As a Jiu-jitsu practitioner for over 10 years, I can guarantee I’ve almost tried every diet on the planet. There’s a lot of information out there about the best diet for grapplers and without a doubt, I think everyone should try different diets to see what works for them.

Recently, I stumbled upon one that has been an absolute game changer for me –if you’re interested in improving your performance with a simplified diet, you’ll want to read this.

I’ve been training for over 10 years and have been “active” in other sports for longer. In that time, I’ve never found a diet that worked for me performance and aesthetic wise.

I tried Paleo, Keto, intermittent fasting at various time intervals, you name it –nothing really helped.

Most of these diets are not tailored to athletes (even worse for grapplers who have their own unique movements) who are training multiple times per day, which, as a jiu-jitsu instructor is my life. The good side to this is I get to train a lot. The bad side, however, is my body is always wrecked.

Over the years, I just found an “in-between” diet that’s worked for me. It wasn’t optimized by any means but it was good enough. My diet’s been simple, easy to follow and very well managed –All hallmarks of a great diet for grapplers.

Just recently, I get to chatting with a former NFL player and he recommends I start drinking orange juice with salt tabs after training. At first I was like “lol what?”

Another friend chimed in, another former football player with “VERTICAL! Dude, you already eat vertical more or less”.

Again… “lol what?”

Going Vertical: A Diet for Grapplers

I did some research on “Vertical Diet” and found that yes, my diet (mostly eggs, ground beef and white rice) was more or less “vertical” except it wasn’t optimized, meaning, there were some important points I was missing such as Orange Juice after training with salt to replenish glucose and electrolytes (genius, really). I made some changes, the most important of which were:

1. New post recovery drink is 6oz OJ + Pink Salt

2. 10 minute walks after eating

3. Adding more sourdough bread and sweet potatoes

4. Staying away from chicken breast (IYKYK)

Immediately, everything changed. I noticed that within days, my sleep started to improve, my training got much better and I had much more in the tank to train more often. Which, if you’re looking for the perfect diet for grapplers, these are the most IMPORTANT components.

The diet itself was created by a former Powerlifting/Bodybuilding MONSTER named Stan Efferding. He’s got quite a few excellent podcasts and seminars on YouTube and I encourage everyone to look him up but for now, keep reading for more on how this diet’s helped me maximize my training.

The Point of The Vertical Diet

The whole premise of the diet is that in order to increase performance we need to

A) Get the proper “horizontal” filled with adequate micronutrients AND

B) Take our diet vertical so we get sufficient calories (This can be quite hard if you’re training a TON)

​One of the biggest challenges for me has always been eating enough food. As a matter of fact, most people have very little clue as to how little/much they’re eating in terms of their total energy expenditure. And if you’re a grappler, you’re probably burning more calories than you think and should be eating more. And part of the problem with eating more is that it can seem like a full-time job [This diet can help you with that too].

Now, this isn’t a “macros” diet for grapplers. In fact, macros, in Stan’s words, are just a small part of the equation. More importantly is simply to get the amount of calories you need from the right sources.

The right sources include foods that are easy to digest so that you can get adequate micronutrient intake but also enough energy (“calories in”) to fuel your training.

I have never had a diet work this well for me and I’m confident it’ll work for others as it has for some of my students who I’ve recommended it to. [Full Disclosure, I am partnered with The Vertical Diet so I receive a commission for it so if you want to throw some more support my way, use this link to check it out.]

I get asked about my diet a lot and THIS IS IT.

This ebook has the entire playbook I use as a jiu-jitsu practitioner to fuel my training and allow me to be on the mats and in the gym as much as I am.

​If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me at Ricardo@jiujitology.com

Leave a Reply