His Gluten-Free Diet
The mantra to 3 Wimbledon wins, over six Grand Slams, 14 Masters titles, a Davis cup and the unparalleled record of 43 consecutive match wins in 2011, this tennis star explains, was his decision to leave behind refined flours and bread in 2010 when he discovered he was gluten-intolerant. His diet now is completely gluten-free (something fans lovingly refer to as the Novak Djokovic Diet) with no wheat (or gluten), dairy products or tomatoes. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains and every day increasing cases of gluten sensitivity are coming to light all over the world.
This low-carb diet was no less than a godsend for young Djokovic who would not be able to make it through a single game without collapsing due to tight chest pains, stomach spasms and breathing difficulties- back when he was unaware of his gluten allergy. Having started playing tennis at the age of 6, this champion had progressed level after level from war-torn Serbia to the international Tennis arena only to discover that he might lose his career to medical issues before it had even begun. Upon detecting the culprit, Djokovic did not shy away from completely overhauling his diet. "I had to listen to my body. Once I did, everything changed. You could call it magic", says Novak in his book Serve To Win, on the subject of being gluten-free.
Djokovic's Breakfast - This fitness enthusiast starts a typical day with warm water and some honey. Warm water is said to keep the metabolic system active and honey helps to detox. His breakfast consists entirely of fruits, nuts and cereal.
His Diet through the Day
Djokovic benefits from consuming 5 healthy-portioned meals in a day instead of 3 heavy ones and fills the mid-morning and post-lunch snack slots with gluten-free versions of toast and crackers, fruits and nuts and some almond butter. Lunch and dinner are protein-packed meals including white meat (like chicken), fish, gluten-free pasta and lots of vegetables.
Well, only dieting details don't do justice to the lifestyle change this player considers essential to becoming truly gluten-free- there's a minimum of 7 hours of sleep and yoga every day. Djokovic also practices Tai Chi, which is a Chinese form of meditation and physical exercise for relaxation and overall well-being. He is a fan of the anti-inflamatory properties of Licorice tea for the pain relief it provides after every workout session or a day of demanding tennis practice. Grass seems to be an apt celebratory treat now, doesn't it?