Novak Djokovic has nailed it again at the Wimbledon 2015 by winning Men’s singles title. The 28-year-old looks invincible – in his prime of health, and an epitome of stamina. One ESPN article goes on to say that he is perhaps the fittest athlete ever!
Novak’s journey to the top is a fascinating story of hard work, mental conditioning, and most crucially, strict dietary discipline. And Novak tells it all in his 2013 book, Serve To Win.
Until a few years back, Novak was struggling during his matches. He suffered mid-match collapses, looked listless, and vomited often during breaks.
But everything changed in the summer of 2010 when Novak met nutritionist Dr. Igor Cetojevic. Igor diagnosed Novak with gluten intolerance and put him on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley and rye. In some people, gluten may not digest properly and the body may react in various ways like unexplained aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain, bloating, and other digestion problems. Approximately 5% of the population shows some form of gluten intolerance.
The results of Novak’s diet change were immediate. He felt stronger and healthier than before and his stamina improved remarkably. He went on to become the World No. 1 within a year of this change, and has stayed on top for the most part ever since.
Here is a glimpse of the diet that transformed Novak’s life:
- Diet based on vegetables, beans, white meat, fish, fruit, nuts, chickpeas, lentils and healthy oils.
- Does not eat wheat and dairy products and has cut down on sugar to the lowest.
- Drinks water first thing out of bed with honey and muesli which is rolled gluten free oats with dry fruits, nuts and seeds.
- Takes some gluten-free crackers with avocado and Tuna as mid-morning snack or hummus with gluten-free bread.
- Lunch consists of rice pasta with veggies and optional Vegan cheese.
- Melon or apple with cashew nut butter as post-lunch snack.
- Consumes salads like Kale Caesar salad plus anchovies dressing, Minestrone soup, salmon fillet with roasted tomatoes and marinade or poultry such as chicken.
He made certain lifestyle changes too that helped him reach the pinnacle:
- Regular meditation and yoga or Tai- Chi that helps in reducing stress.
- Followed by gluten-free healthy breakfast.
- With his training partner does stretching or sports massage.
- Does one hour work-out post lunch using weights/resistance bands and takes a protein drink after that.
- Another 90 minutes training session followed by stretching and a sports massage.
It has taken immense discipline on part of Novak to stick with this diet and lifestyle, and we wish that he soon claims that elusive French Open title as well! Meanwile, you can read more about the athlete’s amazing story in these articles: The Independent; The Wall Street Journal