Term of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Amy Jo Riggs

Committee Member 1

Stephen Rossi

Committee Member 2

A. Barry Joyner


Author's abstract: Carbohydrate supplementation has been associated with increased performance in aerobic and anaerobic activity. Honey, specifically, has shown to increase performance in aerobic exercise as well as provide other health benefits. The purpose of this study was to see if honey, a natural substance, has a positive effect on anaerobic performance, rates of perceived exertion, and gastrointestinal distress. Subjects consisted of 18 healthy, Division 1 collegiate male soccer players (19.39 ± 0.85 yr, 75.39 ± 7.97 kg). All had no allergies and were cleared for participation by a certified athletic trainer. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Each group tested on a specific day of the week for three weeks. After consuming the same meal the night before, adhering to a 10 hour fast, and 10 hour refrain from exercise before testing, they reported to practice and blindly ingested one of three different supplements (9.5oz. of flavored water, 9.5oz. of PowerAde, and 1 Tablespoon of honey mixed with 3oz. of water). They were given a different supplement each week in a random order based on their group assignment. Immediately after ingestion, they were given 15 minutes to complete the team warm up and prepare to run a repeated anaerobic sprint test (RAST). Subjects then ran the RAST and times were recorded and analyzed looking at maximum, minimum, and mean power, and fatigue index. Immediately following the RAST, subjects answered questions about gastrointestinal distress, and rated their perceived exertion. Pre-test carbohydrate ingestion showed no significant effect on maximum, minimum, or mean power, fatigue index, or rate of perceived exertion (p>0.05) for any of the three supplements. Some subjects experienced gastrointestinal distress, but side effects were minimal under all supplements. This study found that the ingestion of honey before an anaerobic performance test does not improve performance. However, it also did not cause any detrimental side effects to decrease performance. Because carbohydrate supplementation has been shown to improve performance and neither of the supplements improved performance over the placebo, further research needs to be done.

Research Data and Supplementary Material