At the starting line of one of my early marathons, I noticed a runner opening and then wolfing down something that appeared to be a thin waffle. At the time I thought it was strange to be eating that close — literally a few minutes — before the beginning of a race.
But what did I know? She got off to a good start and finished well ahead of me.
In time, I figured out that the runner fueled with a Honey Stinger waffle, a practice that I now use before and during training workouts, and when I am racing. (Disclaimer: After using Honey Stinger products for several years, I applied to and was accepted as an ambassador for 2018 and again this year. As an ambassador, I receive a discount on Honey Stinger products.)
So what separates Honey Stinger from its competitors? Here are a half-dozen reasons why I choose Honey Stinger to fuel my workouts, training runs and races.
No waffling here. As a Celiac, I am so glad that Honey Stinger makes waffles that are certified USDA organic and gluten free. Honey Stinger puts a thin layer of honey between two thin waffles. Flavors include (my favorite) cinnamon, wildflower honey, vanilla chocolate, salted caramel and chocolate mint.
Let’s gel. In the past I have tried various gels but none of them seemed to work well my gut. After finding success with Honey Stinger waffles, I decided to try the gluten-free gels. The gels work as well as the waffles do for me. They are easy to swallow on the run and don’t create gut issues. For endurance athletes, it’s important to know that the gels are caffeinated to boost you during a tough training session or race and are made with 98 percent organic ingredients. The gels have 100 calories and contain 24 grams of carbs. Gluten-free flavors include chocolate, strawberry kiwi, vanilla and mango orange.
Go organic. Honey Stinger uses non-GMO organic products whenever possible. A check of the ingredient list for the gluten-free waffles includes gluten-free flour (made with organic rice flour, organic potato starch and organic tapioca flour), organic brown rice syrup, organic cocoa, organic honey and so forth. It’s worth noting for those who are strictly vegan, the waffles won’t work — in addition to the honey, eggs are used and possibly milk.
What’s in, what’s out. Beyond the organic products Honey Stinger uses, I appreciate what the waffles contain but also what they do not have. One waffle has 140 calories and 21 grams of carbs. When compared to similar products, the waffle’s 90 mg of sodium ranks rather low. There are zero trans fats and no cholesterol.
Easy to digest. The female runner at that marathon was on to something. Both the Honey Stinger waffles and gels sit well in my gut, even if I have them right before or literally during the run. Toward the end of 2017, for example, I ran two road half marathons. The gluten-free waffles easily fit in my pockets and I ate them when I needed during the race, washing them down with a quick water at the aid stations. In both cases, I set PRs for the half marathons. I still regularly bring Honey Stinger nutrition with me to fuel me during races, as well as training runs.
Corporate responsibility. I am proud to support the small company, which is based in Steamboat Springs, Colo., for a number of reasons. Among those is how Honey Stinger supports a collection of organizations that support the great outdoors. There are too many to name, but you can learn more about them here.