Walking and fuelling for multi-day walks

Walking and fuelling for multi-day walks

The importance of nutrition and its timing for walking day after day.

If you're on a multi-day walk, whether it's covering a long distance footpath in Britain, or a trekking holiday across the Atlas Mountains or Himalayas, you have to pay much more attention to your diet than if you're just out for a half-day or even full day walk.

The usual rules apply: eat plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods, make sure you keep well-hydrated and avoid too much fat. The big difference between eating for multi-day walks and single day walks is your need to recover in order to have adequate energy for the demands of the following day.

Our bodies absorb nutrients most quickly in the first two hours after exercise

Sometimes it's difficult to eat and drink enough during the day, so your post-walk nutrition is absolutely vital. Research has shown that our bodies absorb nutrients most quickly in the first two hours after exercise. It's most important to keep properly hydrated. So as soon as you finish your walk, drink a big glass of water (500ml).

There are a number of sports drinks specifically designed for post-exercise consumption, with a higher concentration of protein and carbohydrate to help the muscles recover and repair in readiness for the next day. So make sure that you eat well in the evening after your walk, and try not to destroy all your good habits by celebrating each day with too many beers.

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