Giant HornetI was recently contacted by Rina Ward to sample and review Hornet Juice, a powdered drink that is supposed to boost athletic performance. For all of the buzz about Hornet Juice, I did not really know all that much about it. There are two websites that the company maintains. At, you can purchase the product, and at you can learn a bit more about what it is and how it works.

First, hornet juice is not your typical energy drink. Unlike Gatorade or Gu or other products of that nature, hornet juice does not actually replenish the fuel in your body as your work out. You could mix it with those products to get that sort of an effect, but that is not the purpose of taking it. The idea behind hornet juice is that it helps your body to metabolize fat for energy rather than glycogen. Theoretically, this would cause your glycogen stores to last longer, provide you with more readily available fuel than you might otherwise have during endurance exercise, and will help you burn off fat if you are currently trying to lose weight.

Despite the name, Hornet Juice does not contain any substances that are actually harvested from live hornets. It is not even juice; it is a powdered mixture that you shake into your water bottle. The idea for Hornet Juice comes from the Giant Japanese Hornet (Vespa Mandarinia), which can fly 50 to 100 kilometers per day despite being unable to eat any solid foods. The hornet kills other insects, and grinds up their bodies into a “meatball” that it feeds to young larvae. The larvae then secrete a protein solution that the adults consume. The ingredients in Hornet Juice are synthesized versions of the amino acids that are present in the solution created by the young hornets.

Hornet Juice aluminum packetThe concept does not sound completely preposterous, but it is hard to believe the claims made by the company. There are quite a few happy customer testimonials included on the websites, and Hornet Juice is known to have been used by at least a few Olympians. I recently read a positive product review by Thomas Bubendorfer over at Complete Running.

The website has a pretty good FAQ Page if you are interested in reading more about the product. The price ranges from $2.25/serving to $1.70/serving depending upon the quantity that you order, which while not cheap does put it at in the range of what you can expect to pay for most sports drinks.

If you are interested in the hornets themselves, I found this video on their site that is pretty interesting. It does not discuss the drink at all, but you can see where the inspiration came from:

I will write a review of the product itself once I have had a chance to sample it on a couple of long runs. Have you ever used Vaam (an earlier product available in Japan based on the same principles) or Hornet Juice? How did it work out for you?

Please Note: This is a sponsored post.