Jersey Mike’s: Healthy Options for Athletes
Jersey Mike’s is a popular sub sandwich restaurant that many athletes enjoy for a quick meal on-the-go. It can be helpful for athletes to know the healthiest menu items to order at Jersey Mike’s to meet their sports nutrition needs.
Let’s take a look at the nutrition needs of athletes. Then we will explore the Jersey Mike’s menu to identify healthy options that athletes can enjoy.
Nutrition Needs of Athletes
Athletes looking for healthy options at sandwich shops should focus on ordering a meal that provides a good source of carbohydrates, lean protein, as well as healthy, unsaturated fats.
Carbohydrates should form the foundation of an athlete’s sports nutrition meal plan. The body uses carbohydrates to provide the body with the energy needed to perform at its best.
Protein is important for athletes to support the building and repairing of lean muscle mass. Healthy fats are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, supporting optimal brain function, and helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Healthy Choices for Athletes at Sandwich Shops
Before looking specifically at the Jersey Mike’s menu, let’s identify healthy choices athletes can make when eating at a sandwich restaurant.
- Carbohydrates: Choose whole wheat or whole grain bread, wraps, and sandwich buns. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to an athlete’s diet.
- Protein: Select lean sources of protein, such as: turkey, ham, roast beef, and grilled chicken. Italian meats, such as salami and pepperoni, tend to be higher in saturated fat and are less healthy choices.
- Healthy Fats: Choose healthy sources of unsaturated fats to enjoy on your sandwich such as avocado, guacamole, olive oil, and vinaigrette-based dressings.
- Vegetables: Add a variety of vegetable toppings to your sandwich.
What is Jersey Mike’s?
Jersey Mike’s Subs is a sub sandwich chain that focuses on serving fresh, quality ingredients in their sandwiches. According to the Jersey Mike’s website the store serves locally grown produce (where available). In addition, the bread for the sandwiches is baked fresh in the store.
All sandwiches on the menu are customizable, which allows patrons to create a sandwich that meets their individual nutrition needs and preferences. Jersey Mike’s offers the option to select wheat bread or wheat wraps for sandwiches. Customers also have the option to turn any sandwich into a salad bowl if desired.
Healthiest Jersey Mike’s Subs
Jersey Mike’s has a variety of healthy options athletes can select from. When ordering, athletes should request the dressing (mayonnaise, olive oil blend) be served on the side. This allows the athlete to control the amount of dressing added to their sandwich.
In addition, athletes can request their sandwich be served on a wheat bun or wrap with extra vegetable toppings for added nutritional benefit.
All the nutrition and product information included in this article comes from the Jersey Mike’s website. Menu options and nutrition information may change as products are updated. For the most current nutrition information, refer to the Jersey Mike’s website.
Healthy Jersey Mike’s Cold Subs
Here are several ideas for healthy cold sub choices for athletes to order at Jersey Mike’s.
- Turkey and Provolone Wheat Sub or Wrap
- Ham and Provolone Wheat Sub or Wrap
- Roast Beef and Provolone Wheat Sub or Wrap
- Club Wheat Sub or Wrap (without bacon): Contains turkey, ham, provolone
Healthy Jersey Mike’s Hot Subs
In addition to cold subs, Jersey Mike’s offers a variety of hot subs with freshly grilled meats. Healthy hot sub options athletes can enjoy at Jersey Mike’s include:
- Mike’s Chicken Philly or Wrap: Grilled chicken, onions, peppers, white cheese
- Portabella Chicken Cheese Steak: Grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms, onion, peppers, white cheese
Another healthy option at Jersey Mike’s is a custom-made grilled chicken sandwich. Athletes can request a sandwich be made with the grilled philly chicken and then add on desired fresh vegetable toppings.
For all the hot sandwiches listed above, ordering the sandwich without melted white cheese will further reduce the saturated fat content of the sandwich.
Jersey Mike’s Healthy Breakfast Choices
Although not all Jersey Mike’s restaurants serve breakfast, some locations are open early and offer breakfast items. When selecting a breakfast sandwich, ham is a leaner protein choice that contains less saturated fat than either bacon or sausage.
Healthy breakfast choices at Jersey Mike’s include:
- Ham, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
- Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
Similar to other Jersey Mike’s sandwiches, athletes can order their breakfast sandwiches on wheat bread for a healthier option. In addition, they can request vegetables, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions, be included on their breakfast sandwich.
Healthier Side Options at Jersey Mike’s
Jersey Mike’s offers a variety of chips for individuals to enjoy with their sandwiches. For a healthier option, athletes should choose a baked chip variety or Sun Chips®.
Baked chips and Sun Chips® are lower in saturated fat than traditional potato chips or tortilla chips. Sun Chips® are made with whole grains and are a tasty way to add more carbohydrates to your meal.
Jersey Mike’s: Gluten-Free Options and Allergens
Athletes with special dietary needs can find detailed allergen information on the Jersey Mike’s website. However, Jersey Mike’s does state the following on their website regarding allergens:
“While a particular product may not contain a particular allergen, it may be prepared on the same equipment and in the same kitchen area as products that do contain that allergen. Cross-contact with allergens is possible and neither we nor our franchisees nor any employees assume responsibility for sensitivity or allergy to any food item.”
Jersey Mike’s offers a gluten-free bread option for athletes who are looking to avoid gluten. It is noted on their website that all breads served at Jersey Mike’s, including the gluten-free bread, utilize cornmeal in the baking process.
Jersey Mike’s Post-Game Meal for Athletes
Jersey Mike’s can be an easy solution for athletes looking for a post-workout recovery nutrition meal. Following a workout, athletes should focus on consuming carbohydrates and protein, as well as hydrating with fluid and electrolytes.
By selecting one of the healthy Jersey Mike’s sandwiches discussed above, along with baked chips or Sun Chips®, athletes can easily meet their post-workout carbohydrate and protein needs.
Athletic teams can order catering from Jersey Mike’s for a convenient post-game meal. Jersey Mike’s offers subs by the box, which is an easy meal option for athletes to enjoy on the bus ride home from a game.
Jersey Mike’s Healthy Options: Top Choices for Athletes
You are now set with a variety of ideas for healthy options athletes can order at Jersey Mike’s. For additional sports nutrition tips for dining out, check out my blog: 10 Healthy Whataburger Options for Athletes.
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About the Author
Mandy 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. Learn more about the work Mandy does here.