Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Are Honey Stinger Energy Chews Bad For You?



Short answer

Honey Stinger Energy Chews provide quick energy from simple carbs and are suitable for periods of intense physical activity. However, their high sugar content can negatively impact dental health, cause spikes in blood sugar, and contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively or during inactivity. Overall, they're beneficial when used appropriately during athletic endeavors but may not be ideal for sedentary snacks or those managing blood sugar conditions.



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Long answer

Nutritional Content and Sugar Analysis of Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Delving into the nutritional profile of Honey Stinger Energy Chews reveals a multifaceted picture. These chews are often marketed as a quick energy source for athletes and active individuals, but understanding their sugar content and overall nutritional value is crucial for informed consumption.

Primary Ingredients: The main ingredients typically include organic tapioca syrup and organic sugar. These are simple carbohydrates, which provide rapid energy release. Additionally, they contain organic honey, a natural sweetener with trace amounts of antioxidants and minerals.

Carbohydrates: A single serving (about 5 chews) delivers around 39 grams of carbohydrates, which primarily come from the sugars mentioned. This high carbohydrate content is intentional, aiming to supply quick energy during endurance activities.

Sugars: Out of the 39 grams of carbohydrates, sugars comprise 27 grams. It’s important to note that these sugars are not solely refined sugar; organic honey and tapioca syrup also contribute to the total sugar content.

Electrolytes: Honey Stinger Energy Chews include added sodium and potassium, which are vital electrolytes lost through sweat during intense physical activity. Electrolytes are essential for muscle function and hydration.

Vitamins and Minerals: While these chews provide minimal vitamin and mineral content, they do offer a small amount of Vitamin C and calcium, contributing to the daily recommended intake of these nutrients.

Overall Caloric Value: With approximately 160 calories per package, these chews are calorie-dense, making them suitable for high-energy expenditure activities but potentially unsuitable for sedentary snacking.

In terms of sugar analysis, it's instrumental to compare the types of sugars used in Honey Stinger Energy Chews with other energy products. The inclusion of organic honey as a sweetener provides a more natural source, but it should still be consumed within the context of overall dietary sugar intake. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men and 25 grams for women. Therefore, a single serving of Honey Stinger Energy Chews approaches or exceeds these limits.

It is also crucial to address the glycemic index (GI) of these sugars. The GI measures how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose levels. Simple carbohydrates, like those found in these chews, typically have a higher GI, leading to a rapid spike in blood sugar. This can be beneficial during athletic endeavors for quick energy but can contribute to energy crashes and poor glycemic control when consumed at rest.

Conclusion: It is evident that Honey Stinger Energy Chews are designed for certain conditions, namely, during periods of high physical demand. However, those with sedentary lifestyles, or those managing blood sugar conditions, should be aware of the significant sugar content and its implications for health.

Natural vs. Added Ingredients in Honey Stinger Chews

Honey Stinger Energy Chews are marketed as a natural, organic option for athletes and health-conscious individuals looking for a quick energy boost. However, the terms "natural" and "organic" can be misleading if not thoroughly understood. To distinguish between the genuinely beneficial aspects and potential drawbacks of these chews, let's break down their natural versus added ingredients.

Natural Ingredients:

  • Organic Honey: As the namesake ingredient, honey provides natural sugars that can offer a quick source of energy. Honey also contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Organic Tapioca Syrup: This is a carbohydrate derived from the cassava plant, used as a sweetener and texture enhancer.
  • Organic Fruit: Depending on the flavor, organic fruit juice and puree may be added for flavor and additional nutrients.

Added Ingredients:

  • Citric Acid: A common additive for flavor and preserving freshness, it is generally recognized as safe but can be problematic in excessive amounts.
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C): Added for its preservative qualities, as well as an immune-boosting claim—a benefit that requires more nuance than just ingesting supplementally.
  • Organic Black Carrot Juice Concentrate: A natural colorant, which is a better option compared to synthetic dyes, yet still, an added ingredient to be aware of.
  • Potassium Citrate: An electrolyte and a pH stabilizer, it's needed for energy metabolism, but the level of necessity in supplemental form is debatable.

It's also important to point out that while an ingredient may be "natural" or "organic," that does not inherently make it beneficial or without adverse effects. For example, the natural sugars in honey can contribute to tooth decay, and overconsumption can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. Quality and source of the ingredient are also vital. While organic certification indicates a lack of synthetic pesticides and GMOs, it does not automatically bestow health benefits.

When evaluating these ingredients, one must consider the context of their overall diet and health goals. For active individuals in need of a rapid energy source during endurance activities, these chews might serve a functional and beneficial role. On the flip side, for someone looking for a healthy snack without immediate exercise, the added sugars (even though natural, like honey) and additional ingredients might not align with their nutritional needs.

The key is moderation and intent of use. Consuming energy chews because they're "organic" or "made with natural ingredients" is not a hall pass for unrestricted snacking. The science of nutrition emphasizes a balance of macro and micronutrients, proper caloric intake, and the timing of consumption concerning physical activity.

Thus, when choosing energy products, scrutinize ingredient lists, understand your dietary needs, and remember that "natural" and "added" are not always exclusive categories. Certain added ingredients may enhance performance, while some natural ingredients could be superfluous or even counterproductive to specific health goals.

Dental Health Considerations: Sticky Sweets and Tooth Decay

When contemplating the potential impacts of Honey Stinger Energy Chews on dental health, the relationship between sugar consumption and tooth decay cannot be overstated. It's well-known that sticky sweets can adhere to teeth, creating a favorable environment for bacteria that cause cavities. Here, we expound upon the intricacies of sticky snacks and their effect on your pearly whites.

Inherent Risks of Sticky Foods: Unlike other sugary treats that are quickly washed away by saliva, sticky substances like Honey Stinger Energy Chews have a tendency to cling to the crevices and surfaces of teeth. This lingering presence extends the duration of acid attacks on enamel, accelerates the demineralization process, and increases the risk of developing cavities, according to the American Dental Association.

Sugar Content - A Cavity Culprit: Honey Stinger Energy Chews contain multiple forms of sugar, including organic tapioca syrup and honey. Sucrose, glucose, and other sugars present in such chews are easily metabolized by oral bacteria, producing acids that erode tooth enamel. A study in the Journal of Dental Education highlighted this mechanism, underlining sugar's role in promoting dental caries.

Managing Dental Health: Practical measures can be taken to mitigate these risks:

  • Timely Brushing: Brushing your teeth within an hour after consuming energy chews can help remove sticky residue and reduce the potential for acid production.
  • Increased Salivation: Chewing sugar-free gum or rinsing with water can stimulate saliva, a natural neutralizer of the acids produced by bacteria.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Consistent dental visits allow for early detection and management of any dental issues that may arise from habitual consumption of sticky sweets.

Recommended Limitations: The World Health Organization suggests limiting sugar intake to less than 10% of total daily calories, further advising a reduction to 5% for additional health benefits. Energy chews, though functional before or during physical activities, should be considered part of this sugar budget.

Conclusion: As with many edible indulgences, moderation is key. While Honey Stinger Energy Chews may offer a quick energy boost, understanding and managing their impact on dental health is paramount for those aiming to maintain optimal oral hygiene.

Energy Chews and Blood Sugar Levels: Benefits and Risks for Diabetics

When considering the effects of Honey Stinger Energy Chews on blood sugar levels, especially for individuals with diabetes, a nuanced approach is imperative. These chews contain sugar sources intended to provide quick energy, which can have both positive and negative influences on glycemic control.

Immediate Blood Sugar Impact
Energy chews are designed to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream to give a swift energy boost. This is beneficial during physical activity where immediate glucose availability can enhance performance. However, the spike in glucose can be a risk for diabetics who need to manage blood sugar levels closely. Honey Stinger Energy Chews contain multiple sugar sources, including organic tapioca syrup and organic honey, which contribute to this immediate blood sugar increase.

Carbohydrate Counting for Diabetics
Carbohydrate counting is a fundamental strategy for managing diabetes. Honey Stinger Energy Chews provide carbohydrate content on their packaging, crucial for those implementing this strategy. Each 50g packet contains approximately 39g of carbohydrates. Diabetics must factor in this carbohydrate load in relation to their meal planning and insulin requirements.

Glycemic Index Consideration
The glycemic index (GI) ranks food and beverages based on their potential to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI can result in a rapid spike, whereas low GI foods have a slower, gradual effect. Energy chews like Honey Stinger often fall into the high GI category. Thus, while they may be useful for athletes requiring immediate energy, they should be used cautiously by diabetics who manage their condition through low GI diets.

Risks of Hypoglycemia During Exercise
For diabetics, particularly those on insulin or certain oral medications, there is a risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) during prolonged physical activity. In such cases, consuming fast-acting carbohydrates like energy chews can quickly correct the hypoglycemia. That being said, monitoring and calculating the appropriate dosage is crucial to avoid an overcorrection leading to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels).

Energy Chews as a Tool Under Medical Advice
Healthcare professionals may recommend products like Honey Stinger Energy Chews for certain diabetic patients as part of their exercise regimen or to manage hypoglycemic episodes. However, individual patient responses vary, and such recommendations come with guidelines on timing, dosage, and blood sugar monitoring.

To conclude, the impact of Honey Stinger Energy Chews on blood sugar levels is complex and must be analyzed concerning the specific needs of people with diabetes. While the quick release of glucose can be an asset for correcting low blood sugar during exercise, it also carries the risk of problematic spikes in blood sugar levels. Diabetics considering these products should do so under the guidance of their healthcare provider and with a clear understanding of how to integrate them into their diabetes management plan.

Gastrointestinal Response to Energy Chews During Exercise

Energy chews, like Honey Stinger Energy Chews, are popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for a quick energy boost during prolonged activities. However, while they can provide essential carbohydrates for endurance, not all stomachs welcome these chewy supplements with open arms. Let's dissect the potential gastrointestinal (GI) responses and what factors may influence your experience.

Quick Energy, Quick Digestion?

These chews are designed to be fast-acting, supplying immediate sugars to the bloodstream. Formulated with simple carbohydrates, they can be quickly digested and absorbed. However, rapid ingestion of high-sugar content can sometimes overwhelm the digestive system, especially during exercise when blood flow is directed more towards muscles rather than digestive organs.

Chewing Under Duress

Unlike drinks or gels, chews require you to use your jaw – sounds simple, but mid-exercise, this can be a hassle. Moreover, insufficient chewing can lead to larger pieces entering the stomach, making digestion more difficult during physical exertion.

Individual Variability in Tolerance

It's imperative to note that tolerance to energy chews can be highly individual. Factors like stress, intensity of activity, and personal digestive health play significant roles. For some, energy chews are a gastric disaster waiting to happen; for others, they're a performance boon.

Fructose Frustrations

Evidence suggests that fructose, a sugar found in many chews including Honey Stinger, can cause malabsorption issues in some individuals, leading to symptoms such as cramping, bloating, or diarrhea. This is particularly true when consumed in isolation and in high amounts – a situation often seen in high-intensity sports scenarios (NCBI).

Hydration's Role

Dehydration exacerbates the risk of GI distress when consuming energy chews. Without adequate water, the high sugar concentration can draw water into the intestines, disrupting the fluid balance and contributing to uncomfortable symptoms (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition).

A Word on Fiber

While these chews are generally low in fiber to enhance digestibility, athletes with sensitive stomachs or predispositions to GI issues should be cautious. Even small amounts of fiber mid-exercise can be a trigger for discomfort.

Osmolality and Concentration

The osmolality of your energy chews, which refers to the concentration of particles in the product, plays a critical role. Products that are too concentrated (hyperosmolar) can slow gastric emptying and lead to reflux or bloating during vigorous activities.

In Practice: Moderation and Individualization

Experts in sports nutrition often recommend testing any energy supplement, including chews, during training rather than on the day of the event. It's also advised to start with smaller quantities and increase gradually to assess tolerance. Listening to one's body and responding to its cues is essential when integrating energy chews into your exercise regimen.

Concluding Thoughts from GI Experts

Gastroenterologists and dieticians specializing in sports nutrition continue to emphasize the importance of personal experience and trial-and-error. They advise moderation and gradual introduction of such supplements and underscore the need for accompanying hydration to help mitigate potential GI distress.

In conclusion, while Honey Stinger Energy Chews can be a convenient source of energy during exercise, it's clear that how your GI system responds is a complex dance of timing, individual physiology, and the product's composition. Keeping a keen eye on how your body reacts to these chews will steer your experience towards a positive one or signal that an alternative energy source may be necessary.

Balancing Energy Intake with Physical Activity: Who Should Eat Them?

When considering indulging in Honey Stinger Energy Chews, you must balance the intake of these calorie-dense snacks with your physical activity level. Designed for athletes and those with high-energy demands, these chews are not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Athletes and Endurance Runners: Individuals engaging in prolonged or intense exercise may benefit from the quick glucose source found in the chews, offering a performance boost. The simple carbs can provide an immediate energy supply that aids in maintaining endurance during extended workouts.

Cyclists and Trainers: For those involved in cycling, whether in a gym or on trails, these energy chews can offer a convenient on-the-go option to prevent energy dips. They are easily portable and can help replenish glycogen stores that are depleted during vigorous activity.

Hikers and Outdoor Enthusiasts: Long-distance hikers and those spending extended periods in the outdoors often require additional calories, making such concentrated energy sources a practical choice for sustaining their activity.

Caution for Sedentary Individuals: Those with a sedentary lifestyle or low physical activity should exercise caution. These chews are high in sugars and calories, which, if not utilized through physical activity, could lead to unwanted weight gain and an imbalance in blood sugar levels.

Recommended Usage for Active People: Before consuming, active individuals should consider the timing of their energy intake. It's generally advised to take these chews shortly before or during periods of physical activity when your body will most effectively utilize the immediate energy.

Considerations for Weight Management: Anyone watching their caloric intake for weight management purposes should be mindful of integrating these chews into their diet. Proper portion control and ensuring they are only consumed when necessary can align their use with weight goals.

While Honey Stinger Energy Chews can be beneficial in certain contexts, it's crucial to align their use with your physical energy needs. Casual snackers beware: this is not your conventional treat. They are a functional food, built for assisting the body during high-energy demands, not for passive consumption.

Frequently asked questions

No, Honey Stinger Energy Chews are not optimal for individuals following a low GI diet. These chews are made with ingredients such as organic tapioca syrup and organic honey, which are quick-releasing sugars that contribute to a higher glycemic index, resulting in a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. For those managing their diet based on the glycemic index, low GI foods that provide a slower, more gradual release of carbohydrates are advisable.

Diabetics may be able to use Honey Stinger Energy Chews for exercise-related energy replenishment or to correct hypoglycemia during physical activity, but this should only be done under strict medical guidance. Careful consideration of the timing, amount consumed, and the individual's overall carbohydrate management plan is crucial, and diabetics should monitor their blood sugar levels closely when using such products.

To minimize dental problems when consuming sticky energy chews, practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth within an hour of consumption. Alternatively, chew sugar-free gum or rinse your mouth with water to promote saliva production, which helps neutralize acid production by oral bacteria. Additionally, maintaining regular dental check-ups will help manage any issues arising from the consumption of sticky sweets.

When aiming for weight loss, it's important to balance caloric intake with energy expenditure. Consume Honey Stinger Energy Chews only around periods of significant physical activity where quick energy is essential, like before or during a workout. Be mindful of the serving size to avoid unnecessary calorie surplus, and consider these chews as part of the total daily caloric and carbohydrate allowance, not as an additional treat.

Ask a question about Honey Stinger Energy Chews and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • rapid blood sugar spike
  • energy crashes
  • digestive discomfort
  • tooth decay
  • potential overeating

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain (if inactive)
  • poor glycemic control
  • dental issues

Ingredients to be aware of


  • quick energy release for athletes
  • electrolyte replenishment
  • immune support via vitamin c
  • convenient on-the-go energy source
  • may prevent hypoglycemia during exercise (under medical advice)

Healthier alternatives

  • whole foods with natural sugars (fruits)
  • balanced meals with complex carbs
  • low glycemic index foods for blood sugar management
  • sugar-free gum for oral health
  • hydration with water

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews

  • Quick energy boost
  • Electrolyte replenishment
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Plant-based formula
  • Convenient on-the-go
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Joey Conners
Published on: 01-17-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Joey Conners
Published on: 01-17-2024

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