Healthy DoorDash Options for Athletes
With busy practice, competition, and travel schedules, athletes often have the need to grab a quick meal between activities. Meal delivery platforms, such as DoorDash, have made it easier for athletes to have a variety of food options conveniently delivered to their location.
Thus, providing athletes with ideas on healthy DoorDash options that can support their sports nutrition needs can be of help.
Let’s take a look at tips for helping athletes make healthy choices when placing a meal order on DoorDash. Then we will explore a variety of DoorDash restaurant options from which athletes can order a nutritious meal.
Healthy DoorDash Options for Athletes
Below are general tips to help athletes with making healthy choices when placing an order on DoorDash.
Limit Fried Food
Choose entrees and side items that are grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted instead of fried. Fried foods tend to be high in saturated fat.
Add in Whole Grains
When available, select whole grain items to add to your DoorDash meal. For example, ordering oatmeal at breakfast, whole wheat bread for your sandwich, or brown rice in your burrito bowl.
By making the switch to whole grains, athletes will add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to their meal.
Select Lean Protein
Protein is important in the diet for athletes. To get the most benefit from protein, athletes are encouraged to spread their protein intake throughout the day with several meals and snacks (2).
Thus, athletes should aim to include a lean source of protein with each meal, such as: Greek yogurt, eggs, chicken, turkey, ham, roast beef, seafood, lean cuts of red meat or pork.
Choose a Healthy Side with Your DoorDash Order
Many restaurants now offer fresh fruit cups, apple slices, steamed vegetables, side salads, and Greek yogurt parfaits, which can all be a nutritious addition to your DoorDash meal.
Pick a Nutritious Beverage
Hydration is important for supporting an athlete’s health as well as optimal sports performance.
When placing your DoorDash order, select water, sparkling water, unsweet tea, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice instead of sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
Be Mindful of Portion Sizes
Try to avoid the urge to super-size your DoorDash meal. Instead enjoy the meal in moderation and eat a healthy snack later in the day when hungry.
Healthy Restaurant Options on DoorDash
Now that you understand some general tips for planning a healthy meal, let’s explore how to select a healthy restaurant on DoorDash.
Selecting a Healthy Restaurant on DoorDash
When using DoorDash, athletes can either search directly for a restaurant within their geographic area or browse restaurants by category. “Healthy” is one of the restaurant categories included on the DoorDash platform.
Searching restaurants within the “healthy” category can be a good starting point for athletes. However, athletes should note that just because a restaurant is labeled as healthy, does not mean that all items on the menu are nutritious choices.
Athletes still need to be mindful about making healthy choices from the restaurant they select on DoorDash.
Healthy DoorDash Restaurant Options
Aside from searching within the “healthy” category on DoorDash, it can be helpful for athletes to know restaurants available on DoorDash where they can find nutritious options at.
Availability of restaurants varies by location. If you are traveling out of town, consider searching in advance for what DoorDash options can be delivered to your hotel. Having ideas for healthy food that athletes can eat in the hotel room is important.
Let’s now explore healthy options at a variety of restaurant chains available on DoorDash.
Panera Bread: Healthy Bakery-Café DoorDash Option
Athletes can find a variety of healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at Panera that can support their sports nutrition needs.
Some of my top recommendations on the Panera menu include:
- Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Multigrain Bagel Flat
- Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait
- Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli Bowl
- Deli Turkey Sandwich
- Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken
Jason’s Deli is another convenient sandwich shop athletes can order a healthy meal from on DoorDash. Aside from soups, sandwiches, and salads, Jason’s Deli also offers baked potatoes, pasta, and grain bowls.
Top choices at Jason’s Deli include:
- Turkey Wrap
- Wild Salmon-Wich
- Modern Mediterranean bowl with chicken
- Chicken Pasta Primo
- Hearty Vegetable Chili
- Healthy sides: Steamed veggies, fresh fruit cup, roasted corn and black beans
Chipotle: Healthy DoorDash Burrito Bowl Option
Athletes can order a high-protein Chipotle bowl for a quick, healthy meal option from DoorDash. When ordering the bowl, make sure to include a base of brown rice and black beans. Then top your bowl with lean chicken or steak, a variety of salsas, shredded lettuce and guacamole.
Another healthy restaurant option athletes can find on DoorDash is CAVA. At CAVA athletes can build a healthy Mediterranean bowl to enjoy as part of their sports nutrition meal plan.
Nutritious options for athletes to add to their CAVA bowl include:
- Grains: Brown rice, RightRice®, Saffron basmati rice, black lentils
- Greens: Baby spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, SuperGreens blend, Splendid Greens blend
- Lean protein: Grilled chicken, harissa honey chicken, braised lamb
- Veggie toppings: Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cabbage slaw, pickled onions, fire roasted corn, shredded Romaine lettuce
Along with the bowl, athletes can enjoy pita bread with hummus for a healthy side option.
Athletes following a plant-based diet can enjoy a variety of vegetarian options at CAVA. The falafel, RightRice®, and black lentils are all great ways to add plant-based protein to a CAVA bowl.
Sweetgreen is a healthy restaurant option on DoorDash that offers a variety of fresh salads, bowls, and protein plates.
Athletes can order one of the signature salads or bowls from the menu or choose to create their own.
Healthy choices on the Sweetgreen’s menu include:
- Hot Honey Chicken Protein Plate
- Chicken Pesto Parm Bowl
- Crispy Rice Bowl
- Guacamole Greens Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
If athletes plan to order a custom bowl, they should make sure to include a base of whole grains (quinoa or wild rice) and leafy greens, add on lean protein, and then top the bowl off with a variety of fresh vegetables.
The Hot Honey Chicken protein plate at Sweetgreen can be a nutritious post-game meal option that athletes can order from DoorDash. The plate provides a good source of both carbohydrates and protein, thus supporting athletes with meeting their recovery nutrition needs.
Chick-fil-A is a popular restaurant that I find is frequently enjoyed by athletes and athletic teams. Athletes can order a healthy meal from Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
In addition, there are numerous high-protein options at Chick-fil-A that can help support an athlete’s sports nutrition needs.
Top choices at Chick-fil-A include:
- Egg White Grill (breakfast sandwich)
- Greek Yogurt Parfait
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled Nuggets
- Chick-fil-A® Cool Wrap
- Market Salad
- Healthy sides: Fruit cup, side salad, kale crunch salad
Athletes can enjoy a high-protein Subway sandwich, ordered through DoorDash, for a quick lunch or dinner. With frequent travel, I find that Subway is a restaurant that is commonly available on the DoorDash app.
When ordering a Subway sandwich, I encourage athletes to choose a lean deli meat, such as turkey, chicken, ham, or roast beef.
In addition, athletes should top their sandwich with a variety of the fresh vegetable ingredients. Finally, athletes can order their sandwich on multigrain bread for a higher fiber option.
Top choices at Subway include:
- Oven roasted turkey
- Roast beef
- Oven roasted turkey and ham
- Sweet onion chicken teriyaki
- Grilled chicken
- Rotisserie-style chicken
Athletes can also opt for the above sandwiches to be made as a wrap. The wraps contain a footlong portion of the protein selected, thus they can support athletes with meeting their protein needs.
Pei Wei Healthy DoorDash Asian Food Option
Finally, athletes desiring a healthy Asian food meal can order form Pei Wei on DoorDash. When selecting their order, I recommend athletes limit entrees and side items that are fried.
For example, choose brown or steamed rice over fried rice. In addition, select entrees such as beef and broccoli or Mongolian chicken over orange chicken or sesame chicken.
Healthy Pei Wei options for athletes include:
- Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- Mongolian Chicken or Steak
- Beef & Broccoli or Chicken & Broccoli
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Teriyaki Tofu
Food Safety Reminders for DoorDash Orders
When athletes order food via DoorDash or other delivery services, it is important to keep food safety in mind.
Holding foods at the correct temperature is an important aspect of food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bacteria can grow rapidly when left sitting in the temperature “Danger Zone.”
Food Safety: Temperature Danger Zone
The temperature danger zone is defined as the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F. Foods should not be left in the temperature danger zone for more than 2 hours. This time frame decreases to 1 hour if the temperature exceeds 90°F.
Eating food that has been left in the temperature danger zone for prolonged periods increases one’s risk of getting a foodborne illness.
This means that athletes should plan to either eat or refrigerate their food when they receive the DoorDash delivery.
In addition, leftover food items from the meal delivery should be refrigerated promptly. If the food is allowed to sit at room temperature longer than recommended time limits, athletes should throw the food away. It is not worth the risk of eating the food and getting sick.
Healthy DoorDash Options for Athletes
You are now set with a variety of ideas for helping athletes select healthy options when placing a DoorDash order. By making nutritious choices when utilizing DoorDash and other meal delivery platforms, athletes can ensure they are fueled to perform at their best.
For additional sports nutrition tips for traveling athletes, check out my blog on healthy gas station snacks for athletes.
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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.