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Water Intake


Active Member
For those who are concerned about being able to obtain or carry enough water on both the camino and while travelling to/from, there is good news. A new study reported here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/03/nhealth103.xml
has found that there is absolutely no scientific basis for the long-held belief that one must drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to remain healthy. While exercising you need only consume as much extra water as you are losing as perspiration.
So much for the scientists!!! Personally, if I don't drink lots of water when exercising I get horrendous muscle cramps in my legs at night. I've ruled out low potassium, low calcium, lack of adequate stretching, etc and the only thing that makes a difference is drinking plenty of water.
Although I have complained that I did not get to drink enough while on the Camino last year, I never suffered from it either. I did follow Grant Spangler's advice and took Emergen-C (joint health one). It has the minerals that one may sweat out. And since I drank one a day my pack got lighter as I went along. One box has 36 packets. If weight is an issue you can mail half of them 2 weeks ahead and refill then.
I used to work for a man who was macrobiotic. Every morning he would put 4 ounces of water into a glass, cover it and sip from it throughout the day. He said that was enough water, since his food contains water as well. That too much water can overtax the kidneys. There may be some value to that. I often think of our early ancestors and what did they do? Did they drink 8 glasses a day? Probably not.
It's been suggested to me to drink a half to liter of water in the am right after you get up to get you started. (I do this every day) A great side effect beside hydrating you, is that it will make you regular - you will really be surprised at how great this works. It seems like a lot of water but you get used to it quickly. (even a 10-12 oz glass will work wonders to start)

re: electrolytes - I'm taking NutriBiotic Essential Electrolytes (tablets) with me, they don't have the weight of packets have no sugar & give you the proper electrolyte solution without all the extra stuff that the drinks & packets have - I don't like my water flavored so these take care of that also. if interested you can purchase them from the nutribiotic co. http://www.nutribiotic.com & they ship quickly. about $7 per bottle of 100.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
You need a 2 litre water bottle and you need to fill it whenever you get the opportunity. There are a few places in Galicia which despite the rainfall there have few drinking fountains so look in your guidebook and plan ahead for the day. You do NOT need fancy rehydration stuff unless you get severe diarrhoea or your doctor specifically recommends it.


Active Member
Carrying a full 2 liter bottle of water means that you are carrying an extra 2 kilos (4.4 pounds). In addition to fountains water is available in every bar and restaurant and except in a very few places there are enough of these to make carrying excess water unnecessary. Drinking from every fountain and keeping a l liter or 2 1/2 liter bottles full for in between will give you more than enough.
When doing the Camino on warm/hot days I drink a minimum of 6-8 liters of water. And no I do not have "to go" all the time. The body uses the water as gasoline while walking. It keeps the body hydrated... If you do get dehydrated it is VERY difficult to get back in shape quickly.

Also if I do not drink this much water when walking all these kilometres, I will have pain and feel tired and not be able to enjoy the camino as much...

This is why I carry a CamelBak on the Camino. I do not mind carrying it. I've done it on all trekking trips before the camino and on the camino and I will probably continue doing it.

People I met on the Camino who had musclepain in the evening and at night did not drink much water... and I met many who had become dehydrated as you walk in the sun all day...

It is not a question of feeling thirsty... when you feel thirsty it is allready "too late" - dehydration has begun... the trick is to drink small sips all the way. Kidneys can handle that much better than drinking half a liter at every fountain.

But, this is just the way I do it ;-) - this works for me...


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I had a wonderful foot massage in the albergue in Los Arcos. The very first thing the man said to me when he started was that I " needed to drink more". I was told this a few times, that the tendons etc work better if you drink enough... and can feel stiff and sore if you don't.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
That fallacy about needing to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day has long been discredited-along with others such as we only use 10% of our brains etc. How much you drink is something of a personal choice. I have a camelbak that holds just over 1 litre and except for one or two occasions never filled it. and that was on 35+ klms stretches were there are no facilities, ie, camino mozarabe and VDLP. On the CF you dont need to carry much at all given the number of fountains and bars.So many times I saw people tipping out water they had collected at a previous fountain to fill up at te next one. Why are they carrying extra weight? A while ago I read here that someone said you should carry 6 litres-ridiculous, thats 6 klgs-very close to the total weight of my backpack.
Camino(s) past & future
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
I can't comment about exactly how much water one should consume...but from my own experience - there were a couple of occasions when I didn't drink enough water and nearly fainted at dinner after a glass of wine! After that I basically took to stopping to top up my two little water bottles each time I passed a fountain....and I made sure to take at least a few sips every half hour or so. Someone told me once that if you wait until you are thirsty before you drink, you are already dehydrating...I'm not sure if that is true (sounds reasonable)...but to be on the safe side, I would suggests making a conscience effort to consume water throughout the day...keep it front of mind...
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I think every person is different.

Joe carried a 1 litre camelback. He is 6'1" and weighs about 170.
I carried a 1 litre water bottle. I am 5'3" and weighed about 140 on the Camino.

We both filled up at each fountain along the way.
We both did fine.

I am, however, a little concerned about the VLP and water availability.
I may carry 2 one litre bottles on that one.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
After running out of water on the plateau above Cahors on a very hot day, I decided to carry two one litre plastic bottles, one in each outside net-pocket on the sides of my pack. It didn't mean that I had to carry them full, and mostly I only partly filled them, but it gave me the option to fill them up if I wanted to on particularly hot days with long waterless stretches foreseen/possible.


Staff member
on super hot days...just drinking water isn't good...it washes away the electrolytes that prevent cramping...best to dilute with 50% sport drink...gatorade...or equivalent.

Buen Camino
A nice "such a profesional walker" from France, 47 years old, on spring, said to me that he used to take 1 litre each ten kilometres.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
Good suggestion about sports drinks but I'm not sure that you'll find many places that stock it - I walked from SJPP and the only place I found it was in Portomarin (though if I'd gone looking specially I could almost certainly have found it in the bigger cities) - I ended up mixing plain water and soft drinks - one recommended do-it-yourself sports drink is to mix equal parts of plain water and fruit juice with a pinch of salt


no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
Aquarius in blue or orange is a "sports drink" available in almost every Spanish bar, restaurant, and supermarket at soft drink prices.
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
much cheaper and widely available substitute for that appalling and overpriced Aquarius stuff is plain old "Gaseosa." Comes in liter bottles and is basically just generic store-brand fizzy water with some sweetness added... As you drink it down you can top it up at fuentes.
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