T Nation

Vertical Diet - Stan Efferding


I might have missed something but what I heard Stan say in the Iceland seminar was that taking lots of steroids will mess up your liver and that causes you to lose your appetite so the fructose has some kind of positive effect on your liver and in turn will increase your appetite. I don’t know the science behind it but I don’t think there is anything special about oranges, it could just as well be mangoes but it’s hard to consistently find ripe mangoes in many parts of the world and you can always get an orange or orange juice.

I haven’t gone full vertical with my diet, although I have started doing a few things that Stan recommends. The one thing that seems to have made the most noticeable difference is increasing salt. I already wasn’t shy with salt but now I try to get a little bit more, I used to be thirsty all the time and pissing a lot too. Like even in the winter I would drink about 4L in a day, in the summer it could be double on a hot day. Now I’m drinking less and also pissing less, I guess my body is holding onto the water rather than pouring it off and asking for more.


(The pancreas still works, just the beta cells that make insulin and amylin are “mostly completely dead most of the time” although it looks like beta cells regenerate in small amounts constantly, but get taken out by the immune system on a cyclic basis). Perhaps a prediabetic or highly insulin resistant individual would actually see a significant reduction in daily insulin needs from walking 10 minutes right after each meal, because such a person has a tendency to super-secrete (not under secrete) insulin in response to food, especially carbs, because their blood sugar levels rise higher after meals. As a result they end up overexposed to insulin, and then often have rebound hypoglycemia 2-5 hours after eating (if they wait that long). That’s why they do better on lower carb diets, because it blunts the oversecretion from the initial insulin spike. Exercise would do the same thing, but not by making the cells more insulin sensitive like metformin does, but by speeding up the circulation of insulin after a meal, and slowing down gastric emptying. So in effect, the act of reducing a post meal spike from say 160 to 120 will reduce the oversecretion by reducing the dysfunctional signal for insulin and this will reduce daily insulin exposure which will lead to long term improvement in insulin sensitivity. So it is a good point that blood sugar spike CAUSE OVEREXPOSURE in insulin dysfunctional prediabetics and so blunting the spike can result in long term resensitization. Not to mention that high blood sugars kill beta cells in pre type II diabetics and high insulin output burns out the pancreas and also may cause a secondary autoimmune response. It looks like type II diabetes ends with an autoimmune response just like type I. The body gets so exposed to insulin, and the pancreas gets damaged from high blood sugar and this triggers the immune system to see the pancreas as a foreign body. Usually by age 20 or so though, the pancreas is so large that it takes decades to totally destroy it and destruction may be thwarted.

A healthy person lifting weights. Well, non insulin resistant type 1 diabetics are often very active, and many lift weights. Activity after a meal does have a great effect on preventing the blood sugar spike, but these people are not insulin resistant, and so they don’t have a tendancy to hypersecrete insulin in response to food. Type I diabetic MAY over inject insulin for food, and then have to eat more to prevent a low blood sugar. Point here is just that yes reducing a post meal spike from maybe 125 to 110 3 times a day is going to improve health and lower A1C, but not in the way that metformin does by making cells more sensitive to insulin, but by making the insulin effect match the rise in blood sugar better-circulate faster and slow down the rise in blood sugar from the food. 3 10 minute walks would only lower daily insulin needs by about 4-7% if they ate the same, and not much at all if they ate more to match the exercise needs-at least for the day, but I think that doing so regularly-excercising when carbs are more available-would upregulate muscles glucose burning enzymes and may have long term benefits that way.

I am not downplaying the benefits of 10 minute walks after (ore even right before) meals as they have tremendous health benefits, but they don’t work like metformin does, by making the cells much more sensitive to insulin. They just let your insulin do a better job of keeping blood sugar down. I am all for them, but they don’t work the same way that metformin does. I’ve read articles that say that certain foods like full fat dairy improve insulin sensitivity, while in fact what they do is reduce blood sugar spikes by slowing down the entry of glucose into the bloodstream. I don’t like it when a decrease in blood sugar gets interpreted as a decrease in insulin resistance. Pasta for example produces much smaller blood sugar spikes than rice because the gluten surrounds the starch and makes it very slow to digest. The GI of pasta is in the 30s while rice is in the 90s, but in non-insulin resistant individuals, wheat causes 150-200% as much insulin exposure as rice because it triggers glucagon and cortisol and even some adrenaline while sitting in the gut simply by a reflex that it causes in the intestines. Even pure fiber causes an INCREASE in insulin release. Leucine can lower blood sugar by stimulating insulin release in a non-diabetic, but it can raise blood sugar if it robs the insulin from working on blood sugar if the leucine is consumed with a lot of carbs. FAT increases daily insulin needs significantly if it is simply added to meals. Doubling the fat content of meals will increase the insulin needed to manage the carbs to 200-300% of the level with low fat, but it slows down the rise and so it reduces post meal spikes dramatically by giving time for the pancreas to deal with the needs. This is not to say that replacing carbs with fat will require more insulin. If calories stay constant and carbs are replaced with fat, insulin needs go down, but not in proportion to the decrease in carbs. If muscles are loading with fat, and burning fat and are trying to move free fatty acids from outside to inside then it reduces the rate that they can remove glucose. Sorry to ramble, but point is that things that reduce blood sugar do not necessarily improve insulin sensitivity. They are often just as likely to cause good blood sugar by stimulating GREATER release of insulin faster than the food can raise blood sugar, but all in all, I think you may be right about prediabetics because they have a hypersecretion dysfunction, and I think that 3 10 minute walks around meals (before or after) can greatly improve health, but not primarily by making you more insulin sensitive in an acute way.


When you only eat glucose and glucose polymers, they go through general circulation and they will tend to refill muscle glycogen. His fructose idea is a little bit of a bro-science thing IMO. Fructose will go straight to the liver and the liver will make glycogen from it. The liver and organs of the gut can turn fructose into glycogen, though it there is too much fructose that it spills into the bloodstream it is harmful-about 100 times as damaging as glucose in the blood on a mg/dl basis. Keeping fructose around 25 grams a day means that the gut organs and liver can manage it all without spilling extra into the bloodstream. Also, excess fructose is largely turned into triglycerides by the liver and raises blood triglycerides. The reason is that fructose by itself is so harmful that it is better for the body to turn it into triglycerides. High triglycerides cause acute insulin resistance, and can cause fatty liver which is chronic insulin resistance. Also, alcohol works like fructose. A small amount of alcohol, can improve insulin sensitivity, as can perhaps fructose by making the liver less prone to undergoe glycogenolysis, but more fructose and or alcohol starts to trigget the liver to make them into triglycerides which cause mild insulin resistance over several hours.

So small doses of fructose may “keep the liver happy” in small doses especially if the muscles are hogging up glucose. And when I train hard, my body does start to crave fruit. I like frozen cherries and blueberries. Also a little pineapple which helps digest meat.


Our wrestling coach made us drink orange juice… with crushed up salt tablets in it. Tasted horrible. Nobody ever cramped though.


I use the grape chewables ones. It’s like a mini snack…


Gold. Thanks for taking the time to write this out. I’m currently stuck in metabolic pergatory.

I gain fat and muscle at about the same rate in a surplus and lose both at about the same rate in a deficit. My body can maintain weight on very low calories. I’m sure this is mostly my fault from dumb diets and being stressed out all the time. So I’ve read up on insulin resistance and prediabetes a fair bit.


That sounds fucked up. It also totally defeats the purpose of salt tablets, why not swallow them whole? Might as well use regular table salt and save some money.


The first part doesn’t sound abnormal, although maybe you could try bulking more slowly. Eric Helms recommends something like one pound per month. The second part sounds like you are cutting too fast and maybe also your training volume is too low.


A large part of wrestling is mental. You let your opponents see you crushing up a tablet and they will assume youve just roided up.

This will make them subconsciously give up as they know their opponent has been cheating and is about to lapse into some serious roid rage.


The coach should have made them sniff it.


Its just loading up on electrolytes. Especially helpful when everybody has been sweating, starving, spitting, and what ever else they can think of to make weight.


The coach must have been going for some kind of placebo effect or something like that. I never even heard of salt tablets until a couple weeks ago and Stan Efferding was recommending them post-workout, he said that putting enough salt in your drink to have any effect would make it taste horrible so just take tablets instead.


Nah. Its a pretty old strategy for replenishment. Also used in industry, several places I’ve worked issue a bottle of concentrate every morning for every 5 people. At one ship builder, supervisors were held accountable for Not using them if they had people that fell out on them.

Its just salt, sugar, potassium and ascorbic acid, but its what you need.

Through this entire thing, and the majority of his videos, which I’ve watched too, all I get from it is Stan saying “Eat like people used to eat back when they worked hard.”.


Back in the 70’s they had salt tablet dispensers in high school locker rooms and sidelines at football games. It’s what they used before Gatorade was a thing.


Bullion cubes! Me and my brothers used to eat them like candy, inspired by our older cousin that had just gotten out of prison. (in like 1979-80).


Salt brined pickle juice. Mag-10. Plasma.


Anybody still doing this? How many carbs are you eating. I’m going to shoot for about 200 gr protein and 300 carbs with 75 fat. That’s about 2700k. See what happens in a week or two.


Sounds like a good plan.

I’m not following the diet strictly, but have / am applying some of the principles in my diet and I feel better for it.


Right on. I was super strict logging all my meals for a while and now not so much. But I’m just going to start there and log stuff in my app and see if I got fatter, stronger, better/worse comp and adjust from there.


Still following basic template of it, not really implementing monster mash, basically my diet consists of white rice and steak, the rice goes up and down depending on what I am training on that day. Ever since getting rid of cruciferous vegetables digestion has improved. Sometimes I will have chicken thighs and rice but always go back to the steak. Having a heap of salt makes a big a difference also, normally eating ever 4 hours.