HoneyAction review summary: At 35 g, the energy gel delivers 80 calories, 20 g of carbohydrates, 138 mg of sodium, and 50 g of magnesium. Its ingredients sound exotic, including many “bee-made goodies” such as honey, burnt honey, royal jelly extract, and propolis extract. HoneyAction doesn’t taste like honey. Instead, the flavor and consistency are similar to syrupy medicines for children.
Honey is a popular energy gel alternative. Runivore has extensively reviewed organic honey and other popular sports nutrition brands, such as Honey Stinger and Pure, that use it as a primary ingredient. We take pride in introducing our Western audiences to products from different parts of the world, and today we bring you Japan-based HoneyAction.
What are the ingredients and nutrition facts of HoneyAction?
Source: company website
Side note: I wonder why some countries and brands use sodium chloride equivalent instead of simply stating the sodium content. Regardless, here’s how you convert between sodium and sodium chloride equivalent.
Sodium (mg) x 2.54 / 1,000 = sodium chloride equivalent (g)
The ingredient list is quite interesting. It’s not just honey; HoneyAction also incorporated other “bee-made goodies,” such as royal jelly extract, propolis extract, and burnt honey.
- Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honeybees. It’s packed with carbohydrates, protein, amino acids, fatty acids, and other micronutrients.
- Propolis, aka “bee glue,” is rich in the antioxidant polyphenols, vitamins A, C, E, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Bees combine tree sap, their discharges, and beeswax to create this substance for hive construction.
The company also called out the gel’s 1000 mg of citric acid and 50 mg of magnesium per gel.
- Citric acid’s possible benefits include enhancing nutrient bioavailability, energy metabolism and providing a tart flavor as a food additive. While many energy gels contain this naturally occurring compound, Japanese sports nutrition makers like to shine a spotlight on their citric acid content. (Here’s a Japanese gel with 2000 mg of citric acid per gel.)
- Magnesium is responsible for hundreds of bodily functions, including food-to-energy conversion, protein synthesis, DNA and RNA repair, muscle contraction, bone health, cardiovascular functions, and nervous system regulation, to name a few. The daily recommended intake is 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women. (Here’s another gel that provides 50 mg of magnesium per pack.)
Honey is 80% sugar (mainly glucose and fructose), about 18% water, and 2% micronutrients such as vitamin B-complex. HoneyAction uses three kinds of honey: raw, refined, and burnt.
Honey (domestic), maltodextrin, refined honey, royal jelly extract powder, burnt honey, propolis extract/citric acid, sodium citrate, magnesium chloride, flavoring, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.
Source: company website
What are the taste and consistency of HoneyAction energy gel?
Unlike honey-based energy gels in Western markets, HoneyAction doesn’t have a strong honey flavor.
For example, Honey Stinger Gold, a gel and brand our readers are likely more familiar with, contains 95% organic honey and thus, tastes pretty much just like honey.
For those that enjoy honey, HoneyAction may leave you disappointed. The flavor reminded me of the syrupy medicines for children and with a similar consistency.
How’s the packaging of HoneyAction energy gel?
Despite the below-average calorie count, HoneyAction comes in a big sachet at 13.5 cm x 6.5 cm. It’s long, but the packaging is not bulky, so it should fit in most running belts and hydration packs.
The sachet is easy to rip open, creating just the right opening size for smooth consumption. It is also designed to keep the ripped-off tip attached to the sachet—no more tiny pieces of litter.
Does HoneyAction work?
HoneyAction performed admirably on my two-hour, hilly LSD. I had two gels, and below are some takeaways:
- I love the taste of honey, preferably raw honey. HoneyAction doesn’t taste anything like honey, with more of a medicine-like flavor. Not a fan of the taste.
- The nutrition label is filled with exotic ingredients such as royal jelly, burnt honey, propolis, etc. In my opinion, the only four things that provide noticeable performance benefits are sugar, fluids, electrolytes, and caffeine. While the unique ingredients look good on paper, I tend to think it’s mostly a marketing gimmick.
- That being said, HoneyAction energy gels worked well. Although both the calorie count and carbohydrate content are on the lower end and about average, respectively, when compared with other gels, HoneyAction was rapid from mouth to muscle and without that crash in energy levels afterward.
- I actually ate a third gel, a SiS Go Isotonic sandwiched between the two HoneyAction gels. Although I prefer SiS’ flavor, HoneyAction provided a more notable energy boost.
- No stomach issue. No gassiness. Everything settled well in the gut.