So a few months back, there was a big trending topic on TikTok claiming that honey and salt was the ‘ultimate pre-workout supplement’. Since the first video was posted by Kelsey Portillo, the trend has racked up over a billion views!

With that many views, it’s easy to assume that it must be true, right? In this article, I’ll answer the question, ‘How Does Honey and Himalayan Salt Work as a Pre-Workout?’. Using the science behind each ingredient, I’ll help you to understand if it really is an effective alternative to pre-workout or just a viral fad.

Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt to 1-2 tablespoons of honey around 15-30 minutes before exercise. The natural sugars in the honey will provide an energy boost while the electrolytes in the salt will help keep you hydrated and improve endurance.

What is Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout supplements are extremely popular. Not to be confused with protein powders, they provide caffeine for energy, creatine for strength, and ingredients like beta-alanine and citrulline to boost endurance. However, some people experience jitters, crashes, or other unwanted side effects from the stimulants and artificial additives.

The usual ingredients found in pre-workout and their intended effects include:

  • Caffeine – A stimulant that boosts energy, focus, and concentration
  • Creatine – Supports muscle strength, power output, and growth
  • Citrulline – Enhances blood flow and oxygen delivery for endurance
  • Beta-Alanine – Reduces lactic acid build-up allowing for higher training volume
  • BCAAs – Aids muscle protein synthesis and delays fatigue

These main ingredients provide performance-enhancing effects that make pre-workout an appealing supplement for hardcore training.

But what about those who want to avoid a manufactured supplement? Let’s have a look at how honey and Himalayan salt can be used as a pre-workout alternative.

Why Use Honey and Salt as a Pre-Workout?

Salt helps hydrate and balance electrolyte levels and is found in many sports drinks and energy gels. Honey is a natural source of simple sugars like fructose, glucose and sucrose making it a quick source of energy for the body.

Studies carried out at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, found that cyclists who took honey before completing a 40-mile endurance race were able to finish 3 minutes faster than those who took nothing. Cyclists who took dextrose supplements also finished 3 minutes earlier than those who took nothing. This shows that honey is just as effective an energy source as dextrose.

How Does Raw Honey Provide Energy?

Unlike processed sugar, honey causes less fluctuation in blood sugar levels thanks to its low glycemic index.

The fructose in honey is metabolized by the liver, providing a steady stream of glucose to your muscles over a longer time. This sustained energy release prevents the dreaded energy crashes some pre-workouts can cause.

Honey also contains compounds like chrysin that are linked to more efficient energy metabolism.

Athletes who consume honey before exercise can maintain optimal muscle glycogen levels longer, enabling them to work out harder and longer.

According to this study on the medicinal uses of honey, the sugars from honey can be absorbed into the bloodstream without them being digested first. This provides an energy boost and preserves muscle glycogen stores.

The Proven Health Benefits Of Honey

Why Add Himalayan Salt?

While honey gives you energy, Himalayan salt offers electrolyte replenishment to balance fluid levels and prevent cramps. It contains over 80 naturally occurring major and trace minerals, many of which are lost in sweat during intense training.

The key electrolytes found in Himalayan salt that are beneficial as a pre-workout include:

  • Sodium – This mineral is essential for muscle contractions, nerve signalling, fluid balance and more. Low sodium can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and nausea which hamper your workouts.
  • Potassium – Potassium works closely with sodium to maintain optimal fluid levels in and around muscle cells. Lack of potassium also manifests in painful cramps and weakness.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium supports energy production, protein synthesis, and muscle contractions. Athletes deficient in magnesium tend to have reduced endurance capacity.
  • Calcium – While not a classic electrolyte, the small amount of calcium in Himalayan salt plays a role in muscle contractions and nerve signalling.

Consuming just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt in water upon waking and/or 20-30 minutes pre-workout helps replenish these electrolytes lost while training hard.

The Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt

Antioxidant Benefits

Intense exercise causes oxidative stress in the body, which contributes to inflammation and muscle fatigue. The antioxidants in raw honey and Himalayan salt can help counter this:

– Honey contains polyphenols like chrysin and vitamin C with antioxidant properties.

– Minerals like zinc, selenium, and copper provided by Himalayan salt also have antioxidant effects.

By reducing oxidative damage from your workout, this honey and salt combo may help speed muscle recovery.

Pros and Cons of Using Honey and Salt as a Pre-Workout Alternative


  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Provides quick and sustained energy via honey
  • Essential electrolytes to prevent dehydration, fatigue and cramps
  • Antioxidants to counter exercise-induced stress leading to faster recovery.
  • Inexpensive compared to many pre-workouts


  • The sugar content in honey may need to be monitored by some
  • Lacks stimulants like caffeine or beta-alanine
  • Small chance of allergic reaction to honey in some people

Overall the pros seem to outweigh the cons for using honey and Himalayan salt pre-workout for most people. It’s a natural, safer alternative to a traditional pre-workout powder.

Conclusion – Is Honey and Salt the ‘Ultimate Pre-Workout Supplement’?

Taking 1-2 tablespoons of honey around 15-30 minutes before exercise will give you an effective energy boost. Adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt will boost your salts and electrolytes, reducing the possibility of cramps and increasing endurance.

While honey and Himalayan salt won’t completely mimic your usual pre-workout powders completely, you might be surprised by their impact. Your energy boost is coming from honey rather than caffeine meaning you’re not as likely to experience the post-workout crash that some get from pre-workout formulas.

So while honey and Himalayan salt may not be the ‘ultimate’ pre-workout, it is definitely a more affordable, natural option that will increase energy levels, endurance, and strength training performance for many.

Why not give honey and Himalayan salt a shot next time you train? Or even combine with other natural pre-workout alternatives to boost your performance?

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