All the talk about Djokovic's gluten free diet in tennis circles has had me curious to know what it's all about. Over the past 3 weeks I've been reading and researching and it's pretty difficult to find legit "free resources" about this diet.
A few things I've found is that around 1 in 133 folks worldwide are allergic to gluten. Some studies say more than that. So I do believe that it would be beneficial to us even if we attempted to go gluten free 1/4-1/2 the time. Although it probably won't help us beat Nadal 4 times in a row. :)
I don't have time right now (about to head out to the courts) to go into super detail about my findings, but after looking around I did find a few books on the subject that may interest you if it's something you'd like to find out more about.
It does have more to do with gluten just being the ingredient of a few random foods. It's practically everywhere and found in the most common foods we eat on a daily basis :: meaning it's not just found in beer (my favorite training fluid), but also in certain types of breads, pastas, and cereal. Even baked goods.
The main problem with gluten is that it's difficult on our digestive tract and blocks the absorption of nutrients.
So, let's say just to demonstrate an extreme example, that 1 apple provides the exact nutrient in the exact amount we need to hit 125mph serves... and we need 100 mcg of this particular super nutrient to maintain this raw power.
With a high or even moderate gluten intake, if we were to eat 1 apple in the hopes of a 125mph serve, the gluten in our diets could block the total absorption of this super nutrient and weaken our strength output. Since 100mcg of super nutrient isn't totally absorbed, our serves will be weakened.
Now this goes without saying, there is no super nutrient in apples that makes us hit 125mph serves, but if there WAS you can see how gluten would prevent maximum output.
Like I said there is a whole lot more to it than that simple yet extreme example, and hopefully I'll have time to go into more detail about my findings for folks who are interested in the effects.
I bought 3 books on this subject hoping I'd find some decent info. 2 of them were complete CRAP. And one was totally out of the box and had nothing to do with tennis, but I said heck with it and bought it anyway (it was only 40 bucks).
Turns out the "out of the box" resource was the most comprehensive and simple to understand. It even has an outline "gameplan" on how to incorporate the "strategies" from eating out to grocery shopping to cooking with herbs and spices (I had no idea gluten was in some of the cooking products we use).
It's a pretty interesting read. However, it is TOTALLY NOT about tennis, but the concepts will just automatically apply to sports if we were to just incorporate some of the eating habits.
So if you go to this website, just IGNORE all of the "fat-loss" stuff they're talking about (unless you're one of the folks that want to lose fat), because when you get the material is all about how to decrease gluten intake (and less about losing fat) - plus the eating plans are just laid out for you to use.
here's the website and materials I've found to be pretty helpful:
Hope that helps you if you were wondering what all this Djokovic gluten free stuff is all about. There's also a presentation at the top of the page that's about 20 minutes long. But again, it's discussing more about how gluten free diets help lose fat as opposed to improving performance. Just ignore the fat loss stuff, although Djokovic does credit the fat loss he's attained from the GFD to him being quicker on his feet.