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Review: Capilano Honey Shotz

“Honey Shotz” are an energy product offered by Capilano targeted toward cyclists and endurance athletes. The claims made are noteworthy: increased performance, increased recovery and more palatable than traditional gels. As it turns out, Honey Shotz are ordinary honey in little packets. As we will see, however, there is more to the story?

The carbohydrates in honey are equal parts glucose and fructose. There is a widely held belief that this combination is better than glucose alone. This may have stemmed from the fact that honey tends not to “spike” blood sugar levels the way glucose alone does. It may also have come from the fact that in a study in Memphis, honey was shown to sustain blood sugar levels over a longer period, post-exercise than any other carbohydrate source tested.

There is a wealth (read: overload) of information on this subject available on the internet – if you want to read more, start at Capilano’s site: www.capilano.com.au.

Science and theory to one side, it is worth considering that honey is a fairly natural food source. That alone is a major selling point for many people. It also contains a small amount of sodium, vitamin B6 and other minerals useful to atheletes.

This “naturalness” also translates to it being more appetising for consumption while riding on the bike. Gram for gram, honey is sweeter than glucose. Nonetheless, it is much easier to gulp down a Honey Shotz while “at-the-limit” than an unnatural tasting “chocolate” flavoured glucose gel, for example.

Honey Shotz

Further to this, the delivery system that Capilano uses makes it even easier to turn to honey mid-ride. Unlike gels, many of which threaten to choke you to death should you inhale at the wrong moment, the Honey Shotz are easy to open and eat. The package has a hard back which snaps in half like a single-serve tomato sauce packet. It is a one-handed operation that leaves only one piece of “rubbish” and this system is much easier to suck dry than a gel packet. As an environmental bonus, you can even dump the rubbish in a jersey pocket without much fear of it leaking.

Of course, the biggest question for many is will it increase my performance? The answer is of course, yes? or no? well, maybe. In testing, honey performed no better than standard gels (or no worse, depending on your point of view.) There are some subtle benefits, such as it not “spiking” blood sugar levels too much and maintaining blood sugar levels for longer and these may constitute a small performance advantage.

More importantly though, they are easier and more palatable to eat and if that is what it takes to get you to eat enough during a long ride, then in that respect, they offer a huge advantage.

It is worth noting, at this point that the packages only contain 7g of carbohydrates each. The Australian Institute of Sport recommends around 50g of carbohydrate per hour for endurance cycling. (The scientific articles linked to on Capilano’s website used a protocol of 32g per hour). To carry 50g of carbohydrate, however is around 7 packages. You could of course, supplement your intake with a sports drink, however you can see that the Honey Shotz are not very space-efficient.

Honey Shotz Box

This brings us, of course, to value for money. You see, Capilano offer boxes of 100 shotz for around $19. This means that for 25g of carbohydrate (the size of a usual energy gel) you pay around 68 cents. That, to us, is fantastic – making your own gels at home probably costs almost this much!

So in conclusion, though carrying them can be a little bulky, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Honey Shotz are the easiest carbohydrate source to handle, swallow and discard that we have tried – no disclaimers. Add to that, the fact that they are natural and extremely cheap, they come with our highest recommendation.

The Honey Shotz can be purchased online, a box of 100 x 7g shots sells for $18.95 though shipping costs are a bit steep (approx $12 for 1 box) so a group order (eg. $20 for 10 boxes) will be better value for money: www.capilano.com.au

Honey Shotz 20% Discount

Capilano have kindly offered BNA readers a 20% discount on Honey Shotz when ordering online during August 2011. Use the discount code: shotz20

First Five Readers get a Free Box of Honey Shotz

CLOSED – Fast and furious demand, thank you everyone who mailed. For the lucky five, your box of Honey Shotz, courtesy of BNA and Capilano will be in the mail shortly.

Danny Beveridge
Danny Beveridge
is based in Brisbane and chooses his equipment for road cycling with great care.
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