*Disclaimer: I was provided product in exchange for an unbiased review
I was excited when I was first contacted by HoneyMaxx to give their product a review. As a health conscious athlete an all natural sports drink that would possibly increase my performance was a dream come true! I've now been testing HoneyMaxx for about 2 weeks now alternating it with my normal nutrition to see if there was a noticeable difference with either an increase or decline in performance. Unfortunately for me I got a batch of Orange, which I'm not a huge fan of, I would have much rather tested the lemon-lime flavor but that is my fault for not giving a preference.
Ride 1: My first experience didn't start out great, as I really dislike orange flavored sports drinks. I took 2 scoops in a 24 oz bottle as I was only riding 2 hours and I didn't need any more nutrition then that. Since HoneyMaxx is honey based it does not dissolve as easily as sugar based nutrition. I didn't realize this and not only were my first sips orange, but a very watered down orange. On the other hand the longer the solution sat in my water bottle, the better it tasted and by the end of my ride I actually started to enjoy the orange flavor with a hint of honey.
My first test was an interval workout. During my ride I experienced a constant stream of energy with no spikes or crashes however I was still feeling the workouts from the previous few days, including the providence half marathon which I raced hard. I wasn't expecting any super human performances 3 days after a hard race, and I didn't get any which wasn't a surprise.
Ride 2: After getting used to the flavor on my first ride I was excited to try and see what I would do with a little more recovery and a different workout on a similar route. While I rode the same exact route as I did on Tuesday to compare it was a different workout as I was pushing a 20 minute interval on Tuesdays workout, where I was just aiming for a steady state ride on Friday. My average wattage was slightly lower on Fridays workout with HoneyMaxx with my peak 20 minute power being 277 vs 301 on Tuesday when I was pushing. My ride with Honeymaxx was only 20 seconds slower giving me an average speed of 20.5, instead of the 20.6 I averaged on Tuesday. I came away from this ride more than pleased with my performance and the performance of HoneyMaxx, I even started to acquire a taste for the orange flavor. As I noted in my first ride the longer it sits in the bottle, the better it tastes!
Ride 3: My third ride was an absolute nightmare, though I don't believe it had anything to do with HoneyMaxx. It was the first time all year I had to deal with hot and humid temperatures, and I do not do well in heat. With an observed high of 86 degrees that came out of nowhere I was doomed from the start. I just seem to melt in the heat and so far there has been nothing that has allowed me to combat that, unfortunately for me HoneyMaxx was no different. I finished my ride much slower than normal with an average power about 30 watts off a normal ride. I also found myself spraying myself down with my garden hose because the heat was so unbearable when I got home from riding. If I was ever to use HoneyMaxx in a race, I would definitely need to supplement with extra electrolytes, however that is no different than any other sports drink on the market. On the bright side even in the heat the taste did not go sour, as warm as it got the flavor did not get any worse.
Ride 4: This ended up being an indoor ride at the last minute. Low 40 degree temperatures combined with rain forced me inside in to a computrainer studio for the first time in months. HoneyMaxx kept me hydrated indoors just as well as outdoors and once again delivered a steady energy performance. It allowed me to hit my workout goals on the bike and even provide me with enough energy to run a few miles easily after a tough 90 minute ride. My max 20 minute power on this ride as 303 watts (3.9 watts/kg), which was the highest I had seen with HoneyMaxx, and slightly higher than the 301 watts that I had achieved 2 weeks prior with my normal sports drink in a normal workout, non testing setting.
Ride 5: This ride was in the pouring rain and in the low 50's. I loaded up my bottle more than normal with 4 scoops to see if anything would be different. I only ended up being out for about 90 minutes because I felt the rain was getting to the point where it was making my ride dangerous so I called it a day. Again nothing really to note here, the drink performed well in the conditions given. Since my ride was cut short I certainly could have gotten by without any nutrition, but I did have a few swigs from my bottle. In addition the fuel that I took in allowed me to rip off a nice paced 5 mile brick run off the bike consuming absolutely nothing until I got home.
Ride 6: I went back to my interval workout that I first attempted with HoneyMaxx a few weeks later, I was extremely pleased with how I was able to hold a steady power throughout my interval, and recover in time enough in time to do it again. In between each interval I would have a swig from my bottle. After my intervals I continued on and rode another 20 miles because it was such a nice day for a change and I just wanted to ride, HoneyMaxx again provided me with a consistent energy source for my whole training session.
1. The biggest pro is that the drink is honey based instead of sugar with only 7 grams of sugars vs the 16 grams or more that you normally see in other leading sports drinks.
2. The fact that it takes a long time to dissolve can also be considered a positive as you can use the mixture to possibly create a gel for use while running.
3. Consistent energy from a drink that doesn't create any peaks and valleys. Not having to worry about crashing and bonking is key!
4. At roughly $1.10 a serving it's pricing is in line with several other top brands, it's slightly more expensive, however you can likely get away with using less product since using the product does not create the spikes that sugar based products do.
1. Not enough electrolytes (for me) for hot days
2. Takes a long time to dissolve, making bottles hard to clean after use.
3. This is a personal preference, but the orange flavor, as much as the taste become acquired over prolonged use I'm still not a fan. I usually race and train with exclusively lemon-lime sports drinks as long as I can help it.
While I can't provide any empirical evidence that HoneyMaxx is better than your current sports drink I can't say it's any worse either. In my testing I got consistent results using both my normal go to training drink and HoneyMaxx that proved they were on the same playing field. Given that information a seriously health conscious athlete might want to chose HoneyMaxx just for the simple fact it has less sugar and provides the same results. In all HoneyMaxx is an exciting alternative to your traditional sugar based cocktail and definitely worth a look.