He is more than the guy spotted with a “female companion” in New York and definitely more than just a tennis player. Novak Djokovic is the 11 times Grand Slam Winner and current world no. 1 in men’s singles tennis (it’s true, Federer fans).
Climbing up the ladder as an athletic marvel is definitely not devoid of rigorous training sessions and a healthy workout. So lets take a closer look at Djokovic’s diet and how it has transformed him into the celebrated sportsperson that he is.
Climbing The Health Ladder
It is not unknown, that less than a few years back, the current World No. 1 was not so, well, “celebrated”. And considering the long stretches of back and forth running, it’s only right for him to have re-considered his dietary choices.
In 2010, a Serbian doctor approached Djokovic after watching him collapse on court. He decided to see if a change in diet could help the athlete turn Novak’s performance.
The doctor determined that his diet was the root of some of his problems and together they put into practice a regime that takes into consideration what, when and how Novak eats.
Djokovic began his gluten-free diet after tests found that he had an intolerance to wheat and dairy. Prior to the discovery, Djokovic experienced moments of fatigued and weak during matches, which is an inconceivable concept given his current supremacy in the game!
In a recent talk with Gulf News, Djokovic revealed his staple diet. He starts the day with a cup of green tea in order to avoid sugars. Although, breakfast consists of honey, fruit and oat based cereal mix as he also believes certain sugars – like fructose – are necessary for the body.
Lunch pays special attention to carbs and veggies. “During the day, I want my body to be as energized as possible,” says Djokovic. “When I eat carbs and very little protein, I’m telling my body that I need energy”.
Finally dinner is a protein-rich, low-carb meal with fish, chicken or grass-fed beef. “At night, I don’t need energy”, explains Djokovic. “So at dinner, I will tell my body to repair this mess I have made. Please take this protein and do what needs to be done.”
Superfoods & Fluids
“I suggest that everyone starts with fresh juices in the morning. I think that’s that best way to start off the day. There are some scientific studies that say up to noon, your metabolism is actually getting rid of all the toxins, that’s your body clock for your organs. That’s the best time for you to drink as much liquid as possible. Water with lemon, with ginger, with fresh green leaves”, the athlete advices.
Speaking of juices, the 28-year old gulps ‘anything that he can find’ like include kale, cucumber, watermelon, berries, mint and ginger. Djokovic also likes a fair share of superfoods in his daily diet.
“I love super foods. I think super foods are the future of nutrition. Superfood powders like maca and spirulina, all these things you can put in a blender with some almond and coconut or rice milk, then mix it with some seeds and some protein powder. It’s the best way to start your day and it makes you feel like you had a great meal”, the Tennis star said in an interview.
Having said all that, Djokovic sternly believes that blindly following a diet is not a wise thing to do. “Most diet programmes assume the same plan works for everyone and that you ‘must’ eat certain foods. ‘Must’ just isn’t a good word. Your body is an entirely different machine from mine. I don’t want you to eat the best diet for my body.“