What Novak Djokovic eats in a day?
Is Novak Djokovic vegan?
Novak Djokovic surprised tennis fans when he revealed that his eating habits closely resemble a vegan diet.
As one of the best tennis players in the world, every single aspect of the life of the Serbian star is closely scrutinised. Djokovic is no stranger to the spotlight. Born in 1987, he turned professional while still underage. It would only take him four years to crack the ATP top three and just five to win his first Grand Slam.
Almost 20 years after Djokovic’s debut, his career achievements are unparalleled. He has won the most Masters in tennis history, his 37 titles giving him a slight edge on Rafael Nadal’s 36. That includes six Wimbledon victories and nine Australian Open titles.
Longevity and stability set Djokovic apart from other tennis players: no one else has been at the top ATP spot for as many weeks as he has. The Serbian has spent a hair-raising 355 weeks as number one, well over Federer’s 310.
Inside Novak Djokovic’s physical transformation
Only a handful of athletes have dominated their sport for 20 years. Once everything is said and done, Djokovic will belong to an exclusive club featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady, and LeBron James.
“I eat a lot of fruit during the first part of the day and salads. I don’t like to eat any food that would require much energy for digestion, especially during the first part of the day because that’s when I need the most energy for my training.”
Djokovic’s lunches are similarly green. He’ll usually have steamed or boiled potato or sweet potato, along with some light grains such as quinoa or millet.
Is Novak Djokovic really a vegan?
Novak Djokovic has shunned the vegan label several times, claiming that he does not want to pigeonhole himself.
However, all evidence points to Djokovic being vegan, at least for the past few years. Vegan activists have indeed upheld him as a poster boy for their cause.
Nole has been more than happy to embrace this role, opening a vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo and co-producing the vegan documentary The Game Changers in 2018. Djokovic himself appears in the film talking about the ethical implications of his diet:
“It’s a lifestyle. More than just a diet because you have ethical reasons as well. Being conscious of what is happening in the animal world, and you know, the slaughtering of animals and farming and everything. There is obviously a huge impact as well on climate change.”
However, Djokovic’s relationship to veganism is more complicated than it seems at first glance. In 2013, it was revealed that he had spent millions on donkey milk, needed to make the most expensive cheese in the world.
All that donkey milk was not for personal use. It was a deal for Novak Café & Restaurant, one of his hospitality enterprises in Belgrade. Still, Djokovic’s profiting off animal products wouldn’t sit well with vegan activists.
6 vegan tennis players who eat a plant-based diet
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The vegan movement shows no signs of slowing down so we’ve taken a look to see which tennis players follow a vegan diet.
Tennis is a demanding sport that requires players to be physically fit and agile, so it’s no wonder why some of the sport’s top stars are turning to a plant-based diet in order to improve their fitness and recovery times.
From tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams to the world’s no1. player, Novak Djokovic, these vegan tennis players all prove that a plant-based diet is the key to success.
1. Venus Williams
Venus Williams to help ease the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome, a debilitating and incurable autoimmune disease. Image credit: Jamie Squire via Getty Images
Venus Williams adopted a vegan diet on the recommendation of her doctor, after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, a debilitating and incurable autoimmune disease, which causes excessive fatigue. Doctors encouraged her to adopt a raw vegan diet to help manage her diagnosis, and her sister and fellow tennis player Serena took on the diet to support Venus. She was told that the raw diet would help with fatigue and joint pain.
Speaking to Health magazine, Venus Williams said: “I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started, I fell in love with the concept of fuelling your body in the best way possible [through raw, vegan food].”
When asked about any tips she had to help people change their diets, Williams said: “I always tell people that you have to enjoy what you’re eating. If you’re eating a plant-based diet, or a mixture of one, make sure you’re eating something you like. Find a restaurant, recipes, or join a community – that way you can learn and enjoy your food. If you can’t enjoy your eating, I don’t know how much life would be!”
2. Serena Williams
Serena has released a vegan fashion line using innovative, animal-friendly materials. Image credit: Tim Clayton — Corbis via Getty Images
Venus’ sister Serena is believed to follow a mostly vegan diet, for health reasons, however some articles say that she relapses to non-vegan foods.
In an article published on Hungry Forever, Serena Williams said: “I think it’s just really good to clean out your system sometimes just to get rid of all the waste and things like that that are just in your system and let the earth from the plants really clean you out. So I’m a big believer in that.”
In recent years, Serena has launched her own vegan fashion line complete with a collection inspired by Africa – S by Serena Spring 2020.
Speaking to ESSENCE about the decision to use vegan materials including animal-free leather, the athlete and entrepreneur explained: “I feel like a lot of things are being killed and we’re not saving the earth. We can all just do one small thing and help out so that was also a lot of our inspiration.”
3. Novak Djokovic
Serbia tennis player, Novak Djokovic, who ranked world No. 1 for a record total 373 weeks, is a vocal proponent of plant-based diets. Image credit: Valerio Pennicino/Stringer via Getty Images
Novak Djokovic is one of the most successful vegan tennis players of all time and fuels his body with a healthy plant-based diet.
Djokovic switched to a vegan, gluten-free diet following health problems which saw him collapsing mid-match. He trialled a gluten-free diet and immediately noticed the effects, prompting him to stick to a gluten-free diet. Intolerance tests found that dairy was also a problem, and removed refined sugar too.
Speaking about his diet to Forbes, Djokovic said: “My diet hasn’t just changed my game, it’s changed my life – my wellbeing. And if I feel better, that obviously transfers to my professional life. Eating vegan makes me more aware of my body on the court… more alert. I removed toxin from my body, and with them went all the inflammation and other things that were messing with my energy levels.
“As an athlete, the most important this is to keep your energy levels consistent – especially as a tennis player, where you’re alone on the course for a best of five match. When playing for 3, 4, 5 hours straight, you need the right fuel… and for me, that right fuel is plant based.”
Djokovic practices yoga and meditation daily to have a calm state of mind, and when speaking to Amuse, he said: “Everybody has their ways to reach that state of consciousness where you’re in a good mood and you feel love towards yourself, towards people around you, towards the planet. The tennis star opened a vegan restaurant in 2016 in Monaco, called Eqvita.
4. Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova, who won 18 grand slams – including 9 Wimbledon titles, is an animal lover and avid supporter of PETA. Image credit: Roy Rochlin/Stringer
Although Martina Navaratilova is retired from professional tennis, she is one of the athletes who is vegan and is an avid supporter of PETA. She is one of the greatest tennis players in history, winning 18 grand slams – including 9 Wimbledon titles.
Her notable tennis career busts all the myths about sportspeople needing meat to be successful, and the dreaded question from every vegan about where your protein comes from.
Countless documentaries and studies disprove the need for meat in our diets to be successful in sports and to properly function in day-to-day life.
The vegan community continually has to put up with people claiming that veganism isn’t a diet that humans should follow; however, the millions of healthy vegans and vegan athletes with successful sports careers put these opinions to shame.
5. Hubert Hurkacz
Polish tennis player Hubert Hurkacz has followed a plant-based diet since 2018.
In an interview with ATPTour.com, Hurkacz said he was inspired to go vegan after watching documentaries about food and receiving recommendations
The sportsman, who was once ranked world No. 9 in singles, said that he was motivated to stick with a plant-based diet because he soon “started to feel pretty good, with more energy.”
On match days, he keeps his energy levels high with a meal of rice, veggies and tomato sauce. During the match, he snacks on bananas and dates to give him a boost of energy.
Polish tennis player Hubert Hurkacz has followed a plant-based diet since 2018. Image credit: Kelly Defina/Stringer via Getty Images
6. Nick Kyrgios
Kyrgios was inspired to adopt a plant-based diet Image credit: Kelly Defina/Stringer via Getty Images
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, who finished as runner-up to fellow plant-based player Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon 2022, is also fuelled by a plant-based diet.
Unlike many sports stars who turn to a plant-based diet to improve performance, it was seeing the suffering animals faced in fires that ravaged Australia in 2020 that inspired Kyrgios to ditch meat and dairy.
“I don’t eat meat or dairy anymore. That’s not for my health, I just don’t believe in eating animals,” he explained in a blog post.
“Seeing the footage of these animals suffering with the fires only reinforces why I’ve chosen this diet. When I see these terrible photos, I can’t comprehend eating meat.”
Sports stars around the world are harnessing the power of plants to improve their performance. Here are some of the top vegan athletes who eat a plant-based diet.
Featured image credit: Tim Clayton – Corbis/Contributor
Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic shares ‘insanely healthy’ diet plus how he starts every morning
Novak Djokovic will face Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final at 2pm this afternoon. The tennis sensation spoke to Graham Bensinger about the diet that fuels his game.
Djokovic is currently ranked as the men’s number three in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
It is highly unlikely that he has gotten to this esteemed position by stocking up on processed foods.
In fact, in Bensinger’s TikTok showing the interview, Djokovic’s diet is described as «insanely healthy».
Speaking about what he eats in an average day, the tennis pro stated: «I start with warm water and lemon so I can help my body detoxify.
Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic shares ‘insanely healthy’ diet plus how he starts every morning (Image: Getty)
«And then I would have celery juice on an empty stomach.»
Replacing one’s morning coffee or orange juice with lemon and water is a waistline friendly way to start the day.
What’s more, the acid in lemon aids digestion in that it helps to break down food.
After this, Djokovic goes for a nutrient rich green smoothie, complete with superfood algae.
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He continued: «I eat a lot of fruits for the first part of the day.»
The tennis pro also opts for salads to maintain his slender frame and stay healthy.
«I don’t like to eat any food that would require much energy for digestion,» he explained, especially in the first part of the day because that’s when I need the most energy for my training.»
Consequently, Djokovic keeps things «quite light».
He enjoys grains, quinoa, wild rice and sweet potato.
He also does not shy away from «normal potatoes».
However, the key is that he goes for «steamed or boiled» potatoes as opposed to fried — or loaded with butter or cheese.
The star recalled changing his diet after a low point in his career in 2010, where he had been struggling with his health and allergies.
Speaking about his work with Doctor Igor Cetojevic, the star said: «We started slowly taking off layer by layer and really going deep into things that related to my health and trying to understand what was at the core of it.
Low carb diet (Image: EXPRESS)
«Of course, diet was one of the most integral of the problems and changing the diet was something that allowed me to get rid of the allergies.»
Consequently, Djokovic gave up gluten, dairy and refined sugar, also cutting down on red meat.
He referred to this change as a challenge, but was determined to improve his health.
Nowadays, the star enjoys a plant-based diet.
A diet devoid of animal products can be a healthy choice for some, as plants are high in fibre, immune boosting and reduces inflammation.
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