Novak Djokavoic, the top ranked world tennis player, has been gluten-free for over a year. And he is in good company- Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, tennis player Sabine Lisicki, US Olympic Runner Amy Yoder Begley, LPGA player Sarah Jane Smith and Green Bay Packer Running Back James Stark- to name a few. Novak Djokovic's nutritionist recommended that he switch to a gluten-free diet after being diagnosed with a gluten allergy. He went on to win Wimbledon, the US Open and looks strong at the Aussie Open! Read all about it his success and his diet below.
Check out our previous post to learn more about this athlete and his health. Djokovic is a rising star in tennis and is ranked #1 in the world. According to ESPN, Djokovic -
credits a handful of factors with helping him truly excel recently: more maturity; confidence from helping Serbia win its first Davis Cup title in December; and a gluten-free diet he doesn't like to discuss in any detail.
With this great win there will no doubt be more attention to his diet and the benefits of going gluten free. The Wall Street Journal goes into more depth about his diet and the effects it might of had on Djokovic's performance.
A gluten-free diet can have implications far beyond the physical, especially in tennis, which taxes the mind like few other sports... "It's mostly mental energy you're talking about, not energy supplied to muscle tissues," said David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University, when asked about the effects of giving up gluten if one has an allergy.
Levitsky said a gluten-free diet might have benefits for those with mild allergies, or even no allergy at all. "The other part of the story is, if you believe in a cause of your disorder, it becomes the cause," he said. "We see this in many different studies. If you believe it, you change your behavior in the direction of being cured."
What do you think about Levitsky's statements? With more and more athletes going gluten-free hopefully we will hear about their success stories and there will be more attention given to health benefits of the diet, more healthy gluten-free options in stores, and more research on the benefits of going gluten-free. In the meantime- Hail Merry offers athletes fresh certified gluten-free on-the-go snacks made from raw organic plant oils but without refined sugars and synthetic fillers . Finally, health and taste co-exist.