Fast Food with the Most Protein
It is a typical Tuesday evening and you have just finished a grueling smith machine squat session at your local Planet Fitness. Unfortunately, it’s not free bagel or pizza day. You shuffle out to your vehicle. Gym bag in hand. Stomach grumbling. You sink into the driver’s seat. Your cell phone drops into the black abyss between the seat and the console. Surely, lost forever. You are too damn tired and hungry to even consider searching for it. All you can think about is getting home and shoveling some type of sustenance down your gullet.
Then, an overwhelming sense of regret grips you. Through the endless worry about setting off the lunk-alarm and offending other gym goers with sweat and effort, you failed to prep a meal that you can heat up and quickly enjoy. You are going to have to cook.
Fuck. That. Too tired. Too lazy.
Fast food will be your saving grace. But what to choose? You may work out at Planet Fitness and squat in the smith machine, but you still squat, damnnit. This means you probably care at least a little bit about the protein content of your next meal. Since your phone is forever lost to the cryptic console cavern, you have no idea what your best protein choices are for this impending fast food feast.
Worry not, here at Massenomics, we are mediocre at most things, but we sometimes have novel ideas. Like a weight lifter’s guide for fast food with the most protein:
10. Chipotle Chicken Burrito
Started from the bottom, and we are still here. Chipotle clocks in on our list at #10 with a paltry 39g of protein in their Chicken Burrito. That’s not even enough protein to grow out your fingernails. C’mon man.
9. Taco Bell XXL Stuffed Steak Burrito
Barely edging out Chipotle is another Burrito. This time from Taco Bell. Honestly, I am pretty sure there was a news article once that claimed Taco Bell’s meat was only like 35% meat. I don’t even know how that is possible. That is like saying this chair I am sitting on is only 68% chair. What in the fuck else is it? Can we really trust the protein content of burrito that is maybe only 65% burrito? I am skeptical, but, nonetheless, I will leave Taco Bell at #9 because I get paid about 11 cents an hour to research this stuff.
8. Arby’s Half Pound French Dip
Next in line was Arby’s. I was actually surprised by this, considering the size of those large roast beef sandwiches, I couldn’t believe their highest protein sandwich came in at only 55g. I think Arby’s is on to something. The thinly sliced beef does a deceptive job of increasing the volume of the sandwich, all while not actually adding any more substance. A for ingenuity. C- for protein content. And an A+ for those fucking mozzarella sticks that taste amazing but are quite possibly the most unhealthy things on the planet. A greasy fat stick, coated in highly processed starches and deep fried. #merica.
7. McDonald’s Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger:
The iconic golden arches. I was secretly hoping that the Big Mac would take the top honor for McDonald’s. Instead, we are left with something called the Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger. It doesn’t sound good. I don’t know why, but I feel like this is the type of burger that Fedora-wearing neckbeards order and then squirt ketchup directly onto their tray into a massive silage pile because the little white containers are just too trendy.
6. Wendy’s Dave’s Triple
Wendy’s. *deep sigh* the only redhead I will ever love. The Wendy’s Triple is the first to break the 70g-barrier for protein content. It is also one of the few food items I have actually had on this list, and it is hands down my favorite. Wendy’s beef is mouth-watering spectacular compared to other fast food burgers.
I refuse to say anything negative about Wendy’s because of my bias. Except that the entire Wendy’s menu outside of their burgers and frostys is terrible.
5. Burger King Triple Whopper Sandwich with Cheese:
At #5 with Burger King, we cross a threshold where fat really starts to eclipse protein. 82g of fat is a whopping 738 calories. Or, in other words, this burger is 60% fat. Just for a nice visual, 82g of fat is approximately equal to 16 teaspoons of oil. I mean, I have no idea why this country has an obesity problem.
4. Hardee’s ⅔ Monster Thick Burger
Here is a burger that is not even trying to hide the fact that it is a gluttonous monstrosity. The name is literally Monster Thick Burger. They may as well just shorten it to the “The Coronary”, because not only does this shit sandwich have 90g fat, it has an artery-expanding 3140mg of sodium. Forget the pump from nitric oxide supplements, this burger will increase your blood volume so much you’ll feel like you have maple syrup pumping through your veins. But, at an impressive 76g of protein, this was the highest ranking burger of the ubiquitous fast food chains.
3. Subway 12” inch bacon ranch
Interesting bit of trivia for you here. The very first Massenomics “article” was actually about Subway. It was titled “The Subway Delusion”. My feelings toward Subway since then haven’t really changed. They are still not a “healthy alternative” to fast food. But, I digress. The nutritional facts for Subway sandwiches were all laid out for 6” subs. Except, I don’t remember the last time anyone was ever satisfied with just 6 inches.
As a result, I doubled the macros to give it a more accurate reflection on this list. The loaf of bread you get with the sub comes in just a shade under an impressive 100g of carbohydrates. The protein content is a significant 76g and puts it neck-and-neck or bun-and-bun with Hardee’s Monster Thickburger.
2. Taco John’s Six-pack and a Pound
These next two items on the list aren’t fairly compared with the rest. They aren’t stand-alone items as much as they are meals for an entire damn family. However, pretty much anyone I know that lifts weights has eaten one of these meals by themselves. Thus, I felt compelled to include them.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this one. Everyone that has at one point eaten a TJ’s six-pack and a pound has surely felt strong feelings of shame and disgust after finishing it. A deplorable 150g of fat, followed by 303g of carbs and a disappointing 81g protein are some of the most fucked macro ratio’s I have seen for a meal nearly eclipsing 3000 calories. But, what really caused me to stop and question reality was the jaw-dropping 7870mg of sodium. That exceeds 3 days worth of the daily recommended intake for sodium. In. One. Meal. I am surprised this meal doesn’t come with a warning label. “May cause excessive fluid retention” “May cause edema.” “May render your fingers worthless, swollen sausages.” But hey, 81g of protein is 81g.
1. Little Caesars Pepperoni Pizza
Taking the top spot on our list is also perhaps the most economical choice for anyone on a budget. Like 6 freaking bucks for almost an entire day’s worth of calories. Hard to go wrong with that price for over 100g protein. The fat and sodium content of this pizza is nearly half that of the TJ’s six-pack and a pound. Plus, who the hell doesn’t like pizza? Much like Julius Caeser himself, Little Caesar’s Pizza reigns supreme over the land…. of high-protein fast food.
Bonus: Ultimate Chocolate Shake Large
In my fast food research, I came across some interesting and bizarre items. One, in particular, made me stop and take notice. This shake from Arby’s. 1000 calories, 31g of fat and a coma-inducing 140g of sugar. My pancreas literally shrieked when I read that. With a serving weight of almost 700g, this is 1.5lbs of actual diabetes in a cup.
I hope this list serves as a beacon of light in your murky, exhausted, post-gym mind. Let it faithfully guide you to all the protein you may need for optimal growth. If nothing else, you’ll never forget where you can get 8g of sodium while exclaiming to everyone judging you “I am dehydrated, I need ELECTROLYTES……. and, um, 1 pound of potato oles.”