10 High-Protein Chick-fil-A Options for Athletes
Chick-fil-A is a popular fast-food restaurant that athletes frequently stop at for a quick meal on-the-go. It can be helpful for athletes to have ideas of what high-protein Chick-fil-A menu items can support them with meeting their nutrition needs.
Let’s take a look at the protein needs of athletes. Then we will explore 10 high-protein Chick-fil-A options for athletes.
Protein Needs of Athletes
Including lean protein in the diet is important for athletes. Protein has many essential roles in the body, including supporting athletes with building and repairing lean muscle mass.
To get the most benefit from protein, athletes are encouraged to spread their protein intake throughout the day with several meals and snacks. Athletes should aim to consume ~0.25 – 0.3 grams of protein per kg of body weight at each eating occasion (1, 2).
In general, this calculates to be in the range of 25-30 grams of protein at each meal/snack. Athletes should also plan to include protein in their post-workout meal to support their recovery nutrition needs.
As a reminder, eating protein alone will not result in muscle gain. Protein intake must be combined with a well-planned strength and conditioning program to promote muscle growth.
Building a Healthy Meal
In addition to protein, athletes looking to build a healthy meal at fast-food restaurants should focus on including items that provide a good source of carbohydrates and that are low in saturated fat.
When possible, athletes should choose whole grain bread for their sandwiches. In addition, they should select a healthy side item, such as fresh fruit, a side salad, or a fruit and yogurt parfait.
Athletes should also include a nutritious beverage with their meal, such as water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice, to support their hydration needs.
Finally, athletes should be mindful of portion sizes and resist the urge to supersize their meal. It is better to enjoy the meal in moderation and then have a healthy snack later in the day if hungry.
High-Protein Chick-fil-A Options for Athletes
All the nutrition information included in this article comes from the Chick-fil-A® website. Menu options and nutrition information may change as products are updated. For the most current nutrition information, refer to the Chick-fil-A website.
High-Protein Chick-fil-A Breakfast Options for Athletes
#1 Egg White Grill
The Egg White Grill is a lean, high-protein breakfast sandwich option at Chick-fil-A. The breakfast sandwich includes grilled chicken, egg whites, and American cheese, and is served on an English muffin.
- Egg White Grill: 28 grams of protein
To further boost the protein content of their breakfast, athletes can order 1% white or 1% chocolate milk to drink with the sandwich. This will add 7 grams of complete protein, along with calcium and Vitamin D, to the athlete’s meal.
#2 Chicken, Egg & Cheese Muffin
The Chicken, Egg & Cheese Muffin is another high-protein breakfast sandwich option at Chick-fil-A. The breakfast sandwich includes the original Chick-fil-A breaded chicken breast, folded egg, and American cheese, served on an English muffin.
- Chicken, Egg & Cheese Muffin: 27 grams of protein
Since this breakfast sandwich is served on an English muffin, it is lower in saturated fat than the same breakfast sandwich served on a biscuit (6 grams vs. 12 grams saturated fat).
High-Protein Chick-fil-A Meal Options for Athletes
#3 Chick-fil-A® Cool Wrap
The Chick-fil-A® Cool Wrap is a great high-protein option that athletes can enjoy with their lunch or dinner. The wrap includes grilled chicken, green leaf lettuce, and a blend of cheeses wrapped together in a flaxseed flour flat bread.
- Chick-fil-A® Cool Wrap: 43 grams of protein
#4 Grilled Chicken Sandwich
The Grilled Chicken Sandwich provides an excellent source of lean protein. The sandwich includes a marinated and grilled chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato and is served on a multigrain bun.
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 28 grams of protein
If planning a team dinner, the Chick-fil-A grilled chicken catering bundle is a great option. The bundle comes with all the fixings for everyone to build their own grilled chicken sandwich.
#5 Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich
For those who prefer the original Chick-fil-A breaded chicken, the Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich is a protein-rich option. This classic sandwich includes a breaded chicken breast served on a toasted bun with two dill pickle chips.
- Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich: 29 grams of protein
To further boost the protein content of the sandwich, athletes can order the Chick-fil-A® Deluxe Sandwich. The deluxe includes a slice of cheese (American, Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack) as well as lettuce and tomato.
Chick-fil-A also offers the option to order the sandwich on a multigrain brioche bun. Switching to the multigrain bun is a healthy choice, as it will increase the fiber content of the sandwich (3 grams of fiber vs. 1 gram of fiber in the original bun).
#6 Spicy Chicken Sandwich
For athletes that like spicy food, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich is a high-protein choice they can enjoy at Chick-fil-A. The sandwich includes a breaded chicken breast seasoned with a spicy blend of peppers that is served on a toasted bun with dill pickles.
- Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 28 grams protein
Similar to the original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, athletes can order a Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
#7 Grilled Nuggets
Aside from sandwiches, the Grilled Nuggets are a lean, high-protein option at Chick-fil-A that athletes can enjoy as part of their meal. The nuggets are made with a marinated boneless chicken breast and are low in saturated fat.
- 8-count Grilled Nuggets: 25 grams of protein
- 12-count Grilled Nuggets: 38 grams of protein
Healthy Chick-fil-A Sauce for Dipping
Chick-fil-A offers a wide variety of dipping sauces for customers to enjoy with their nuggets. When selecting a dipping sauce, athletes should be aware that some of the Chick-fil-A sauces are high in both calories and fat.
For example, the following dipping sauces contain over 100 calories per 1-oz container:
- Chick-fil-A® Sauce: 140 calories, 13 grams fat
- Garden Herb Ranch Sauce: 140 calories, 15 grams fat
- Polynesian Sauce: 110 calories, 6 grams of fat
Lower calorie Chick-fil-A dipping sauce options include:
- Barbeque Sauce: 45 calories, 0 g fat
- Sweet and Spicy Siracha Sauce: 45 calories, 0 g fat
- Zesty Buffalo Sauce: 25 calories, 2.5 g fat
- Honey Mustard Sauce: 50 calories, 0 g fat
#8 Chicken Strips
The Chick-fil-A Chicken Strips can be a tasty way for athletes to enjoy a high-protein meal. The strips are made with boneless chicken tenders. The tenders are breaded and then pressure cooked in peanut oil similar to the chicken on the original Chick-fil-A sandwich.
- 3-count Chicken Strips: 29 grams of protein
- 4-count Chicken Strips: 39 grams of protein
High-Protein Chick-fil-A Side Options for Athletes
#9 Chicken Noodle Soup
Chick-fil-A offers a hearty chicken noodle soup on their menu, which can be a great way to boost the protein content of an athlete’s meal. The soup contains shredded chicken breast, chopped carrots and celery, and egg noodles.
- Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup: 17 grams protein
- Cup of Chicken Noodle Soup: 10 grams protein
In addition to the chicken noodle soup, Chick-fil-A also offers a seasonal chicken tortilla soup on the menu. When available, this is another great high-protein soup option for athletes.
- Bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup: 44 grams protein
- Cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup: 24 grams protein
#10 Greek Yogurt Parfait
The Greek Yogurt Parfait with Granola is a protein-rich side item that athletes can enjoy with their meal at Chick-fil-A. The parfait is made with vanilla bean Greek yogurt, fresh mixed berries, and a granola topping.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait with Granola: 13 grams of protein
This is a great item for athletes to add to their breakfast or take with them to enjoy as a snack later in the day.
10 High-Protein Chick-fil-A Options for Athletes
You are now set with 10 ideas for high-protein options athletes can order at Chick-fil-A to help meet their nutrition needs. As a reminder, athletes should also select a healthy side item along with a nutritious beverage to enjoy with their meal.
For additional sports nutrition tips for dining out, check out my blog on high-protein options at Panda Express.
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About the Author
Mandy Tyler is a Sports Dietitian Nutritionist in the San Antonio, TX area. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Licensed Athletic Trainer, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Mandy has experience working with athletes at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She believes the key to reaching one’s full potential, both in everyday life and in sports performance, relies on a healthy nutritional foundation.