Makan Before Running: The Best Malaysian Foods for Pre-Run Energy
One of the joys of being in Malaysia is the diverse and delicious food options. For runners, the right pre-run meal is crucial for energy and endurance. Let's dive into some Malaysian favourites that can boost your run!
1. Nasi Lemak (in moderation) The national dish is a balance of carbs (from rice), protein (from the eggs and anchovies), and fats (from the sambal and peanuts). Opt for a smaller portion and avoid too spicy sambal before a run.
2. Banana Leaf Rice (minus the heavy stuff) The rice (carbs) and dhal (protein) combo is fantastic. However, go light on the curries and avoid heavy meats. Stick to vegetable sides to ensure you're not feeling too full.
3. Roti Canai with Dhal This simple dish offers carbs from the roti and protein from the dhal, making it a balanced option. Opt for plain roti canai rather than the stuffed varieties to avoid feeling too stuffed.
4. Bubur Nasi Rice porridge, often with chicken, is easily digestible and provides a steady release of energy. It's light on the stomach, ensuring you don't feel sluggish during your run.
5. Mee Hoon Soup This rice vermicelli soup is hydrating, and the broth provides essential salts. Add lean protein like chicken or fish, and you've got a balanced pre-run meal.
6. Peanut Pancake (Apam Balik) This snack is rich in protein and carbs, thanks to the peanuts and pancake. However, it's best consumed in moderation due to its sugar content.
7. Tau Foo Fah This soft soybean dessert is packed with protein. It's light, making it a good option before a run. Opt for a less sweet version if possible.
8. Popiah This fresh spring roll is packed with veggies and sometimes lean meats or seafood. It provides vitamins, minerals, and a bit of protein and carbs.
9. Cendol A bowl of cendol, with its pandan jelly, coconut milk, and gula melaka, can be refreshing and energy-boosting. However, due to its sugar content, ensure you consume it in moderation and well before your run.
10. Oats with Local Fruits Not strictly traditional, but a bowl of oats topped with local fruits like bananas, papaya, or rambutan can be an excellent energy source. The slow-releasing carbs in oats paired with the natural sugars in fruits offer sustained energy.
It's essential to remember that the timing of your meal plays a crucial role. Try to have a substantial meal about 2-3 hours before running and a light snack 30 minutes to an hour before the run. Also, everyone's body is different. What works for one person might not work for another, so it's essential to experiment and see what foods suit you best. Happy running and makan!
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