US Open 2016 tennis ace Novak Djokovic follows a gluten-free diet to help get in shape and perform at his best on the tennis court.
Djokovic is one of the world’s greatest tennis players, having won 11 Grand Slam titles, 26 Masters, and five world tour finals. How exactly does the athlete remain so unstoppable in the sport of tennis?
According to Djokovic himself, a lot of his success comes down to living a holistic lifestyle, which includes following a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, as well as a personalized training routine.
Novak Djokovic Diet
Novak Djokovic credits a gluten-free, dairy-free diet with helping him feel stronger and lighter, and allowing him to perform better on the court.
Since 2010, Djokovic has followed a strict daily diet plan that eliminates gluten, dairy, and processed foods. His diet comes from Dr. Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist who saw Djokovic perform poorly in one of his games. After doing testing, Cetojevic found that Djokovic was intolerant to gluten, wheat, dairy, and even tomatoes.
Djokovic cut out bread, cheese, and processed foods from his diet afterwards, and after two weeks, he already felt better and less lethargic. However, eating even a bagel causes him to feel lethargic and fatigued.
To follow his daily diet plan, Djokovic cooks almost all of his food himself. Even when traveling, Djokovic only stays at hotels that allow him to use their kitchen, making his healthy, homemade meals.
The diet that Djokovic eats includes a lot of lean meats, vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts, and healthy oils. As part of his holistic lifestyle, Djokovic practices mindful eating, focusing on his eating and avoiding any distractions (such as phones, TVs, newspapers, etc.).
He also prays before each meal. He says that these techniques help him stick to his diet.
Novak Djokovic Workout Plan
Training is vitally important for Novak Djokovic, and he uses a lot of on-the-court training to develop his skills and practice technique.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) July 25, 2016
Djokovic typically stays tight-lipped about his training, not wanting to give away any specifics to his competitors. He works with his coach, fitness trainer, and physiotherapist to stay in proper physical shape and perform on the court.
In collaboration with these men, Djokovic says that he has developed an optimal training program that focuses on his weaknesses and physical difficulties. In particular, he has focused on developing his return of serve, along with improving his volleying skills.
Djokovic purposefully keeps his training schedule somewhat light, to allow for rest and recuperation. He says that he never plays for more than three weeks in a row, instead practicing for two weeks and then taking one week off.
So if you want to get in as good shape as Djokovic, try following a holistic lifestyle, a healthy diet and avoid overtraining.