A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement


Buy any book, get free camino shell

Protein bars yes or no?

Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
#1
I'm a 64 year old who will soon be walking the Camino,(10 days). I was thinking it might be a good idea to eat a protein bar each day,is that a good idea? Also when's the best time of day to eat one?
 
Camino(s) past & future
July/ Aug (2016): StJPdP to Viana
Apr (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz
Apr (2018): Castrojeriz to Leon
#3
Whilst there is plenty to eat on The Way it is not always the right fayre.
On our second foray (in April) we had "shivers" etc at the end of the day, even when it was warm during the day. The protein bars did eradicate this on the third foray (again in April). I'm 53 - maybe it's something with us being more senior, but I thought they helped keep us in balance. My only issue was they seemed to encourage flatulence in my walking partner; and as he is was usually upwind I got an extra flavour
 
Last edited:

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#4
What are protein bars? Serious question. I usually rely on available proteins, carbs and even the occasional vegetable that appears with the menu del dia (hint: Never eat the menu peregrino - its just local humour and you might not get the joke).

If I feel a serious need for protein or that I've done some muscle damage then I'll eat somewhere that can serve me some serious, meat, fish or legume/rice combination and take a rest day.

Carb rich is good while walking, though I would advise avoiding the dread Musli bar available in every tienda: in fact, to be honest; Tortilla hits the spot 9 times a day with whatever for supper ;)
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Fisterra-Muxia (Sept/Oct 2017)
#8
For those of us with hummingbird metabolisms and a body that runs best with more protein, I found out early on that acquiring healthy food that was protein laden was difficult. As such, I carried an entire jar of peanut butter at all times and resupplied it in major cities. (I think I ate 5 jars from Roncevalles to Muxia). The extra weight was worth it to me. That said, everyone is different. Don’t let other people convince you what works best for you to feel optimal strength. You will be able to adjust along the way of what you decide to do isn’t working.
Edit: I dislike cheese so that was not an option for me.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#9
If you are looking for a high protein snack to eat on camino, without stopping for a meal, I would recommend Spanish cheese. The hard, well-cured queso de ovejas (sheep cheese) is delicious with an apple and you can stop for lunch or a snack anywhere
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#10
I pack a few protein bars with me when I walk. I know I am hungry if one of those things starts sounding like a good idea. I would much rather eat cheese, smoked sausage, bread and an orange. However! There have been times when I have been out of food while walking when I didn't get into the village at the right time, or when I had to hustle, and I was really glad to have them. Last month I ended up walking in a wind storm (Storm Ali, Northern Ireland), and couldn't find a sheltered place where I could unpack my sandwich. (The gusts were up 80 mph.). And then about a year ago, while walking from Le Puy to Conques, I decided on the spur of the moment to take an alternate route and ended up hustling to get to a village in time to get a key to the Community Center (mat on floor in heated room) from the village office before it closed. I had no time to take a detour through the one village I walked through. It was good to have a protein bar to munch and swallow and keep going.
 

rick1977

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
At some point, perhaps 2018.
#12
The US recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per day per kg of bodyweight. I think that's on the (very) low side however. Doing something aerobic and catabolic like long distance walks I'd definitely want to consume more protein than that so my body could rebuild any lean muscle mass lost walking on the camino. I guess it depends upon how much protein you're consuming now, and how much you reasonably could be expected to consume on a diet readily available on the camino. Supplementing your protein intake via protein bars doesn't strike me as unreasonable at all.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#13
I pack them for each Camino. This fall on the Primitivo we had a few days with not much in the way of services and the bars gave us a nice boost when we were running out of steam.
Not all routes are like the Francis which has a coffee stop (especially the last 100 k) every 50 feet or so.
 

Footlose

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2019
#14
Bring or buy your protein bars. I plan on buying almonds on arrival and eat that for protein in the mornings as a healthy supplement. I see so often the breakfasts are a chocolate croussant= so unhealthy for a walking active person who is trying to fuel their body.
 
Camino(s) past & future
July/ Aug (2016): StJPdP to Viana
Apr (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz
Apr (2018): Castrojeriz to Leon
#16
#17
I found plenty of protein for snacking - nuts, cheese, chorizo, etc. Add fresh or dried fruit and you have a nice combo. As others have said, Spanish tortilla is ubiquitous. There are also hard boiled eggs in the small groceries. Spanish cuisine has quite a bit of meat in it too. I never had any trouble finding protein.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#20
Whilst there is plenty to eat on The Way it is not always the right fayre.
On our second foray (in April) we had "shivers" etc at the end of the day, even when it was warm during the day. The protein bars did eradicate this on the third foray (again in April). I'm 53 - maybe it's something with us being more senior, but I thought they helped keep us in balance. My only issue was they seemed to encourage flatulence in my walking partner; and as he is was usually upwind I got an extra flavour
You were probably slightly dehydrated, not lacking in protein. If the weather is warm and you do not drink enough, it sneaks up on you without you realising what is wrong. Having once experienced it when it was obviously dehydration (really hot day), I now recognise the symptoms, and always carry salt+sugar or a rehydration sachet.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
#21
I'm a 64 year old who will soon be walking the Camino,(10 days). I was thinking it might be a good idea to eat a protein bar each day,is that a good idea? Also when's the best time of day to eat one?
Was 64 on my first camino 5 years ago. Never had any need for protein bars but I did bring a few, along with nuts raisins and a couple of sugar free energy gels, to get me over the Pyrenees. They were good for a tasty snack with a drink of water but actually quite unnecessary. The only food I liked to carry were small tins of tuna but only because I particularly like tuna. Everything you need will be in the supermarkets and restaurants
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#22
I'm a 64 year old who will soon be walking the Camino, (10 days)
You are not going to suffer from a protein deficiency during 10 days of camino walking. You don't even have to eat tortillas every day. Protein is in many foods, starting with your freshly pressed orange juice (yes), your croissant (yes) and your caffe con leche (obviously), then your ham and cheese bocadillo, and ending with your pilgrim's meal with spaghetti bolognaise or chicken, pork or fish with chips/fries.

Protein bars are energy bars that have the advantage of being less stuffed with fat and sugar (but not much less) than other energy bars. I often have a few in my backpack as a "just in case" food. But I prefer a banana, cashew nuts or peanuts, or a boiled egg if you can get it. More often than not it's stale bread, purchased yesterday, with or without cheese or preferably saliccion or lomo.

If you get any protein bars from home, test-eat them first. Quite a few taste downright awful.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#23
It is not necessary. As others have explained there are plenty of protein-rich foods available on the Camino.

Spanish tortilla (a potato & egg pie), nuts (frutas secos), and a broad variety of excellent cheese and meats / fish, provide adequate protein.

Personally, I have a medical issue requiring that I use protein supplements daily to ensure I get enough. This is more than I can reasonable consume the old-fashioned way. So, I use individual packets of medical quality protein, flavored and water-solvable.

Just as an aside, one week of these supplements adds one pound to my rucksack, or 1 kilo every two weeks.

Hope this helps.
 

rick1977

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
At some point, perhaps 2018.
#24
It's all about the *quantity* of protein you need and you consume. I'm no nutritionist, but I'd say given the increased amount of exercise you'll be doing on the camino (coupled with the fact that many people lose weight on the camino, indicating they're in a caloric deficit) it's a good idea to consume more protein than normal, and supplementation might be right if some of the protein-rich food you generally consume won't be readily available on the camino.

Sure protein is in a ton of foods, including tortilla. But in terms of macronutrients as a percentage of total calories, the amount of protein in tortilla is pretty small. Fat is far more calorically dense than either carbs or protein, 9 calories per gram for the former and 4 calories each for the latter. And it goes without saying thanks to olive oil and potatoes there's a ton of fat and carbs in tortilla, and relatively speaking little protein. According to Nutritionix, there are 12 grams of protein in a 275 gram serving of tortilla, but that only makes up 11% of the caloric intake. Fat and carbs are the remaining 89%

https://www.nutritionix.com/i/nutritionix/tortilla-espanola-1-piece/577d8a5d86272be56ae7eb49

A protein bar (at least the ones I'm familiar with) is going to have a similar amount of protein in it, but far less in the way of fat and carbs, and thus total calories. Making it far more protein rich than tortilla.
 

robproct

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon
#26
I bought half a kilo of cashews in Alice Springs a few weeks ago when walking The Lara Pinta Trail and now still have a few left after walking from Lisbon to Porto. The are great to carry when you feel you really need something to keep going. One stretch of the Portuguese has 16km km without even water so on the Francis it’s easy you can just relax and not stress about what , when and if you can eat. Eat protein at night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
July/ Aug (2016): StJPdP to Viana
Apr (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz
Apr (2018): Castrojeriz to Leon
#27
You were probably slightly dehydrated, not lacking in protein. If the weather is warm and you do not drink enough, it sneaks up on you without you realising what is wrong. Having once experienced it when it was obviously dehydration (really hot day), I now recognise the symptoms, and always carry salt+sugar or a rehydration sachet.
You're spot on about the issue of not being well hydrated. When walking in hot weather I routinely add rehydration sachet to my water - picked this tip up from the forum before my first stage. I'm a bit of a tyrant with myself on keeping myself well hydrated with walking. Still felt the bars did a job for us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#28
I say yes, why not carry a protein bar or 2 if you think you might need them. I carried 6, gave away 4 to people who were clearly in need of food. When those were gone, I bought dried fruit and nuts and created a zip lock bag of trail mix. There were days when that was breakfast (allergic to eggs, cheese) and lunch. Dinner usually offered adequate protein but for long treks, I would never leave without a backup food supply. I walked the Frances to Ponferrada, then bused to Oviedo and did the Primitivo over about 6-7 weeks. I learned the hard way to never start out with no food in my pack. If you think you may need it, take it. It's not as easy to find protein bars (by which I mean those with 9+ grams of protein) at the little tiendas along the way. There are loads of granola bars but if you check the protein content, it may not be what you think it is. In general, you need a hiking shop or a big market to find true protein bars. Hence the homemade bag of trailmix. Do what works best for you. (I also carried 4-5 tangerines each day for hydration). Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#29
One stretch of the Portuguese has 16km km without even water so on the Francis it’s easy you can just relax and not stress about what , when and if you can eat.
@robproct
If you have walked the Frances as well as the Portuguese you will know that there is a similar stretch (Brierley measures it as 17 km.) between Carrion de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza, with no facilities: no water or toilets, only a mobile cafe in the summer. There was no mobile cafe present on this stretch on either of the occasions when I walked this stretch in October. My conclusion is that, on any camino route, it is wise to always carry adequate water.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
QuailHiker Food and drink on the Camino de Santiago 10
long trails Food and drink on the Camino de Santiago 28

OLDER threads on this topic



Most read today


A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 9 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 34 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 112 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 188 24.7%
  • June

    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 226 29.7%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top