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Tested: Honey Stinger All Natural Sports Nutrition

honey stinger wrapper

While I readily consume highly-processed food substitutes while training and racing, I try to eat as naturally as possible under normal circumstances. Steel cut oats rather than instant oatmeal. Baked potatoes instead of potato chips. Honey instead of sugar.

By that logic, I should be head-over-heels in love with Honey Stinger, the energy gel that’s based on honey. Thing is, by the time Honey Stinger showed up to the party, I had already taken a liking to GU energy gels. They worked for me and were sure easier to consume while on the bike than pure honey.

That said, I’d still like to share my thoughts on the Honey Stinger product line, especially since it contains so many more items than regular energy gel!

Honey Stinger Energy Gel

This is how it all started – a simple energy gel with honey as the main ingredient. It really was just watered-down honey with added electrolytes (and B vitamins.) Simple as that.

The problem was, I could carry a flask of honey with a pinch of sea salt added, and save a ton of money!

Today, Honey Stinger has expanded their lineup. The original gel is now referred to as the Honey Stinger Classic Energy Gel, and they have added a new formula dubbed Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel.

This new formula is based on a mix of organic tapioca syrup and organic honey, lessening the actual “honey” flavor that was so prevalent in the old ones!

I haven’t felt the need to try these new flavors, but if you haven’t had any luck finding an energy gel that sits well in your stomach, consider a Honey Stinger organic energy gel. I’ve got my eye on the Acai & Pomegranate flavor!

Mango Orange

One kayaking trip on Memorial Day weekend, I figured I’d give this new flavor a try. I like mangoes, so I figured it would be alright, but for some reason, I wasn’t all that excited.

But wow! This is now one of my top 5 favorite energy gel flavors! It’s up there with Hammer Gel apple cinnamon and GU gel peanut butter!

The mango flavor is strong, delicious, and authentic. It overpowers the orange flavor, which is fine with me. I’d gladly buy a huge box of these.

honey stinger energy bar

Honey Stinger Energy Bar

Here we have an energy bar that’s based on honey!

I had one of these as a snack during a long day of indoor rock climbing. Why indoors? Well, the bar has a yogurt coating, and I was worried it would melt if I left it outside in the sun. Why rock climbing? Well, that’s what I do indoors! Also, the workload is similar to an interval workout, so I did have to digest the bar during moments of high intensity.

The bar gave me energy and sat well in my stomach, making for an all around good experience.

From a nutrition aspect, the bar is excellent. The main ingredients are honey, almonds, crisp rice, and blueberries. These are all ideal sources of energy for me!

It’s a smaller bar with just 170 calories, so it’s more suited to shorter workouts or lighter individuals.

honey stinger blueberry buzz energy bar

The Blueberry Buzz flavor was just as excellent. It reminded me of a bowl of blueberry oatmeal with honey drizzled on top. Or a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with dried blueberries in it. Soft and chewy with some crispiness. You could definitely taste the honey, and it fit right in! (The honey seemed out of place in other flavors.)

I enjoyed the yogurt coating from a taste perspective, but I probably wouldn’t care for it if it was melting everywhere on a hot day.

honey stinger protein bar

Honey Stinger Protein Bar

Next we double up on the protein content with this bar that seems to be based on a similar formula.

Unfortunately it’s one of those “protein bars” that I hardly consider to be a protein bar. It packs a scant 10 grams of protein. Some regular energy bars have that much. It sort of falls in no mans land – not high enough in protein to be a real protein bar, and just too low in carbs (19g) to be a serious energy bar worthy of fueling my most demanding workouts.

So, I only tested this bar as a quick post-workout snack. For that, it worked just fine, but it wasn’t particularly exciting.

honey stinger chocolate cherry mocha protein bar

I had the Dark Chocolate Cherry Mocha flavor (which also happened to contain 30mg caffeine.)

The texture of the bar is awesome – it’s like a bar of soft nougat with a chocolate coating. You’ll find the occasional cherry and walnut piece inside, but you don’t even really notice the chunks when you eat it. You just see them.

The bar is sort of hard when you first bite into it, but it melts in your mouth very easily. That’s awesome for during a workout. You don’t waste energy trying to chew it. I really can’t compare the texture to any other bar I can think of.

When it comes to taste, you taste the honey for sure! It’s strong. Sort of like the classic gels that are 80% honey. Or the regular energy bar. But unlike in the Blueberry Buzz flavor, honey doesn’t exactly make sense here. It’s kind of out of place with the intended flavor. It comes on gradually, so you can taste chocolate and cherry at the beginning, but then you have a very strong honey aftertaste.

I’m not planning to stock up on Honey Stinger bars, but as with the gels, these honey-based bars could be right up your alley, especially if the more common brands don’t sit well with you.

honey stinger energy chews

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

Ah, here we have my favorite type of energy food! The candy kind!

These look like little mushroom tops. They’re cute little buggers!

The ingredients are similar to the newer organic energy gels – these are based on tapioca syrup, sugar, and honey. (There must not be much honey since you don’t taste it.)

You get 160 calories per packet, which is the equivalent of one of their energy bars. And it’s almost exclusively carbs! You get 0g fat, 1g protein, and a hefty 39g carbs! Awesome!

Cherry Cola

The flavor was good, but odd – sometimes you taste cherry, sometimes you taste cola. I’m not sure how they do that, because it’s all one solid texture. The same color and everything. It’s not like there’s a liquid cola center surrounded by red gummy candy. (Maybe it’s just my imagination?)

Honey flavor was completely absent.

Pink Lemonade

It’s really, really good! Just like you mixed up some Country Time pink lemonade powder. Actually, the chews might be better tasting than artificial pink lemonades!

The texture is most similar to gummy candy. It’s very, very good, but I still prefer Powerbar Gel Blasts and Clif Shot Bloks by a hair. (These chews are way better than GU Chomps though!)

They’re just a tad sticky. I had half a packet during a hot, tough ride, and the chews didn’t melt or even get overly sticky. Sure, they stuck inside the foil packet a little bit – that’s hard to eliminate – but they didn’t make my hands annoyingly sticky.

Regardless, I wish they came in a tube-style package. That would make it easier to get them from my jersey pocket into my mouth, where I want them.

Overall, I recommend you give these a shot!

honey stinger waffle

Honey Stinger Waffle

It’s super cool to see something unique like this. So, props to Honey Stinger for that!! (I remember hearing it was an idea from Lance Armstrong, who ate these when racing in Europe and wanted to import the idea to the USA.)

This isn’t just any waffle. It’s a “Stroopwafel” like you find in the Netherlands, but it comes packaged like an energy bar.

What’s a Stroopwafel? It’s two thin layers of waffle with syrup in the center. It’s also pure genius!

Click here to read my Honey Stinger waffle review and find out what makes these things so magical!

No other energy food, even my coveted Clif Shot Bloks, can compare! Nothing! These are that good! So good that every single flavor is good!

honey stinger kids

Honey Stinger “Just For Kids”

Want to get your kids started on specialty energy products? Here’s your chance!

Or maybe you just want smaller portions. Or fun kids flavors.

Either way, here are some options:

Organic Fruit Chews

These come in little packets with 70 calories each. They look the same as fruit chews like you’d get at a grocery store.

You can choose from Sour Citrus Flavors (lime ade, grapefruit, sour cherry) and Mixed Berry Flavors (orange, strawberry, grape.)

honey stinger kids chews

They were all good, but I preferred the sour flavors.

Lime ade tasted like lime and grapefruit was like grapefruit; sour cherry was sort of sour. None were sour like Warheads candy or anything. The “sour” designation just describes the type of citrus fruits they are based on.

The grape was a very mild flavor, orange was very potent, similar to the artificial gummy candies, and strawberry was pretty strong, too. These were tasty and a nice treat, but not spectacular if you ask me.

What surprised me was that they’re nothing like Honey Stinger’s original chews. I thought they’d be the same thing, just smaller. But they have their very own taste.

Do I recommend them?

I guess they’re somewhat more natural than Gushers or whatever, and it’s nice they don’t contain HFCS. But they’re still just sugar in a gummy form. And the price is over $1 per pouch! So… not healthy, not filling, not something I’d recommend for kids.

At least the Clif Kid line is sort of based on real fruit.

And what do you know, the waffle has found its way into the kids line!

Kids Organic Honey Waffle

This one is the exact same concept as the adult version, but smaller. It’s still junk food composed of wheat flour and honey, so you might as well buy your kids a box of cookies. But if you prefer bite-size waffles to fuel your adventures, get these!

My final verdict is…

For one reason or another, the Honey Stinger lineup doesn’t really tickle my fancy. I like it, I just don’t love it. I do recommend trying the gels and chews, though, because they could be excellent for you!

And the waffles, well, I know how addicting they are. And I’m a nutrition coach. So… I can’t recommend you try them… but… (and you didn’t hear this from me…) you HAVE TO try them! 😉

Official website: www.HoneyStinger.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Honey Stinger
Product: Honey Stinger Energy Gel
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-05-28
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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Hometown, PA