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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Australian Open 2012: Has a Gluten-free Diet Made Novak Djokovic Tennis' New Alpha Male?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 03/02/2012 - Riding high on a gluten-free diet and new training regimen, Novak Djokovic survived eleven grueling hours of tennis over three days to emerge as the 2012 Australian Open men's champion.

    Djokovic shown at the 2011 French Open-Photo: CC--y.caradecLess than two days after an impressive five set victory over Andy Murray, Djokovic was back on court at Melbourne Park for a six-hour battle against Rafael Nadal.

    So what's fueling such remarkable feats of endurance by a player once derided by fellow pro Andy Roddick as a hypochondriac?

    Djokovic adopted a gluten free diet in July 2010, after nutritionist Igo Cetojevic discovered that the Serb suffered from celiac disease, and thus from poor nutritional absorption and other problems associated with his body's adverse reaction to gluten.

    Since going gluten-free, Djokovic has seen quick and steady results, including a 64-match victory streak and won four grand titles.

    Now, lest we chalk-up his success to a gluten-free diet, it's important to realize that Djokovic spends many hours working on physical development, in addition to lots of heavy drilling on the court. That includes three intense interval sessions in a week, and three heavy lifting sessions in a week. All tolled, it adds up to twenty hours or more of serious training.

    When nutrition, training and skill come together in an athlete as strong and talented as Novak Djokovic, the results are stunning to behold.

    Will Djokovic continue his gluten-free domination of men's tennis? Stay tuned for more news.


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    Hmmm I remember the timing differently. In July 2010, at Wimbledon, commentators spoke of his active win streak having begun after going gluten-free in Dec 2009.

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    Where do you get the information about Djokovic being diagnosed with celiac disease ? He started a gluten free diet very late in 2010 . He also celebrates winning Grand Slams by eating gluten! He is very bad for gluten free, his performances brainwash the media into thinking gluten free diet is a miracle cure.

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    Guest DjokovicfakeGFdiet

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    He is a disgrace to the gluten-free diet. Go on Youtube and search Novak Djokovic Interview On Live With Regis & Kelly 09-13-2011 watch from 4.35 where he admits he still eats gluten . Thanks to celebs like him celiac disease is seen as a joke !

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    He is a disgrace to the gluten-free diet. Go on Youtube and search Novak Djokovic Interview On Live With Regis & Kelly 09-13-2011 watch from 4.35 where he admits he still eats gluten . Thanks to celebs like him celiac disease is seen as a joke !

    I am not sure it makes a difference that his diet is 100% gluten-free...that is his business. What is important is to have a celebrity of his stature (one who can actually be on Regis & Kelly) who can raise awareness about the gluten-free diet, and thus lead many people who don't know anything about it to the road to recovery...and this is exactly what he is doing.

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    He is a disgrace to the gluten-free diet. Go on Youtube and search Novak Djokovic Interview On Live With Regis & Kelly 09-13-2011 watch from 4.35 where he admits he still eats gluten . Thanks to celebs like him celiac disease is seen as a joke !

    I am not sure it makes a difference that his diet is 100% gluten-free...that is his business. What is important is to have a celebrity of his stature (one who can actually be on Regis & Kelly) who can raise awareness about the gluten-free diet, and thus lead many people who don't know anything about it to the road to recovery...and this is exactly what he is doing.

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    admin I'm sorry but you gotta be crazy if you think a celeb talking about the gluten-free diet on R & K and than saying how he still eats gluten in a boastful way is good for awareness . I guess you care more about the gluten free diet fad than the seriousness of celiac disease it's very disappointing.

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    admin I'm sorry but you gotta be crazy if you think a celeb talking about the gluten-free diet on R & K and than saying how he still eats gluten in a boastful way is good for awareness . I guess you care more about the gluten free diet fad than the seriousness of celiac disease it's very disappointing.

    Interesting...since I founded Celiac.com in 1995 I've never been accused of not being serious about celiac disease, but I guess there is a first time for everything!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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