In today’s fast paced world, it can be tough getting nutrient rich ready made meals that match athletic goals. Meal prepping is great, but if you don’t have a 5-hour time slot (at least) for shopping and cooking, then it can be a haphazard, tedious process. In come paleo meal delivery services and kits.
These services are relatively new, and the whole delivery process can seem a little daunting at first. When you factor in the money spent on groceries and time cooking/prepping meals, then meal delivery services begin to make sense financially.
There are a lot of meal kit delivery services and ready made meal services out there, but not all are created equal. We specifically looked at these services and how they could apply to the busy strength athlete and improve their life. A strength athlete will have different asks than a regular person. Below are a few basic reasons an athlete would choose to use a meal kit delivery service.
At the end of the day, we’re busy athletes just like our readers. So we put the best paleo, natural, and health conscious ready made meal delivery services through a plethora of tests, and compiled our favorites across multiple categories below.
Best Meal Service Picks
- Best Meal Delivery Service/Kit for Athletes: Trifecta Nutrition
- Best Paleo Meal Delivery Service: Factor 75
- Best On-the-Go Meal Delivery Service: The Good Kitchen
- Best Vegetarian Meal Delivery Service: Trifecta Nutrition
- Best Healthy Meal Delivery Service: Sun Basket
- Read on for even more categories!
Why Ready Made Meal Delivery Services & Kits?
Possibly the biggest reason for enlisting one of these services for a strength athlete is the amount of time they save. An athlete with a busy schedule can earn back multiple hours during the week by having a service deliver meals that fit their dietary needs. With more weekly hours, an athlete can invest more time in their training, rest, work, and hobbies.
Nutrition, Calories, and Macronutrients
Another reason athletes may enlist these services is for the nutritional aspects. An athlete needs ample nutrients, individualized macronutrient targets, and daily caloric goals to constantly improve their performance. For this reason, natural, organic, paleo, and health conscious meal kit services come in handy.
When you’re eating whole, natural foods frequently, then you’ll be achieving micronutrients goals that you may miss out on cooking on your own. Most services offer meals with consistent calories too, so an athlete in need of a daily caloric allotment can consistently hit it with ease. In addition to consistent calories, many services offer full macronutrient meal and ingredient breakdown, so athletes can select meals on their own that fit their bill, or let the service do so for them.
Similar to time, these services are convenient. Most run on a subscription based service, so it takes the thought out of ordering meals on a regular basis. This means less time spent thinking about what to eat and what to grab at the grocery store. Also, some services offer you the ability to do weekly, every other week, and additional options, which takes the guesswork out of getting in healthy meals for the busy athlete.
Best Meal Kit Delivery Service for Athletes
Trifecta Nutrition earned our number one pick for an athlete’s meal kit or delivery service.
There were three defining factors that make Trifecta our number one choice for athletes. First, they offer meal plans with multiple focuses, and they can be catered to an athlete’s needs. Second, their meals tasted great with easy to read nutrition labels, which is a big positive for on-the-go athletes. Third and lastly, we liked that their service offers bulk a la cart items. This gives athletes the option to build their own meal, or enroll in a meal plan.
Our second choice for athletes is Paleo Power Meals. We liked their meals and service for multiple reasons similar to Trifecta. For starters, their meals and foods all tasted exceptional, so an athlete won’t get bored with their food. Additionally, we like that they list all of their food’s nutrition information and ingredients. We also like that their selection changes pretty regularly and they offer meals, along with individual food items.
Factor 75 earns our third spot for athletes. They make it easy to find meals that fit a variety of specific needs, which includes macronutrient and caloric goals. We like that their menu changes often and you have the option to choose your meals, or let them decide. Their meal’s all tasted pretty good and come in a package with easy to read nutrition and ingredient information.
Best Paleo Meal Delivery Service & Kit
Our top pick for the paleo oriented diet is Factor 75. A lot of their meals and ingredients are well-formulated to cater to the paleo eater.
We liked a lot of things Factor 75 had to offer for the paleo oriented dieter. Right off the bat, their meals were pretty creative compared to other services, and exceptionally tasty. Another positive we enjoyed with Factor 75 is that they list out all of their nutrition facts and ingredients fully on the package. You know exactly what you’re getting and how much you’re getting. Also, we like how easy their site made selecting paleo meal options.
What earned Paleo Power Meals the second spot on our list is their precise nutrition, tasty food selections, and customizability. First, every meal and package offers full nutrition labels and ingredient listings, so busy athletes never have to wonder if it fits their paleo needs. Second, every food we tried tasted great. Third and lastly, Paleo Power Meals offers you the option to buy individual meals, or bulk foods (great for macro driven diets).
Photo courtesy paleopowermeals.com.
Ice Age Meals earns the third spot on our list and offered a fair amount of “paleo” focused meals. We like their variety and condensed packaging, which made them easy to transport in multiple types of bags. Another positive we liked about Ice Age was the varied amounts of calories in each meal. If you need extra calories, then you can select calorie dense meals in your weekly shipment.
Best On-the-Go Meal Delivery Service
Our favorite on-the-go meal delivery service comes from The Good Kitchen for three specific reasons.
Image courtesy thegoodkitchen.com.
For starters, The Good Kitchen’s meals come in smaller sealed packages, so they’re easy to transport around. Also, the containers are consistently sized, there will never be surprises in sizing. Second, the amount of meals dictate the price, which means you can order more for less per meal. This is a good option for someone with a true on-the-go lifestyle. Lastly, their nutrition information is easily readable, on-the-go individuals won’t time to waste guessing how much they’re consuming.
Our next on-the-go pick is Ice Age Meals. We like that Ice Age Meals uses small packages with their meals, and found that they fit in a plethora of bags. Also, if you freeze their meals, we found that they stay compact and don’t run or leak in transit. Factor in the free shipping they offer, and we have a meal delivery service that’s easy to transport, while being easy to receive while on-the-go.
The last pick on our on-the-go list is CavemanChefs. We liked their thin packaging and felt that when we froze meals before traveling that they held up pretty well. What really earned CavemanChefs their spot on our list was their changing meal selection. We think this aspect made them a great choice for busy athletes who want variety when out and about, along with minimal messes from meals breaking in their bags.
Best Vegetarian Meal Kit Delivery Service
Trifecta Nutrition earns our number one choice for vegetarian, ready made meals/delivery service. We think they’re a good fit for vegetarians for multiple reasons.
What’s sets Trifecta apart is their full vegetarian meal plan — and vegan options. They also provide full ingredient and nutrition information, so vegetarians will never have to worry about what they’re consuming. We also like that you can select as many meals as you’d like on a weekly basis, which makes this service great for those who want a ton of meals, or only a few.
Pete’s Paleo was our second choice in this category. What helps Pete’s Paleo stand apart from other ready made meal services is their full blown vegetarian meal plan. Unlike other services where you have to select vegetarian meals on a limited basis, Pete’s Paleo offers a full vegetarian plan. Additionally, they have a changing menu, so the vegetarian dieter won’t become easily bored with their weekly meals. To top it off, they offer full lists of ingredients and nutrition information on their meals.
Best Healthy Meal Delivery Service
Sun Basket earned our top spot for the best healthy meal delivery service for a variety of health-focused reasons.
Sun Basket provides a different take on meals compared to other services on our list5. As opposed to delivering pre-cooked meals, they provide you with the ingredients to construct your own meals. All of their ingredients are locally sourced and organic, so you can be ensured that they’re going to be full of nutrients, along with never being previously frozen. We like that you can pick from their wide variety of meal options, then prep the meals per their directions and even add specific tweaks catered towards your health needs.
Our second healthy meal delivery service pick was Factor 75. Factor 75’s meal delivery service provides you with multiple dietary options, which makes it incredibly useful for those eating with a specific purpose. In addition, we like that they use non-GMO and organic ingredients to construct their meals. If you’re looking for a consistent and specifically catered meal delivery service for your dietary needs (keto, paleo, etc), then Factor 75 could be a good choice for you.
The Good Kitchen earned our last pick for best healthy meal delivery service. Their meals tended to be slightly lower in calories, so if consuming less calories, but with nutritiously dense options is your prerogative, then their service could be a good pick. Additionally, in our review and our analysis of their service, we thought their meals were relatively simple, so there’s no frills or additional ingredients thrown into their selections.
Still Looking for the Best Meal Delivery Service for You?
We understand not all athletes and exercisers will find services that perfectly fit their needs from our picks above. So we’ve gone into even more detail for our favorites in some other common and popular categories below, like for ketogenic options and weight loss.
Best Ketogenic Meal Kit Delivery Service
Factor 75 is our top ketogenic meal kit delivery pick. A good ketogenic meal will have clearly defined keto geared macronutrients and ingredients listed.
What earned Factor 75 the top spot on our ketogenic list is their clearly defined ketogenic options. When you order from Factor 75 and view their list of meals, then you’ll see a clearly defined keto stamp on the upper left side of a meal that fits ketogenic needs. This is key for easily finding meals that fit the keto bill, and providing an athlete with nutrition information before selecting them for your cart. Not to mention, their meals all taste great.
CavemanChefs earns our second pick for ketogenic meal kit delivery service. If you visit CavemanChefs’ site you’ll select your meal plan, which can range from medium, large, to extra large (all varying in calories), then select your specific dietary needs. Of those options, you can select ketogenic, and your selected meal plan will be catered for the ketogenic diet. We like how they can make you multiple sized ketogenic meal options with the caloric amount you desire.
Our final ketogenic pick is Trifecta. Their service doesn’t necessarily offer ketogenic specific meals, but they have a plethora of a la cart items that fit the keto ask. For example, they offer a variety of protein and vegetable options in bulk, so the ketogenic dieter could make multiple meals when shopping Trifecta’s individual food items. We also like that they list ingredients and nutrition before ordering, so the ketogenic dieter will know exactly what they’re getting.
Best Weight Loss Meal Kit Delivery Service
The Good Kitchen earns our number one pick for a weight loss focused meal delivery service. Weight loss will be completely dependent on one’s goals, but we thought their service hit a few key asks a dieter looks for.
A standout feature we liked about The Good Kitchen’s meals were the caloric totals. Of the services we reviewed, we found that The Good Kitchen’s caloric totals, which varied between 250-410, were on the lower end of the spectrum. For anyone in a caloric deficit, we feel that The Good Kitchen’s low calorie, organic focused meals are a good option for hitting caloric goals and obtaining quality nutrients.
CavemanChefs earns our second pick for the weight loss focused individual. We like that their service comes with multiple meal sizes with respective caloric allotments. This makes it easy for someone who needs a consistently calorie focused meal when eating in a deficit. Additionally, we liked their easy to read nutrition information and full ingredient listing on each package.
Our final pick for weight loss is Kettle Bell Kitchen. We like that Kettle Bell Kitchen gives you a “fat loss” option when designing your meal plan. When you select this option, their service then creates a meal plan that’s catered to the individual worried about meal composition, calories, and macronutrient breakdown. The only downside to their service is the limited availability for those who reside out of the Northeast (specifically the NYC metropolitan area).
Best Fitness Meal Prep Delivery Service
Trifecta Nutrition earns our number one spot for fitness meal prep. We think their meal selection and a la cart options make it easy for anyone tracking specific calories and macronutrients.
We like how Trifecta works with Renaissance Periodization to formulate their meals and nutrition. Renaissance Periodization has built a strong reputation with the strength athlete population when designing optimal calorie and macronutrient ratios. Athletes that want to prep meals on their own will have a wide variety of a la cart options, but also the ability to pick from a number of themed meal plans.
Paleo Power Meals earns our second pick for a fitness meal prep service. We like that their menu rotates somewhat frequently and provides bulk food items, plus individual meals. You can choose to build your own meals with individual foods, or choose between breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. All of their foods have full ingredient listings, along with nutrition, so the diet focused athlete can prep with ease.
We also like Factor 75 for fitness meal prep. While they don’t offer a la cart and individual items, they do offer meals with multiple dietary characteristics. For the athlete with specific meal prep needs such as non-GMO, ketogenic, and paleo, then they’ll have a variety of meals to choose from with Factor 75.
Meal kit delivery services are gaining popularity as our weekly time allotment for food prep continues to become more limited. For strength athletes who find themselves frequently on-the-go, enlisting one of these services can be helpful for earning back more hours in the week while staying on-track nutritionally.
Paleo and health conscious services like these can help push an athlete’s performance while providing them with nutritionally dense meals and food options.