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Fueling Your Fitness: The 10 Best Foods to Eat Before or After Workouts

By Alex Bakhovsky
April 13, 2023
5 minutes

“We are what we eat” – German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach

A solid game plan for physical fitness and athletic performance doesn’t stop at just crushing your workouts. Feeding your muscles is just as important. The grub you eat plays a huge role in providing the fuel and key ingredients your body needs to excel at exercising, recover like a champ, and build some serious muscle. Understanding nutrition before and after hitting the gym will help you level up your performance and smash those fitness goals.

Overview of Vertical Diet by Stan Efferding

Overview of Vertical Diet by Stan Efferding

Stan Efferding , a world-class powerlifter, bodybuilder, and nutrition guru, created the Vertical Diet to fuel the needs of elite athletes. This eating plan is all about easy-to-digest, nutrient-packed whole foods that give you the energy to dominate your workouts and promote muscle growth and recovery. Adding some Vertical Diet elements to your pre-and post-workout meals can seriously boost your performance and overall health.

The Vertical Diet is all about picking the best whole foods for easy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption. This approach keeps your gut happy and inflammation at bay, helping you perform at your peak and stay healthy.

Next up, let’s dive into the top 5 pre-workout foods and top 5 post-workout foods that’ll help you make gains all day long.

The Main Principles of the Vertical Diet:

  • workout

    Munching on easily digestible carbs: swift energy without ruffling your stomach.

  • Focusing on high-quality protein sources: crucial amino acids for muscle gains and fixes.

  • Devouring nutrient-rich fruits and veggies: must-have vitamins and minerals to keep you in tip-top shape and boost your athletic game.

  • Striking a balance between sodium and potassium: electrolyte harmony for optimal muscle function and hydration.

  • Keeping gut-wrenching foods at bay: cut back or dodge foods that can trigger bloating, gas, or other pesky digestive problems.

Benefits of the Vertical Diet:

  • Amped-up energy levels: athletes and gym rats get the fuel they need to power through their workouts.

  • Improved muscle growth and recovery: keep making gains consistently.

  • Enhanced overall health: a robust immune system, glowing skin, and tip-top organ performance.

  • Minimized gut issues: decreased digestive troubles that can throw a wrench in your performance and well-being.

  • Customization: tweak the diet to suit your unique needs and tastes.

Top 5 Foods to Eat Before Your Workout

  1. rice

    White rice – Quick carbs for lightning-fast energy. White rice is a fantastic carb option before you tackle the gym, all because of its quick digestion and rapid conversion to glucose for immediate energy. Eat some white rice around something about 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout, and you’ll be supercharged for an epic training session.

  2. Grilled chicken breast – Lean protein to support muscle function. Chicken’s got you covered, packed with B vitamins to boost energy production and muscle performance. Toss some grilled chicken breast into your pre-workout meal, and you’re all set to dominate your workout like a champ.

  3. Greek yogurt with berries – High-protein low-fat yogurt is Greek yogurt with berries your ticket to delicious muscle gains. It also provides benefits for the microbiome, while the berries supply fructose for a quick energy boost. This dynamic duo will keep you energized and locked in throughout your workout.
  4. Spinach – The ultimate leafy green, which is contained a lot of beneficial vitamins and different minerals , important in eye health, immune support, bone strength, oxygen transport, and correct muscle function.
  5. Orange slices – A refreshing explosion of natural sweetness and vitamin C goodness. It supplies natural sugars to energize your muscles and a hit of vitamin C, boosting your immune system and aiding collagen synthesis, essential for sturdy joints. Grab a few orange wedges for a swift and simple energy lift before your workout.

Top 5 Foods to Eat After Your Workout

  1. Bison and lean beef – A power-packed team for muscle repair and performance. Bison and lean beef bring their A-game, delivering the amino acids your muscles hunger for repair and the iron to amp up oxygen transport and muscle function. Chow down on a serving of bison or lean beef in your post-workout meal to kick recovery into high gear.

  2. sweet potatos Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are your ultimate post-workout carbs, delivering the energy to top up those glycogen stores emptied during your sweat session. These orange powerhouses come packing vitamins A and C, plus potassium, all of which back up muscle recovery and keep your immune system ironclad. Team up sweet potatoes with a protein source for a well-rounded post-workout meal that’s got you covered.

  3. Bell peppers – A vibrant, vitamin C-loaded veggie to rev up muscle repair. Bell peppers, especially the red ones, rock the vitamin C scene, essential for collagen production and mending those muscles. Toss some bell peppers into your post-workout chow to ease muscle aches and accelerate recovery time. Dig into them raw, roasted, or sautéed for a splash of color and taste in your meal.

  4. salmon Salmon – Omega-3s and protein for the ultimate recovery combo. Salmon is a nutrient-loaded champ, flexing both top-notch protein and omega-3 fatty acids, famous for their skills in taming inflammation and boosting muscle recovery. Toss salmon into your post-workout meal, and your body will rebuild and repair muscles like a boss while backing heart and brain health.

  5. Whole eggs – Protein-loaded champs for muscle growth and repair. Eggs are a flexible and nutrient-packed post-workout food, dishing out top-tier protein, healthy fats, and vital vitamins and minerals. The protein and amino acids in eggs pump up muscle growth and repair after breaking a sweat. Dig into them scrambled, poached, or hard-boiled as part of your post-workout meal.

Key Takeaways

The Vertical Diet is a boss-level nutrition game plan that roots for athletic performance and all-around health. By zeroing in on easy-to-absorb, nutrient-stacked foods, the diet keeps you pumped with peak energy levels, muscle function, and recovery. Mixing Vertical Diet components into your pre-and post-workout meals can seriously level up your performance, kick digestive discomfort to the curb, and supply key nutrients for muscle growth and healing.

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