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

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?

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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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8 Responses:

 
tmm
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Mar 2012 2:51:07 AM PDT
Hmmm I remember the timing differently. In July 2010, at Wimbledon, commentators spoke of his active win streak having begun after going gf in Dec 2009.

 
Tennis
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Mar 2012 3:01:52 AM PDT
Where do you get the information about Djokovic being diagnosed with CD ? 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.

 
Ada
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
06 Mar 2012 2:42:56 AM PDT
I am happy for him! Thanks for your article, I didn't know.

 
DjokovicfakeGFdiet
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
07 Mar 2012 9:43:01 AM PDT
He is a disgrace to the GF 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 CD is seen as a joke !

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
12 Mar 2012 11:52:18 AM PDT
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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
12 Mar 2012 11:52:34 AM PDT
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.

 
noooo
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
25 Mar 2012 5:56:30 PM PDT
admin I'm sorry but you gotta be crazy if you think a celeb talking about the GF 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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
26 Mar 2012 2:26:35 PM PDT
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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By the way, I got my biopsy pathology report and the doctor took 2 biopsies, not the recommended 4-6. It says no "significant villous blunting not seen." I don't know if I should laugh or cry---so frustrating.

Thank you, this does feel helpful and reassuring. Did you end up getting blood tests again after going gluten-free? Do you have to worry about cross contamination as much as with a celiac diagnosis? How do you explain it to friends and family? Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity sounds so vague and I know it's dumb, but I worry about people not taking me seriously.

Helen, a woman with severe lifelong eczema/dermatitis, wrote to me a few weeks ago, saying "I have taken your advice and been strictly gluten free for five months now. The eczema inflammation is 99% gone and my skin quality has significantly improved. I do still get a bit itchy around my neck area and elbow creases, more so at night when it is warm. I have noticed a significant improvement in my asthma also. I still use antihistamines perhaps once or twice a week for runny nose. Does this mean I will need to be gluten free for life? Which of your books would you say would be the most relevant for someone in my position? Thank you for your assistance, regards, Helen. View the full article

Hello and welcome Reading your post it looks like each of your results were within the 'normal' range. There doesn't appear to be mention of a total serum IGA to make sure you have enough of this to begin with to make the test accurate however - but there are others here who are more experienced who may be able to tell you more. There are some other celiac tests: tTG IgA and tTG IgG -DGP IgA and DGP IgG -EMA IgA -total serum IgA and IgG (control test to ensure tests are not false negatives) They may not be covered by your provider however. Note that you appear to have been avoiding gluten somewhat already, that could impact on the tests accuracy. Your symptoms sound like they could be gluten related (but then practically everything could!) but you may want to discuss with your doctor whether to push for further testing or move to trial gluten free diet. Some people, like myself, test negative but still find symptoms respond to gluten free. Best of luck!

There's a great post by Tarnalberry in that thread.