At 36, Novak Djokovic is one of the most legendary tennis players of his time. Winner of 23 singles Grand Slam titles, Djokovic managed to vanquish the ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal, by becoming the winner of his 23rd major title at Roland Garros. He came back with a bang at the 2023 Australian Open by winning his 9th Australian Open title. He had a tie with Nadal after successfully claiming 22 major titles before overtaking him in Paris to take a consistent lead. As much as all of his accolades sound overwhelming, you all must be wondering the secret to his impeccable performance. Well, let’s prick the bubble for you as Djokovic reveals that the secret lies in what he eats daily!
In a podcast episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Novak Djokovic spoke about his insanely healthy diet. Read on to find out more about Novak Djokovic’s diet.
Some years ago, Serbian national Djokovic opened up about his diet – a mix of beans, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, white meat, chickpeas, seeds, lentils and healthy oils. His cheat meal was a small piece of candy. However, in the present day, there is a dramatic change in his everyday diet.
Djokovic had severe breathing issues in the past, and he had to undergo nose surgery to eliminate this condition. At that time, his doctor suggested dietary and lifestyle modifications that, he claims, have helped him a lot. After 2016, Djokovic decided to stick to a plant-based diet. Now, he is completely off gluten-based foods, dairy, and refined sugar. Alongside, he is aware of the poor effects of animal slaughtering on the climate and that also makes him mindful of his food choices now.
During the podcast, he shares, “When I rise from the bed, I start my day with a glass of warm water and lemon so that I can help my body detoxify. And then, I would have celery juice on an empty stomach. Post a short break, I would have my green smoothie which is made using different algae, fruits and superfoods. Alongside, I use great supplements that allow me to have mental clarity and help me feel good throughout the day”.
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He also happens to consume a lot of fruits and salads during the first part of the day while refraining from foods that take up a lot of the body’s energy for digestion. That’s because that is when he needs the most energy to give his 100% to his early training sessions. So, he keeps things quite light and likes having pseudo-grains such as quinoa, millet, wild rice, sweet potato and normal potato (steamed or boiled).
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Novak Djokovic’s first meal of the day is what he calls a “power bowl”, a mix of a myriad of seeds, gluten-free muesli, fruits, berries and mixed nuts along with almond or rick milk. To amp up its taste, he adds a dash of manuka honey to this mix as it is known to have antibacterial properties and fructose.
For his lunch, Novak prefers to have a combination of complex-carbohydrate-packed affair as this gives him the energy to complete his tiresome days of training. His lunch is mostly some gluten-free pasta accompanied by a mix of grilled vegetables and some drizzle of olive oil with a pinch of salt as per taste. A mixed salad may follow this and even some meat or fish on some occasions if he has to play a match in the afternoon.
For a sports player and even normal person, diet alone cannot do wonders for fitness. Exercise plays a major role. Djokovic is no different!