The Vertical Diet is a performance-based nutrition plan, which claims to optimise gut health, rectify nutritional deficiencies, and balance hormones, while also improving energy, endurance, and recovery in athletes. It is meant to help in muscle gain, and enhance performance by focussing on easily digestible foods, as well as red meat and white rice to increase protein and carbohydrates intake. It is though note-worthy that it is limited in variety, low in fibre, and may not be beneficial for everyone.
What exactly is a Vertical Diet?
It was developed by Stan Efferding, a high-class powerlifter, to boost performance in bodybuilders, powerlifters, and serious athletes. It also is said to be beneficial for casual gym enthusiasts who aim to increase muscle mass or lose weight.
As per Efferding, a diet less in variety can make your body digest and assimilate food better, which can, in turn, improve muscle mass, recovery, gut health, and metabolism.
How to follow the Vertical Diet?
- Red meat and white rice is the main substance of the vertical diet.
- According to people who advocate this diet, white rice is a primary source of carbohydrates, which is easy to digest, especially in large quantities. This is important for serious athletes with high-calorie needs.
- Red meat is preferred over fish, and poultry, because it is dense in nutrition, iron, B vitamins, zinc, and cholesterol- which are considered crucial for muscle growth and testosterone production.
- Other foods that are permitted to consume in this diet are- eggs, spinach, yoghurt, and salmon. As all the important micronutrients can’t be met with these two ingredients.
- All eating items that are difficult to digest are discouraged including vegetables that can cause gas and bloating such as broccoli and cauliflower.
- Foods that contain lectins and phytic acids like legumes and brown rice should not be consumed as they interfere with the absorption of nutrients. However, small amounts of it can be eaten only after being sprouted or soaked.
What are the benefits of following this diet?
- Support muscle mass.
digestive system. Also, by focussing on increasing the carb intake, will help in boosting the muscle mass.
- Might help some digestive system problems.
Digestive systems like bloating, stomach cramps, constipation, and diarrhoea can be improved in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
What are the downsides of following this diet?
- Low in fibre.
Having enough fibre can help you in maintaining heart health, digestive health, and keeping you full for a longer period of time. It can also potentially lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic ailments.
- Low in prebiotics.
Even though the Vertical Diet claims to be gut-friendly, it still eliminates various prebiotic foods essential for maintaining good gut bacteria.
- Restricted on variety.
The diet is low on the variety which makes it difficult to follow for a long time. Moreover, that can lead to nutritional deficiencies if not planned properly.
- Not appropriate for vegans and vegetarians.
The Vertical Diet advocates the consumption of red meat which is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Over to you
The Vertical Diet is meant for individuals targeting bodybuilding and powerlifting. But since, it is deprived of some essential micronutrients; it is advisable to follow it under the supervision of an expert.