to sneak calories into a diet, especially carbs, raw honey is often a go-to source.

Simply add a teaspoon or two to any shake, and you’ve injected an extra 100 calories into your daily intake and a decent amount of micronutrients.


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