While we don't encourage you hitting Mickey D's on a daily basis, sometime you've got no choice

September 30, 2010


Regardless of how organized you are, there are going to be times when you need a meal on the run — and you need it fast. When that situation arises, you want to know what you're getting yourself into. We're not in the habit of advising you to order off the McDonald's menu, but, if you find yourself driving through the golden arches either before or after training, here are a few suggestions for how to suit your needs and stay on track.


Ideally you want to ingest about 20 grams of protein and about 40 g of slow-burning carbs. At McDonald's, that's pretty easy. The Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich is basically a grilled chicken breast on a wheat bun — about as close to the ideal bodybuilding preworkout meal as you can get. (See the chart.) Be sure to ask for the sandwich without mayo; fat slows digestion and absorption of both protein and carbs. Drink a large Diet Coke and you'll get about 120 milligrams of caffeine to power your workout.

Premium Grilled Chicken
Classic Sandwich (no mayo)
370 32 50 4.5
Large Diet Coke 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 370 32 50 4.5

* in grams


What's a simple way to get your 40 g of lean protein and 60 g or more of fast-burning carbs once you're done at the gym? Ask your friendly server for your grilled chicken be served on a white bun.

To spice things up (and to prove that there's more than one postworkout bodybuilder-friendly option on the McDonald's menu), we cooked up the meal plan in the accompanying chart. The goal is to be as low in fat as possible, so get the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (rather than "crispy," which is code for battered and fried in muscle-melting trans fats) and ditch the Parmesan cheese. Be careful with salad dressing, too. McDonald's doesn't offer a fat-free version, so use just a slight drizzle of one of their low-fat options. Wash it down with chocolate milk and a yogurt parfait, both of which contain whey and casein for the perfect blend of fast- and slow-digesting protein.

Caesar Salad with
Grilled Chicken
(no Parmesan cheese)
160 26 11 2.5
Newman's Own Low-fat
Family Recipe
Italian Dressing
30 0.5 4 1.5
1% Low-fat Chocolate
Milk Jug
170 9 26 3
Fruit 'n Yogurt
Parfait (no granola)
130 4 25 2
TOTALS 490 39.5 66 9

* in grams


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