Did you know the world number one male tennis seed eats a gluten free diet?
After gaining a reputation for collapsing on court at crucial moments and having to pull out of a number of tournaments, Novak Djokovic was approached by fellow Serb Dr Igor Cetojevic back in 2010.
Whilst competing in the Davis Cup that year, Djokovic had a consultation. "Cetojevic told Djokovic to stretch out his right arm while placing his left hand on his stomach. The doctor then pushed down on Djokovic’s right arm and told him to resist the pressure. The strength Djokovic would feel in holding firm, the doctor said, was exactly what he should experience.
Next Cetojevic gave Djokovic a slice of bread. He told the bemused player not to eat it but to hold it against his stomach with his left hand while he again pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s astonishment, the arm felt appreciably weaker.
It was what Cetojevic had expected. His crude test had been to discover whether Djokovic was sensitive to gluten" (Newman, 2013).
After learning of his gluten intolerance, Djokovic changed his diet dramatically. "He eliminated gluten, dairy, and tomatoes from his diet, and instead focused on eating nuts, seeds, vegetables, fish, chicken, and quinoa. The result, Djokovic says, was palpable: “I was lighter, quicker, clearer in mind and spirit ... I could tell the moment I woke up each morning that I was different than I had been, maybe since childhood. I sprang out of bed, ready to tear into the day ahead.”" (Pinnock, 2015) Since changing his diet, Djokavic has gone on to win 10 titles, a runner up in 6 and the world's number 1 seed - it looks like he eats to win.
Download his diet plan here.