Novak Djokovic is Breaking Tennis Records with a Plant-Based Diet

Novak Djokovic is Breaking Tennis Records with a Plant-Based Diet

Novak Djokovic, arguably the greatest tennis player of all time and a plant-based, is showing no signs of slowing down at 36. As seen in this video, the holder of a record 24 grand slam titles credits much of his optimal balance of strength, power, and speed to his plant-based diet.

As a son of restaurant owners, Djokovic frequently ate a lot of gluten and animal products. However, as his career advanced, he became passionate about fueling himself better to take his performance to the next level. He wanted to recover faster and eliminate the exhaustion he experienced during long tennis matches.

And so, after he decided in late 2010 to avoid gluten and dairy products, in mid-2015, Djokovic also became plant-based. The results soon followed, and Djokovic became unbeatable on the court, winning all four major titles in a row. Djokovic loved his plant-based diet so much that in 2016 he decided to open a vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo, where he lives.

Many articles from recent years falsely quote Djokovic's diet from 2013 (the one he shares in his 2013 book, Serve to Win) as if it was his diet today. Google the phrase "bread or crackers with avocado and tuna", and you'll find many recent articles quote this obsolete information.

However, Djokovic diet from back then, one that included fish daily and chicken as well, has changed a lot since. As proof of that, in early 2020, Djokovic told Graham Bensinger he is not eating any animal products:

That was the initial point of the journey that got me to to the point where I am at the moment, where I'm eating plant-based. Where I'm not eating any aniimal products.

More recently, when Djokovic competed in the Tel Aviv Watergetn Open in September 2022, a Ynet reporter was told that all the food Djokovic ordered in his hotel was vegan. The reporter elaborates on various foods and dishes, and none include animal products.

In recent years Djokovic became a lot more vocal about the advantages of a plant-based diet besides the health benefits, stating that it is crucial for the ecology, the environment, and the animals.

In May 2021, his wife, Jelena Djokovic, told the TV channel K1 (translated from Serbian, not precisely):

Novak is an even bigger perfectionist; he knows his body best, and no one can make him do something he doesn't want. Novak did not become vegan under my influence. Novak is the best in the world; he is a champion, he is alone on the field, and no one can force him to do something. We are a team, and I need to say I did not force him to do something, nor did he push me. We explored everything together. He was the first to go vegan.

A look at his Instagram profile shows that Djokovic follows quite a few vegan accounts. Among these, we can find the accounts of James Aspey,, Vegan, and Plant-Based News.

Some of the vegan Instagram accounts Novak Djokovic is following.
Some of the vegan Instagram accounts Novak Djokovic is following.

Another good indication that Djokovic considers his plant-based meals more than a personal diet choice is that he gladly agreed to become an executive producer of the pro-vegan documentary The Game Changers.

Although he hasn’t been highly vocal about his plant-based diet over the years, he was excited to join forces with other leading plant-based athletes, such as Lewis Hamilton, to spread a positive message about the many benefits of a plant-based diet, not just in the health department.

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