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How to Build Your Post Fueling Plate When Fast Food is Your Only Option



Katie Breazeale, MS, RD, LD


There are times when you’ll have to travel for competition and your only option for a meal after will be fast food. There is a way to still make healthy-fueling selections and get the fuel you need post competition. Your post competition meal is just as important as your pre-competition meal. It should provide carbohydrates for REFUELING your muscles, protein for REPAIRING your muscles and antioxidants for reducing inflammation and it should also include liquid for REHYDRATING. 


Even though it’s fast food, the goal is to design your post fueling meal after the athlete’s plate models. You just competed so depending on the sport you’ll want to follow the moderate or the hard day athlete plate model. 



Let’s look at two popular chains and how to make the best choices for creating your post-fueling plate.


Chick fil a

Grilled chicken Sandwich 

Grilled Nuggets 

Cool Wrap 

Greek yogurt parfait

Apple sauce pouch

Fresh fruit cup

**Fries = sometimes food. Not the best for recovery because it’s deep fried. But maybe a victory meal option. 


The items listed above are the best fueling options from Chickfila. From there, it’s your job to take the items listed and build your hard or moderate athlete plate. Example: 2 Grilled Chicken Sandwiches (Carb and protein) + Fruit Cup (Color). Or Cool Wrap + fries (carb/sometimes food) + Apple sauce pouch. 



Chipotle can be easier and harder to understand all at the same time. I, personally, think it’s easier because you can hand select each item to build your plate with. It can be a little confusing because they aren’t plates, they are bowls or burritos. 


Hard Athlete Plate = 

Burrito or Burrito Bowl 

More carbs in these items. 


Moderate Athlete Plate = Salad Bowl + scoop of rice/beans


Chipotle

Burrito - Hard Athlete Plate 

Chicken, brown rice, black beans, topped with salsa and cheese

655 calories, 63 g Carbs, and 50 g protein


Burrito Bowl- Hard Athlete Plate 

Chicken, brown rice, lettuce, salsa, fajita veggies

440 calories, 36 g protein,and 41 g carbs


Salad Bowl -Moderate Athlete Plate 

Salad with chicken, brown rice, black beans, salsa, and topped with cheese

660 calories, 50 g protein, and 64 g carbs


These are just two of the most popular chains to stop and grab food.  If you are at the mercy of another fast food place look for these items on the menu to help build your post fueling plate.

  • Grilled over fried

  • Sides of fruit or salad

  • Whole grain breads and sides

  • Yogurt Parfaits 

  • Non- deep fried foods :) 


While fast food may not seem desirable after a competition it is better than no fuel. Your body needs protein, carbs, and hydration to help repair and replenish.  Contact us today if you want to deep dive into your specific fueling needs, or for learning how to better fuel your team. 


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