In 2014, British nutritionist Mike McIness published an interesting book entitled “The Honey Diet”, in which he recommends the consumption of honey in the evening. The book is based on two main ideas: modern obesity is caused by excessive consumption of carbohydrates and refined sugars (and not fats!), and bad sleep.
Honey contains a rich amount of nutrients, bioflavonoids and organic acids, and it is metabolized in a different way compared to refined sugars. These nutrients nourish the liver before going to bed, and provide the brain with energy during the night.
Studies performed on fructose at the University of Birmingham showed that fructose is key type of sugar that helps regenerating the liver. Because of this reason, every kind of sports drink contains fructose.
Mike McIness is a sports nutritionist who has discovered that honey is the best food to support the liver during exercise and the recovery period. The reason why an athlete crashes is the lack of fuel to the liver. When we eat dinner too early, the brain is forced to activate stress hormones, which stimulate the appetite by increasing the level of orexigenic hormones. Also, when we have dinner around six or 7 pm the liver remains without fuel to support the activity of the brain during the night.
McIness claims that to avoid this chain reaction, the liver has to be fed in the evening, just before going to bed. The sensation of hunger is created by the brain, which is looking for new energy sources, and not by the stomach which wants more food. 1–2 tablespoons of honey before going to bed will replenish the glycogen levels in the liver and the energy reserve of the brain, which helps in having a restful sleep.
A study performed at the University of Chicago has shown that people who sleep well lose more fat during a diet; in contrast, participants who were deprived of sleep lost more muscle mass instead of fat. On long term, the consumption of honey in the evening reduces stress, improves memory and the capacity of concentration, protects from damage caused by mental aging, and of degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.