High Protein Jimmy Johns Options

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Options for Athletes

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Options for Athletes

Jimmy John’s is a sandwich shop that athletes frequently enjoy for a quick meal on-the-go. It can be helpful for athletes to have ideas for high-protein Jimmy John’s sandwich options that can support them with meeting their nutrition needs.

Let’s take a look at the protein needs of athletes. Then we will explore the Jimmy John’s menu for high-protein sandwiches that athletes can enjoy as part of their sports nutrition meal plan.

Protein Needs of Athletes

Protein is an important nutrient in an athlete’s diet. It has many essential roles in the body, including supporting athletes with building and repairing lean muscle mass.

To get the most benefit from protein intake, athletes are encouraged to consume protein 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 (12). 

In addition, athletes should include 20-40 grams of protein in their post-workout meal to support their recovery nutrition needs (1). 

Protein Needs of Athletes

Building a Healthy Meal at a Sandwich Shop

In addition to protein, athletes looking to build a healthy meal at a restaurant should focus on including items that provide a good source of carbohydrates and that are low in saturated fat.

Carbohydrates provide athletes with the energy needed to train and perform at their best. When available, athletes should select whole grain breads or wraps for their sandwiches to be prepared on.

Lean Deli Meat Options

When selecting their order, athletes should be mindful to select lean sources of protein that are low in saturated fat.

Saturated fat is associated with increased inflammation in the body (3). Thus, athletes should aim to limit the saturated fat content of their diet.

Lean sources of protein for sandwiches include chicken, turkey, ham, and roast beef. Bacon and Italian deli meats, such as salami, pepperoni, and bologna, tend to be higher in saturated fat and less healthy choices.

Add Healthy Sandwich Toppings

When building their sandwich, athletes should add on a variety of fresh vegetable toppings. Ordering extra veggies on the sandwich is an easy way to boost the nutrient content of the sandwich.

Athletes can also add healthy sources of unsaturated fats to enjoy on their sandwiches. Avocado, guacamole, sliced olives, olive oil, and vinaigrette-based dressings all contain healthy unsaturated fat and are good choices.

Select a Healthy Beverage

Finally, athletes should include a nutritious beverage with their meal. Drinks such as water, sparkling water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice can help support an athlete’s hydration needs.

Building a Healthy Sandwich at Jimmy John's

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Options

Now that you understand the protein needs of athletes and how to build a healthy meal at a sandwich shop, let’s look at high-protein options on the Jimmy John’s menu.

For the purposes of this blog, 8” sandwiches that contain ≥ 20 grams of protein and ≤ 5 grams of saturated fat will be identified.

All the nutrition and product information included in this article comes from the Jimmy John’s® website. Menu options and nutrition information may change as products are updated.  For the most current nutrition information, refer to the Jimmy John’s website.

A Note on Sodium

It is important to note that many of the Jimmy John’s high-protein menu options discussed below are also high in sodium. In general, consuming sodium in the diet can help athletes with replacing the sodium lost in sweat.

However, athletes who have been advised to restrict sodium in their diet should work with a sports dietitian nutritionist to develop an individualized plan for meeting their sports nutrition needs.

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Sandwich Options

There are a variety of high-protein sandwich options on the Jimmy John’s menu.

At Jimmy John’s, athletes can order their sandwich on fresh-baked French bread (Little John 6”, 8”, or 16”), thick-sliced wheat bread, or as a lettuce-wrapped Unwich®.

Since athletes need carbohydrates in their diet to support activity, I would recommend they order their sandwich on wheat bread, French bread, or a wrap, rather than as an Unwich®.

This is particularly important if the athlete is eating the sandwich as part of their pre-game meal or post-game meal to help meet their recovery nutrition needs.

Some of my favorite high-protein Jimmy John’s sandwich choices for athletes are included in the table below.

SandwichThick-Sliced Wheat Bread8” French Bread16” French Bread
Turkey Tom®26 g protein23 g protein47 g protein
Totally Tuna®24 g protein21 g protein41 g protein
Big John®29 g protein26 g protein52 g protein
Bootlegger Club®43 g protein44 g protein88 g protein
  • Turkey Tom®: Basic turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
  • Totally Tuna®: Jimmy John’s tuna salad topped with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.
  • Big John®: Roast beef sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
  • Bootlegger Club®: Roast beef, turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

To help decrease the saturated fat content of their sandwich, athletes can consider ordering the avocado spread, Jimmy Mustard®, Grey Poupon®, or Oil and Vinegar dressing in place of the mayonnaise.

Another option is to order the mayo on the side so that the athlete can control the amount added to the sandwich.

Top Jimmy John's Sandwich Options

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Plain Slims® Sandwich Options

The Jimmy John’s Plain Slims® sandwiches are a convenient option for athletes who like their sandwiches plain – just meat and/or cheese.

The Plain Slims® come without vegetable toppings or dressings, although you can get mustard and mayo on the side.

The roast beef, tuna, and turkey Plain Slim® sandwiches are all good options. These sandwich options provide both lean protein and carbohydrates for athletes.

Slim® Sandwich8” French BreadThick-Sliced Wheat Bread
Roast Beef Slim® #230 g protein28 g protein
Tuna Slim® #324 g protein23 g protein
Turkey Slim® #427 g protein26 g protein

If an athlete wants to order a sandwich to eat as part of a balanced snack later in the day, the Plain Slims® sandwiches are a convenient choice.

Since the sandwiches are prepared without the added dressings and vegetable toppings, they will hold better (bread won’t become soggy).

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Wraps

Jimmy John’s also offers the option for their sandwiches to be prepared as a wrap. They offer a garlic herb wrap as well as a flour wrap to select from.

The wraps contain more saturated fat than either the French bread or sliced wheat bread, thus the total fat content of the sandwich will be higher when prepared on a wrap.

  • Garlic & Herb Wrap: 2.5 g saturated fat
  • Flour Wrap: 3 g saturated fat
  • French Bread: 0 g saturated fat
  • Wheat Bread: 0 g saturated fat

The table below provides the protein content of wrap sandwiches at Jimmy John’s.

SandwichGarlic Herb WrapFlour Wrap
Turkey Tom®22 g protein23 g protein
Totally Tuna®19 g protein20 g protein
Big John®24 g protein25 g protein
Bootlegger Club®38 g protein39 g protein

Boosting the Protein Content of a Jimmy John’s Sandwich

Athletes can further boost the protein content of their sandwiches at Jimmy John’s by ordering additional deli meat or cheese toppings.

The table below provides the protein content for an added portion of deli meat or cheese.

Protein Topping8”, Wheat Bread, Wrap16” Bread
Ham11 g protein23 g protein
Roast Beef16 g protein33 g protein
Turkey14 g protein28 g protein
Tuna11 g protein22 g protein
All-Natural Chicken18 g protein37 g protein
Provolone Cheese8 g protein17 g protein

Adding protein to the sandwich can be a good option If the athlete plans to save half of their sandwich to enjoy later in the day. The added protein can help ensure the athlete meets their protein needs at both meals.

High-Protein Jimmy John’s Options for Athletes

You are now set with a variety of high-protein options at Jimmy John’s that can support athletes with meeting their nutrition needs.

For additional high-protein ideas for athletes at restaurants check out my blog on high-protein options at Wendy’s.

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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.

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