Potbelly Healthy Options for Athletes

10 Potbelly Healthy Options for Athletes

10 Potbelly Healthy Options for Athletes

Potbelly is a popular sandwich shop that many athletes enjoy for a quick meal. It can be helpful for athletes to know what Potbelly healthy options are available on the menu that can support their sports nutrition needs.

Let’s take a look at general tips for making nutritious choices at a sandwich shop. Then we will explore 10 Potbelly healthy options for athletes.

Building a Healthy Meal at a Sandwich Shop

When determining what to order at a sandwich shop, athletes should keep the following key points in mind:

  • Choose Whole Grains: When available, order your sandwich on whole grain bread, sandwich buns, or wraps.
  • Select Lean Protein: Choose lean sources of deli meat, such as turkey, chicken, ham, or roast beef for your sandwich. Bacon, salami, bologna, and pepperoni tend to be higher in saturated fat and less healthy choices for athletes.
  • Add on the Veggies: Pile a variety of veggie toppings onto your sandwich for added vitamins and minerals.
  • Enjoy Healthy Fats: Select healthy fats such as sliced olives, avocado, guacamole, olive oil, and vinaigrette-based dressings for your sandwich.
  • Pick a Healthy Side: Enjoy a fruit cup, side salad, pretzels, or baked chips with your sandwich.
  • Hydrate Right: Hydration is important for athletes. Select healthy beverage options such as water, unsweetened sparkling water, unsweet tea, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice to enjoy with your meal.
Healthy Choices at a Sandwich Shop

Is Potbelly Healthy?

Potbelly offers a variety of nutritious menu options that athletes can enjoy as part of their sports nutrition meal plan.

However, Potbelly also offers sandwich, soup, and salad options that are high in saturated fat, which are less healthy options for athletes.

It is important for athletes to remember that the choices they make, when ordering at Potbelly, will determine if their meal meets their sports nutrition needs.

Is Potbelly Healthy?

Potbelly Healthy Sandwich Bread Options

Potbelly offers a variety of bread options for their sandwiches, including multigrain bread, white bread, and flat bread.

At Potbelly, I recommend athletes get their sandwiches made on multigrain bread. The multigrain bread is higher in fiber than the other bread options available at Pot Belly. Thus, it is a nutritious choice for an athlete’s sandwich.

Potbelly Thin-Cut and Skinny Sandwiches

Potbelly also offers customers the option to order their sandwiches on thin cut bread. A sandwich made on thin cut bread has the middle 1/3 of the bread scooped out resulting in a lower-carb sandwich.

Since athletes need carbohydrates in their diet to support activity, I would recommend they order an original rather than the thin-cut sandwich.

This is particularly important if the athlete will be eating the sandwich with their pre-game meal or following a game to help meet their recovery nutrition needs.

Skinny Sandwiches at Potbelly

Potbelly also offers a “skinny” version of many of their sandwiches. A skinny sandwich is made on thin-cut bread and has less meat and cheese than the original sandwich.

If an athlete plans to eat a skinny sandwich, I recommend ordering it along with a cup of chili, soup, or side salad. The Pick-Your-Pair combo at Potbelly allows customers to pair a skinny sandwich with a side of choice.

10 Potbelly Healthy Options for Athletes

Now that you have ideas for making nutritious choices at a sandwich shop, let’s take a look at 10 healthy Potbelly options.

All the nutrition and product information included in this article comes from the Potbelly Sandwich Shop® website. The nutrition facts for the sandwiches listed below are based on an original size sandwich made on multigrain bread.

Menu options and nutrition information may change as products are updated.  For the most current nutrition information, refer to the Pot Belly website.

10 Potbelly Healthy Options

#1 Mediterranean Sandwich

First on the list of healthy options at Potbelly is the Mediterranean sandwich. The Mediterranean sandwich includes grilled chicken, feta, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, and hot pepper hummus.

Athletes following a vegetarian or vegan diet can order this sandwich without the chicken for a nutritious plant-based option.

  • Mediterranean Sandwich with Chicken: 680 calories, 55 g protein

The Mediterranean sandwich is one on my personal favorite sandwich options to order at Potbelly.

#2 Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The grilled chicken sandwich on multigrain bread is another healthy option that athletes can order at Potbelly. The sandwich includes all-natural grilled chicken and cheddar cheese.

I recommend adding a variety of veggie toppings, such as: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, roasted red peppers and cucumbers.

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 580 calories, 51 g protein

Note: Athletes can order the grilled chicken sandwich without cheese, which will reduce the saturated fat content of the sandwich.

#3 Turkey Breast Sandwich

The turkey breast sandwich is a simple, healthy option at Potbelly. The sandwich includes hand-sliced turkey topped with Swiss cheese.

When ordering sandwiches for a team meal, I find the turkey breast sandwich to be a crowd-pleaser.

Similar to the grilled chicken sandwich, athletes should pile a variety of healthy veggie toppings onto their sandwich.

  • Turkey Breast Sandwich: 530 calories, 44 g protein

#4 Avo Turkey Sandwich

The Avo Turkey is another one of my favorite sandwiches at Potbelly. In addition to sliced turkey breast, the sandwich includes Swiss cheese, sliced avocado, and cucumbers.

Avocados are packed full of nutrients, including healthy, unsaturated fat, fiber, and potassium (1). Thus, adding sliced avocado to a sandwich is a simple way for athletes to boost the nutrient content of their meal.

  • Avo Turkey Sandwich: 640 calories, 46 g protein

#5 Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna is a great way for athletes to add both lean protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids to their sandwich.

The Potbelly tuna salad sandwich is made with 100% albacore tuna and sliced Swiss cheese. It is a great sandwich choice for athletes looking to boost their intake of fish throughout the week.

  • Tuna Salad Sandwich: 690 calories, 46 g protein

#6 Roast Beef Sandwich

For athletes that prefer beef on their sandwich, Potbelly’s roast beef sandwich is a good option. The roast beef sandwich is lower in saturated fat than the other Potbelly sandwiches containing beef (i.e., steak, meatballs).

The Potbelly roast beef sandwich is made with Angus roast beef and sliced provolone cheese. Athletes can then add their choice of vegetable toppings to boost the nutrient content of the sandwich.

  • Roast Beef Sandwich: 620 calories, 43 g protein

#7 PB&J Sandwich

I love that Potbelly offers a PB&J sandwich. A PB&J sandwich can be a great addition to an athlete’s lunch. It is also a convenient option for athletes to purchase to enjoy as a balanced snack later in the day.

In addition, athletes can enjoy a PB&J as a high-carb snack before a workout or as a post-game snack, helping to support their recovery nutrition needs.

  • PB&J Sandwich: 600 calories, 19 g protein
Potbelly PB&J Sandwich Option

#8 Powerhouse Salad: Potbelly Healthy Salad Option for Athletes

The Powerhouse Salad at Potbelly is nutrient-rich option for athletes. The salad contains field greens topped with grilled chicken breast, sliced avocado, hummus, hard-boiled egg, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

  • Powerhouse Salad: 560 calories, 30 g protein

#9 Chili

Potbelly offers chili made with beef, kidney beans, bell peppers, and onions, which can be a healthy addition to an athlete’s meal.

I suggest that athletes pair the chili with one of Potbelly’s healthy sandwich or salad options to create a well-balanced meal.

  • Bowl of Chili: 370 calories, 23 g protein
  • Cup of Chili: 250 calories, 15 g protein

#10 Garden Vegetable Soup

The garden vegetable soup is another healthy side option that athletes can enjoy along with a sandwich or salad at Potbelly. The soup includes a variety of vegetables and beans cooked in a delicious tomato broth.

  • Bowl of Garden Vegetable Soup: 110 calories, 4 g protein
  • Cup of Garden Vegetable Soup: 70 calories, 3 g protein

A Note on Sodium in Potbelly Menu Items

It is important to note that many of the Potbelly menu items discussed previously are 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.

Potbelly Healthy Catering Options for Athletic Teams

If you are responsible for planning team meals for away games, Potbelly offers catering.

The Potbelly individual box lunches can be an easy meal option for athletes to enjoy on the bus ride home from a game. Just make sure to select a healthy sandwich option to be included in the boxed meals.

Potbelly also offers a Box O’ Sandwiches, which can be a convenient addition to a team dinner for a sports team.

Potbelly Healthy Options for Athletes

You are now set with a variety of healthy options that athletes can order at Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

For additional healthy dining out options for athletes check out my blog on healthy options at Chick-fil-A.

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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. 

Sports Nutrition Game Day Guide EBook for Athletes

If you are looking to take your performance to the next level, make sure to check out my new Sports Nutrition Game Day Guide. This downloadable guide is written to help athletes develop an individualized plan to achieve peak performance on game day.

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