Honey can improve performance and power during exercise, a new study suggests. Presented on Tuesday at the annual Experimental Biology meeting the study indicates that using honey as a carbohydrate source significantly helped endurance during cycling trials. "Numerous studies have singled out carbohydrates as a critical nutrient in endurance exercise. Most of the studies to date have shown supplementation with glucose to provide the extra staying power. We were pleased to find that honey, a 'cocktail' of various natural sugars, performed just as well,'' stated Professor Richard Kreider, Ph.D., the study's leading researcher and Director of the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory. He continued, "Carbohydrates in gel form are preferred because they are easier to use and carry. Because of this, honey has a competitive, ready-to-use edge and a widely liked flavour.'' In the study nine competitive cyclists received one of three supplements in gel form per week, over a three-week period: honey, glucose or a flavoured,calorie-free placebo. Results showed: that honey reduced the time to complete a 64 km time trial by over 3 minutes compared to the placebo; that honey produced over 6 per cent greater cycling power during the time trial compared to the placebo; an equal performance to glucose, the most common carbohydrate supplement and was well tolerated by all the subjects. This clinical trial is the third in a series of studies focusing on the use of honey by athletes. All three studies were supported by the National Honey Board.