Novak Djokovic is currently the number 1 ranked male tennis player in the world, winning a total of 10 Grand Slam titles with his most recent win at the US Open. However, his success did not come immediately, as he struggled with breathing and fatigue in some of his matches. After a career changing consultation with Dr. Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist and fellow Serbian, the star athlete decided to go on a gluten-free diet.
Form Second-Tier to Number 1
Dr. Cetojevic asked Djokovic to hold a slice of bread against his stomach with his left hand while the doctor pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s surprise, his arm felt substantially weaker. With this simple test, the ace tennis player discovered that he was intolerant to dairy and wheat products. The gluten in these food led to his poor performance, loss of stamina and fatigue on the court.
Cetojevic suggested that Djokovic remove bread and cheese from his diet and start a gluten-free program for at least two weeks. The star player felt the difference immediately; he felt lighter, more energetic and got better sleep.
Djokovic now follows a diet that is gluten and dairy-free, and he also removes sugar as much as possible. He primarily eats beans, vegetables, white meat, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds and lentils to stay atop the world rankings—something that has come to be known as the paleo diet.
Why Go Gluten-Free?
Gluten-free cereals, breads and other products have health benefits that may not enable you to become an elite athlete, but will make you feel better, energetic and healthier.
A gluten-free diet is ideal for people who have high sensitivity to this protein or are suffering from Celiac disease. This auto-immune disorder causes a person’s body to respond negatively after eating food containing gluten. A person suffering from this ailment will not absorb nutrients in other food properly. Symptoms of this illness include unstable appetite, bloating, gas, stomach pain, constipation, bloody stools, nausea and others.
Experiment with a gluten-free diet to determine if it is in line with your fitness goals or current health condition.