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July 31, 2012

Honey Stinger Lemon Waffle and Organic Gel Review and Giveaway (With an Olympic Twist)

When I had the chance to introduce Honey Stinger energy products here about 6 months ago, I pointed out that of the four products I sampled, only three of them were worth recommending. 

One of them in particular – the stroopwafel-inspired Stinger Waffle – was through the roof awesome, both from a taste standpoint, and for being unlike pretty much any other energy product on the market. They came in three flavors, and they were clearly the favorite of my family on a long day of hiking and taste testing.   

At the other end of the spectrum was the company’s energy gels, which were so bad that I couldn’t even finish a single pack: every flavor that I tested ended up squeezed out onto the ground.  Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly a high point of my product testing career.

On that note, this summer I have a few points of good news.  The first is that Honey Stinger has reinvented its gel formula to debut a product line of organic energy gels in three new flavors.  The better news is that they’ve recently introduced a new flavor of the delicious waffles that my kids and I got to sample.

And the best news is that a few readers will get to try each of these new products for themselves.  That’s right – it’s giveaway time again!  But before we get to that, we should probably promote the products a little more.

Like last time, the standout in this product bunch is the Stinger Waffle, this time in a new lemon flavor.  In my previous review post I explained how the classic stroopwafel originated in the Netherlands over 200 years ago, and are popular with European cyclists looking for a quick burst of energy on long bike rides.

It even looks like a waffle

The old-school version is made with syrup filling between two layers of baked batter, but Honey Stinger’s version is a certified USADA organic product, using organic honey and other organic ingredients for a 160-calorie energy shot that’s easy to carry with you for a long day on the road or trail. 

The new lemon flavor is quite mild, and not nearly as tart as I anticipated.  It joins the existing Honey Stinger lineup of original (honey), vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate – and from a taste standpoint, I’d rank them somewhere in the middle: just behind strawberry and vanilla, and better than the original or chocolate.  Of course, that’s my personal preference, and yours may vary – which is why it would be cool to try them, right?

Our other giveaway product represents something of an improvement, but I have to say I’m not completely fired up about them yet.  Honey Stinger’s new organic energy gels are certainly better tasting than the previous gel products – which, incidentally, are still available if you’re one who happened to like them – but to my liking, they’re not quite on par with my favorites from GU and CLIF Shot.

The new gels are each USADA certified organic (as are CLIF’s), and are available in Vanilla, Fruit Smoothie and Acai Pomegranate flavors.  They combine organic tapioca syrup, organic honey and electrolytes, and each packet provides 100 calories of quick energy. 

Honey Stinger’s gels have a very thin consistency to begin with, and the new organic varieties seem even thinner than the others – they’re so thin as to drip out of the pack almost like a liquid.  My favorite flavor of this bunch is the acai pomegranate, possibly because it’s such a unique offering in the gel category.  The vanilla flavor is extremely sweet, and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the vanilla flavors from … honestly, from pretty much everybody else.   

When I complained about the taste of honey-based gels last time, a number of readers responded with comments about how much they like them, so I’m open to the possibility that this is just an individual aversion of mine.  Which is yet another reason that it’s good to have other opinions involved … and have I mentioned that we’re doing a giveaway? 

So here we go: three winners selected at random below will receive the same sample packet of lemon waffles and organic energy gels that I tested.  But since I’m in the midst of Olympic mania, I’m adding an additional twist to earn extra entries.

Remember yesterday when I suggested that slacklining might be considered an Olympic sport someday?  If you come up with another suggested sport, you get an additional entry in the hat.  Be creative.  Be funny.  And who knows, you may prove to be clairvoyant someday.  However, you can’t use a sport that someone else has suggested, so enter early, or scroll through the previous entries so you don’t disqualify yourself.

Winners will be announced this Sunday night, August 5th.  Special thanks to Honey Stinger for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!

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Nate 7/31/12, 9:33 PM  


I say Tug of War for an Olympic Sport!

Jay Fast 7/31/12, 9:38 PM  

catfish noodling

Unshod Ashish 7/31/12, 9:57 PM  

Honey wrestling. You know, kinda the opposite of mud wrestling. In honey wrestling, you stick together.

The loser is fed to the audience.

krystyna47 7/31/12, 10:54 PM  

I'm in!
I wish there'd be the sport of rollerblading in the Olympics, really cool rollerblading tricks!

Frank Proulx 7/31/12, 11:05 PM  

Let's go with olympic beer pong, every frat bro's life dream.

jonnyb 8/1/12, 1:54 AM  

How can no one yet have suggested Dodge Ball!

Kurt 8/1/12, 3:58 AM  

Ultra running!

BE 8/1/12, 4:14 AM  

IN for it all - but like you, so far I prefer GU. What's missing from the Oly's is roller skiing - XC for the summer games.

Blake 8/1/12, 4:27 AM  

In. I'd be willing to bet MMA becomes an olympic sport in the next few years.

James 8/1/12, 5:04 AM  

Ultimate Frisbee. Growing in popularity at an amazing rate, especially at the youth level.

Katie,  8/1/12, 5:08 AM  

I'm in how about some lacrosse in the Olympics

Kelly 8/1/12, 5:10 AM  

Bring back softball!

Ray 8/1/12, 5:20 AM  

Baseball! How can that not be an Olympic sport anymore????

I would also like to see an obstacle course style event.

Hall Penn 8/1/12, 6:01 AM  

How about Olympic Youtube commenting?

Go Gators 8/1/12, 6:20 AM  

Cinnamon challenge

Rob 8/1/12, 6:25 AM  

Pogo Stick competition

Ty 8/1/12, 6:34 AM  

How about hopscotch!

BknB,  8/1/12, 6:45 AM  

Count me IN!

What about olympic milk chugging?!

grimzeak 8/1/12, 7:00 AM  

Thumb wrestling for 2016!

JimDog 8/1/12, 7:00 AM  

Count me in!!!

As for my extra entry, how about skateboarding. It's already super popular in the X-Games...might as well make it an Olympic sport!

islander 8/1/12, 7:05 AM  

Rock climbing gets my vote.

Matthew 8/1/12, 7:16 AM  

Enough of this cycling with two wheels, how about a unicycle race.

Jeff Lisson 8/1/12, 7:18 AM  

Cooking. I'd make it like the tv show "Chopped," where Olympians had to make three-course meals with crazy mystery ingredients.

Ted Darling,  8/1/12, 7:33 AM  

How about slip and slide competition?

Akemi,  8/1/12, 7:48 AM  

It always seemed to me that since judo is an Olympic sport, karate should be too.

Alejandro Mares 8/1/12, 8:01 AM  

Sign me up....olympic sport, thumb wrestling

chris s.,  8/1/12, 8:15 AM  

Definitely cornhole! (and require each athlete to consume 1 beer per round). I could be an Olypian yet...

Steven Peterson 8/1/12, 8:16 AM  

I think the vertical kilometer should be included. Maybe a downhill version.

Matt Conn 8/1/12, 8:58 AM  

I want to see lacrosse in the summer Olympics... but seriously, can we get some Olympic love for cup stacking?

bf in az 8/1/12, 9:11 AM  

Juggling (but not joggling--that's just silly)

btw Nate, tug of war used to be in the Olympics.

Joyce 8/1/12, 9:28 AM  

Well, I'm super excited for the inclusion of Sevens Rugby, but is is too much to ask for regular old Rugby Union?

Megan 8/1/12, 9:32 AM  

How bout kite boarding? Water skiing? So many great water sports out there!(unless they're Olympic sports and I'm clueless about it)

Mike Allen 8/1/12, 9:56 AM  

Love the lemon!
And in honor... maybe Lemon Eating.. or any food challenge for that matter.

A 8/1/12, 10:00 AM  

Wife Carrying is getting pretty popular. Hopefully that can make in to the olympics one day!

Rhonda 8/1/12, 10:26 AM  

I'm in!


Kelly Covert 8/1/12, 10:27 AM  

What about Olympic Staring Contests??

Chris 8/1/12, 11:47 AM  

Would love some honey stinger samples. Ultra running should be an Olympic sport...but even better... ultra CREWING! Best crew wins a medal. Sweet.


rbrown10 8/1/12, 11:50 AM  

Count me in.

Olympic wiffle ball.

Yo Momma Runs 8/1/12, 12:26 PM  

Totally in.

What about Olympic hacky sacking?

Aranan 8/1/12, 12:52 PM  

Olympic Rubik's Cube solving!

I'm slightly scared of and intrigued by the Stinger gels. I still have yet to find a gel that works for me, but since I haven't tried Stingers there is yet hope!

Jeffrey Luk 8/1/12, 1:01 PM  

I'm in! Jiu Jitsu!

The Dude 8/1/12, 1:12 PM  

Count me in. As much as I hate the game, I figure golf is coming.

Kate 8/1/12, 2:01 PM  

I'd like to try these!

My proposed sport: tree climbing! (unaided with any ropes or equipment or anything. Just pure childhood attitude!)

Nicole 8/1/12, 3:26 PM  

I'd love to try these!

I think frisbee golf should be included!

Paulie,  8/1/12, 3:59 PM  

Yum--I've had the stroopwafels before and they're awesome!

Olympic twister.

SirWinstonPit,  8/1/12, 4:12 PM  

I am in. Love honey. I am also a beekeeper. Just extracted about 50 pounds of honey yesterday.

How about boomerang throwing.


DavidS 8/1/12, 6:17 PM  

Count me in please. I think team cross country would be a great olympic sport.

Jeff Gallup 8/1/12, 7:03 PM  

Count me in!

And.. Synchronized bowling... yep.. that's righ.

David 8/1/12, 8:50 PM  

Count me in- and for Olympic bonus... how about team persistence hunting?? that or synchronized kite dancing.

cody r.,  8/1/12, 10:08 PM  

want, they look real good!

as for an olympic sport...

freaking kick ball... that would be so awesome

and for a sexy sport...i think it was just beach soccer or it was called something else. How could you not want the uniforms to be body paint?

TheRunningNobody 8/1/12, 11:06 PM  

I'm in ! ... i'd go for a staring contest ... no laughs

xJOSHx 8/2/12, 4:25 AM  

I love the stinger waffles!

I'm surprised no one said the half marathon yet. If they made it an Olympic sport, I bet we would start seeing some amazing times below 60 mins.

andy 8/2/12, 9:05 AM  

Big Wheel racing

Anonymous,  8/2/12, 10:59 AM  

I really like the fruit smoothie chews, so I'm curious about the gels.

And, uh, walking on your hands.

-- Mike Weston

qrtrmiler 8/2/12, 12:59 PM  

Let's get "CrossFit" into the games! And please count me in!

sean 8/2/12, 2:01 PM  

Lets see Bicycle Polo in the next Olympics

Josh 8/2/12, 3:12 PM  

imagine the tension during a heated croquet match in Hyde Park between the US and China!

thanks! Josh S

george 8/2/12, 4:08 PM  

Love the lemon! Entering too late to snag ultrarunning or cross country, so I'll go with either shin-kicking or rock climbing.

wattage 8/3/12, 3:08 AM  


Great contest!!!

Regarding the extra entry: given the popularity of Triathlon in general and the Ironman distance in particlar, I guess that in the relativly near future we will see 3.9 km of swimming, 180 km of biking and 42 km of runnig at the Olympic Games.

Take care

EmilyA,  8/3/12, 4:11 AM  

I'm in! How about olympic chore-dodging? Competition at the junior levels would be particularly intense.

Jen 8/3/12, 7:48 AM  

Love the waffles! They are like dessert.
I'd hate to see slacklining in the Olympics. They seem to ruin everything somehow. How about roller derby?

Jason 8/3/12, 12:50 PM  

I'm in

How about Hashing?

Elena V 8/4/12, 6:17 PM  

Cow tipping!


hilary 8/4/12, 11:24 PM  

I don't think I can top honey wrestling or catfish noodling, but flying trapeze?

Super curious about the gels (and the lemon waffles; tried the original waffles and liked them, tried the vanilla and nearly gagged...)

Cassie R. 8/4/12, 11:27 PM  

I'd love to win! cccheer88@aol.com

Cassie R. 8/4/12, 11:27 PM  

Hula Hooping! cccheer88@aol.com

Tina @GottaRunNow 8/5/12, 1:34 PM  

How about a slip and slide competition?!

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