Powdered versus tablets, caffeinated versus not — there are lots of choices on the drink mix market. And now, there are a few more.
Honey Stinger makes performance chews and recovery snacks (you know those tasty waffles we’re talking about). Now, it also makes drinkable fuel. We reviewed its new Rapid Hydration mix products last week ahead of the launch.
Honey Stinger no doubt has some heavyweight competitors — like Nuun, Skratch Labs, and OSMO — in the hydration market. But Honey Stinger’s mix also has a leg up, as it’s the first honey-powered hydration mix out there.
“Our Rapid Hydration Mix is the first of its kind,” said Mike Keown, CEO of Honey Stinger. “Since we believe honey is one of the best energy sources for athletes, we worked to develop a hydration solution that’s based in science, is convenient to use, and tastes great.”
Honey Stinger worked with its Hive athletes and a team of nutritionists to develop the mix. It also made sure to develop it as a “complete system” — to fuel athletes before, during, and after exercise.
The Honey Stinger Hydration mixes feature six options in three tiers: Prepare, Perform, and Recover. Each mix has multiple flavor options. And the Perform mixes come in caffeinated and non-caffeinated options.
Here’s the nutrition breakdown: Each mix contains electrolytes, amino acids, zinc, sodium, potassium, and, of course, honey. The Prepare and Recover mixes have a 1:3 ratio of sodium to potassium, while the Perform mixes have a ratio of 3:1 sodium to potassium.
These ratios essentially mean that before and after working out, Honey Stinger pumps you with electrolytes to help with fluid balance and maintaining healthy muscles. During the workout, its mixes load you up with sodium to help replace fluid lost via sweat during activity.
Here are the six flavors:
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Pomegranate Passionfruit
- Mango Melon (50 mg caffeine)
- Black Cherry
- Berry Defense
- Tangerine Defense
Honey Stinger recommends mixing each with 16 ounces of water. Depending on the length of your run or endeavor, you may not want all those liquids. We tried the Perform mix in 16 ounces and 12 ounces, and both tasted great (the 12-ounce version wasn’t too salty or concentrated, though the flavor was much stronger).
So far, I’ve tested out the Strawberry Lemonade, Mango Melon, and Berry Defense flavors. I’m not a huge fan of Rubus berries (in processed foods), but the berry flavor was pretty good. And I enjoyed the performance mix with the added caffeine on a fast, early morning run on a particularly busy work day.
As someone who almost always just drinks water during runs and workouts, I did enjoy trying something different and feeling a bit of an electrolyte boost. And I’m happy enough with my initial taste test that I’ll try out a few more Honey Stinger hydration mixes on my next run.
Honey Stinger’s Rapid Hydration Mixes retail for $33 per 24-pack, on par with other brands’ bulk drink mix pricing, and are available on Amazon.