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Written by: Emily Kho on Oct 12th, 2021

10 Best Meal Delivery Services for Athletes 2021: Fuel Yourself

As an athlete, your days are structured around your workouts, with limited free time. Even though your diet is equally as important as exercise, sometimes it’s hard juggling it all – including planning balanced meals, shopping for all the ingredients, and meal prepping.

We’ve tested several different companies across the industry to present the 10 best meal delivery services for athletes.

Short on Time? Here Are The 10 Best Meal Delivery Services for Athletes of 2021 

What to Look For in the Best Meal Delivery Services

When it comes to meal delivery services, you can either have prepared meals delivered to your door, or meal kits that require basic kitchen skills to help you craft a meal of your very own.

The Best Meal Prep Services

Meal prep services, or meal kits, provide you with all of the ingredients needed to quickly prepare chef-quality meals from the comfort of your own home. The best meal prep services will offer:

  • A range of cooking times to choose from

  • Fresh ingredients

  • Family-style kits to feed a group

  • Flexible delivery schedules

The Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services

At the other end of the spectrum are prepared meal delivery services, which deliver prepared meals to your door, requiring minimal effort. The best prepared meal delivery services will provide:

  • Fresh or flash-frozen options

  • Single serving meals

  • Snacks and add-on sides

  • Microwave or oven-friendly dishes

What to Look For in Both Prepared Home Delivery Meals and Meal Kits

Whether you decide that meal kits or prepared meals are the better option for you, always be sure to choose one with:

  • Flexible plans with no commitment

  • Lots of recipe options to choose from

  • Fresh ingredients

  • Additional resources available online

  • Delivery options suited to your situation

  • Options for restricted diets

Our Best Meal Delivery Services for Athletes - Reviewed

1. HelloFresh – Best Overall Meal Prep Delivery Service for Athletes

HelloFresh Best Features

HelloFresh in a Nutshell

HelloFresh makes sure that you never get tired of your meal kits, with over 20 recipes to choose from every week . That means you still enjoy the flexibility of planning your meals for the week, but without the hassle of doing the shopping and prep yourself.

HelloFresh prioritizes sustainably sourced proteins and farm-fresh produce. This feature is especially great if you’re an athlete who’s trying to be mindful of the ingredients you’re consuming. You can learn more about the quality of HelloFresh ingredients in my colleague’s expert HelloFresh review .

You can receive weekly deliveries from HelloFresh from anywhere within the contiguous United States. Orders come Wednesday through Friday in most areas, with exceptions in specific areas that receive their boxes Saturday through Tuesday.

2. Freshly – Best Lean, Pre-Made Meals

Freshly Best Features

Freshly in a Nutshell

Freshly has launched a brand new menu option called FreshlyFit, which has been designed to satiate athletes and anyone leading an active lifestyle. These ready-made meals are favorites designed by gourmet chefs and prepared in kitchens across the United States

The primary focus of FreshlyFit is the macronutrients that make up each meal. This shift from the traditional, higher-calorie Freshly meals is meant to provide an easy and allergy-friendly solution for people who lead a more active lifestyle. Fuel your workouts and highly active days while supporting the specific health goals you set for yourself.

You can read more about how Freshly works in our in-depth Freshly review .

Freshly currently only delivers to the lower contiguous United States. You can check online to see if delivery is available and, if not, you’ll receive a notification via email once it is. Orders ship seven days a week, depending on your zip code.

3. Sunbasket – Best for Organic and Sustainably Sourced Meals

Sunbasket Best Features

Sunbasket in a Nutshell

Depending on how much time you like to spend in the kitchen, Sunbasket has got the right plan for you. Whether you’re looking for meal kits for quieter days or Fresh & Ready meals after workouts, you can have it all with Sunbasket.

You can easily mix and match each week’s recipes to try new and inventive flavors each week,  with a helpful filter identifying meals under 600 calories. Even better, Sunbasket backs all of its deliveries with a 100% money-back guarantee, ensuring you’re happy with every single meal.

We go into more detail on how Sunbasket’s subscriptions work in our Sunbasket review .

Weekly deliveries from Sunbasket come Monday through Thursday between 8 am and 9 pm. Sunbasket currently provides meal kits across the contiguous United States, with some limitations in Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

4. Fresh n’ Lean – Best Fresh, Chef-Prepared Meals

Fresh n’ Lean Best Features

Fresh n’ Lean in a Nutshell

Fresh n’ Lean allows you the ultimate freedom in your meal planning for the week. Choose from five different menu plans with up to three meals a day. Or, you can pick a la carte meals if you want some flexibility outside of your meal delivery.

We go into more detail on what sets Fresh n’ Lean apart in our Fresh n’Lean review .

What’s great about Fresh n’ Lean is that you can add extras from the Bulk section, such as veggies or proteins, to make sure your diet hits all of your necessary nutrients. It even has excellent dessert options like Keto strawberry ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Enjoy your weekly delivery from Fresh n’ Lean every Friday, with some deliveries arriving Saturday. Fresh n’ Lean delivers anywhere within the United States where GLS or FedEx are available.

5. Pete’s Paleo – Best Seasonal Paleo Meals

Pete’s Paleo Best Features

  • Locally sourced ingredients – rotating seasonal menu

  • Individually wrapped ingredients – sides are separate to prevent overcooking

  • Easily accessible nutritional information – macronutrients on every bag

  • Flexibility – order as needed or on a subscription

Pete’s Paleo in a Nutshell

Pete’s Paleo offers fresh paleo meals delivered weekly to your door . With a heavy emphasis on organic and locally sourced ingredients, you can expect much seasonal variety week by week. You don’t get the freedom to pick and choose your meals. Instead, you simply choose your meal plan, enter your protein preferences, and your meals are curated for you.

Pete’s Paleo always offers clearly defined macronutrients for its meals. The company has even partnered with the MyFitnessPal app, allowing you to add full meals or components such as sides at the click of a button.

As long as your orders are in by Monday night, you can expect your weekly Pete’s Paleo delivery to arrive on Thursday or Friday. All shipments are via FedEx or UPS ground or air, whichever is cheaper for you.

6. Green Chef – Best Allergy-Friendly Meals

Green Chef Best Features

Green Chef in a Nutshell

With Green Chef’s flexible menu options, you can choose the perfect plan and delivery frequency for your lifestyle. You’ll see a wide variety of organic vegetables in each of your meal kits and varying menus from week to week.

Get the full scoop on how Green Chef really works in our full-length Green Chef review .

Marked recipe cards are included, with additional information online as needed. Although signature sauces come pre-made for you, you can see the full ingredients lists on Green Chef's site. Anyone keeping close track of macronutrients can easily access information and even get additional pointers from The Cutting Board blog, exclusive to Green Chef.

Green Chef currently delivers to all of the contiguous United States, with some limitations in Louisiana. All deliveries come Monday through Saturday between 8 am and 9 pm. You can choose your delivery day, depending on your location.

7. Diet-to-Go – Best Ready-Made, Calorie-Controlled Meal Plan

Diet-to-Go Best Features

Diet-to-Go in a Nutshell

Diet-to-Go offers prepared meals that are flash-frozen with the latest technology, ensuring all nutrients are sustained through the process. Enjoy portion and calorie-controlled meals without having to worry about planning or preparing each week.

All meals provided by Diet-to-Go follow either a 1,200 or 1,600 calorie per day meal plan and are based on a nutritionally balanced scale comprised of 50% carbohydrates, 25% proteins, and 25% fats.

You can learn more about Diet-to-Go in our Diet-to-Go review .

Diet-to-Go delivers across the contiguous United States and offers local pickup options for those living in the Washington DC Metro area, Baltimore area, or the greater Los Angeles area. If shipped, all meals are sent out on Monday and arrive within one to three days. Diet-to-Go always provides tracking numbers so you can track your order.

8. Home Chef – Best Variety with Options for Everyone

Home Chef Best Features

Home Chef in a Nutshell

Home Chef recipes are familiar and fast, perfect for when you need a meal in a snap . You can customize your box to feed up to six people per meal or have extra leftovers to help hit all of your macronutrients through the week.

You can learn more about how Home Chef works in my colleague’s expert Home Chef review

The packaging is minimal and all recyclable. We even found that you can repurpose some of the sturdier plastic containers, which is a great perk.

You can expect your weekly Home Chef box to arrive Monday through Friday, depending on the available delivery schedule in your area. Home Chef currently delivers to 98% of the United States.

9. Veestro – Best Organic Vegan Meals for Athletes

Veestro Best Features

Veestro in a Nutshell

Famous athletes like Venus Williams and Colin Kaepernick promote a strictly vegan diet, proving it to be viable for even the most intense competitive training. All of the ingredients used in Veestro meals are organic and plant-based, meaning you’ll stick to a truly vegan diet. With tons of options to choose from, you’re sure to find a wide variety of lean, plant-based protein.

You can choose from 10, 20, or 30 meals to be delivered each week, allowing you to transition into an entirely plant-based diet if you are not quite there just yet.

We go into more detail in our in-depth Veestro review .

Veestro delivers across the contiguous United States Wednesday through Friday based on your location and the meal plan you choose. All meals are frozen and delivered in insulated boxes to ensure they stay frozen until you receive them.

10. Ice Age Meals – Best Macro-Balanced, Keto-Friendly Meals

Ice Age Meals Best Features

  • Fresh and organic ingredients – free from GMO, dairy, gluten, and preservatives

  • Build your box – choose six, 14, 24, or 48 meal boxes

  • Sampler options – for those who can’t decide

Ice Age Meals in a Nutshell

Ice Age Meals offers keto and paleo meals designed by its head chef, Nick Massie, who is well known to the CrossFit community. All meals are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten, and preservatives.

With extensive options available, providing up to 48 meals per box, you can control each meal that gets included. Or, if you’re having a hard time choosing, try the sampler boxes and rest assured that the meals will be lean, with all the macros you need.

Unlike other meal plans on this list, Ice Age Meals delivers to all fifty states. That’s great news for Alaska and Hawaii, which are often unable to utilize meal delivery services due to customs issues. Meals get delivered via FedEx Wednesday through Friday and are guaranteed to arrive within two days of leaving the freezers.

Best Meal Delivery Services for Athletes: Comparison Table


Special Discount

Meal Type

Diet Preferences

Macronutrients Available

Starting Price Per Meal


HelloFresh

Get $80 off plus free shipping from HelloFresh

Meal kits

Meat & veggies, vegetarian, low-calorie, family-friendly

Yes, on website

$7.49

Get Started

Freshly

Save $60 with Promo Code LAUNCH15 from Freshly

Prepared meals

Low-carb, high-protein, gluten-free, peanut-free

Yes, QR code on each meal and website

$8.49

Get Started

Sunbasket

Get $90 off and 4 FREE gifts from Sunbasket

Meal kits & prepared meals

Paleo, vegetarian, Lean & Clean, gluten-free, carb-conscious, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, Chef’s Choice, Fresh & Ready

Yes, on website

$4.62

Get Started

Fresh n’ Lean

Get $20 off your first box then 15% off all orders with Fresh n’ Lean

Prepared meals

Protein+, paleo, standard vegan, low-carb/low-cal vegan, Bulk

Yes, on website

$7.93

Get Started

Pete’s Paleo

N/A

Prepared meals

New You, paleo, paleo lite, Eat What You Love

Yes, on each meal

$14.28

Get Started

Green Chef

Get $80 off plus free shipping from Green Chef

Meal kits

Keto + paleo, balanced living, plant-powered

Yes, on website

$9.99

Get Started

Diet-to-Go

Save $100 on your first 5 weeks with Diet-to-Go

Prepared meals

Balance, balance-diabetes, keto-carb30, vegetarian

Yes, on website

$6.80

Get Started

Home Chef

Get $80 off plus free shipping from Home Chef

Meal kits & prepared meals

Carb conscious, calorie-conscious, vegetarian

Yes, on recipe card and website

$6.99

Get Started

Veestro

Get $40 off with Promo Code AOWERPLANT30 at Veestro

Meal kits

Organic, vegan, weight-loss, allergen-free, kosher

Yes, on label and website

$9.90

Get Started

Ice Age Meals

N/A

Prepared meals

Paleo, sampler

Yes, on meals and website

$10.99

Get Started

When is a Meal Plan for Athletes NOT Right For You?

If you suffer from severe allergies, you might have a more challenging time finding a good meal service. You’ll want to find a company that explicitly states it is allergen-free or has procedures in place regarding cross-contamination.

Veestro is exclusively dairy- and peanut-free, making it completely safe for those with severe food allergies. It also has an allergen-free menu to choose from.

As for medical conditions, you’ll have to closely research the company and check the meals you have selected are in line with your limitations. Sunbasket and Diet-to-Go are both possible options, offering diabetes menus.

Always check with your health care professional before committing to a meal delivery service to ensure it will not pose any threats to your health.

Bottom Line: Are Meal Delivery Services for Athletes Worth It?

Meal delivery services are a great way to help you stay in shape by focusing on a set meal plan. They’re also great for saving time by cutting out grocery shopping or meal prepping entirely.

As an athlete, it is likely your time outside of your workouts is limited. Rather than spend countless hours shopping, prepping, and cooking, seek out a meal delivery service to take care of all that for you.

What’s great is that all nutritional information is readily available, either directly on the packaging or online, making tracking your macronutrients easier than ever.

FAQ on the Best Meal Delivery Services for Athletes

What is a good meal plan for an athlete?

HelloFresh is one of the most well-known meal delivery services out there. With its wide variety of menu options, including lean meals and high-protein, any athlete is sure to be happy with their selection in each box. You even have the option of a family-sized order, which is excellent for feeding more people or having leftovers for additional meals throughout the week.

What is the best dinner for bodybuilders?

While HelloFresh is our favorite in terms of dinners for bodybuilders, there are other terrific options out there as well. Fresh n’ Lean is another excellent choice, with its Protein+ and Bulk menus. You can add on additional sides, veggies, and proteins to make sure you’re hitting all of your macronutrients in each meal.

What is a good lunch for athletes?

Understanding you might not have the time for meal kits for lunch, Sunbasket is an excellent option for athletes who are in a rush. With a whopping ten different menu options to choose from, there’s sure to be an option you’ll love.

About The Author

Emily Kho

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

With a strong background in hospitality management, Emily now writes for a global clientele. When she's not writing, she's likely obsessing over her dog or her dog's Instagram @waff.lynn

With a strong background in hospitality management, Emily now writes for a global clientele. When she's not writing, she's likely obsessing over her dog or her dog's Instagram @waff.lynn
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