A Pilgrims’ Diet

The diet should be light, with a significant intake of carbohydrates. Meals should be small and adequate for the walk to be carried out. Breakfast is fundamental, with food that provides energy without overloading the stomach. Foods with a high carbohydrate content are preferable: pasta, cereals, dried fruit, etc. For dinner, choose a variety of foods, preferably hot dishes, and eat early to prevent sleeping through digestion.

Proper food intake is also essential for good hydration. Liquids should be ingested before, during and after the walk, approximately two litres of water per day (obviously this may vary depending on the season). These two litres should be divided up in a balanced way: two hours before starting each leg it is advisable to drink three glasses of water, and a quarter of an hour before, another two glasses. During the walk try to drink a glass every forty minutes or so.

Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water; good hydration prevents muscular problems, such as painful cramps. You should never cross the 15 km barrier without drinking. For this reason, always carry a small bottle of water or isotonic drinks with you, which help to replenish mineral salts. In this way, you will be able to fight fatigue by introducing small amounts of energy such as rapidly absorbed carbohydrates on time.

You should not wait until you are overwhelmed by the effort or overtired to take a break, as this will not promote recovery. Try to have an affordable pace that is independent of that of others to avoid saturation. If you get too tired, it will take longer to recover and you will find it more difficult. Walking should be something natural, not a punishment or an excessive strain on the body, so adjust the intensity of your walk and the number of stops to make it more bearable.

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