Djokovic and nutritional psychology: gluten free diet. By Geoff Williams Although Djokovic was the number three player in the world for three years, he defaulted several big matches. He quit against Davydenko in the Davis cup quarter finals of 2008, complaining about shortness of breath and flu like symptoms and he quit against Roddick in 140 degree on court indoor heat in 2009 quarter finals at the Australian open. Djokovic’s default against Davydenko cost the Serbians the Davis cup! He was leading Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 6-3 4-6 when he quit. Djokovic looked increasingly debilitated and quit again while trailing 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2, 2-1, allowing No. 7 Andy Roddick to claim a spot in the Aussie open semifinals. Igor Cetkovic, a Serbian allergy and Chinese medicine practioner, noticed these defaults and recognized the symptoms of an allergy at work. Igors’ wife told him, “He’s Serbian, maybe you should help him.” Igor Cetkovic said, “I sent them an email and they responded a couple of months later.” Djokovics’ team arranged a meeting with Igor Cetkovic and Igor scanned Djokovic with a SCIO machine and found the gluten allergy. Igor said, of the SCIO scan, “His levels ( relating to gluten allergy) were off the charts.” The SCIO machine measures a reported 10,000 frequencies found in an athletes body, associates some with a variety of allergies and illnesses based on prior experience and association of readings off the machine to allergies and health issues. Igor is one of the best known doctors using the SCIO analyzer. He also has experience with Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and has been injecting electrical current into people for many years. The SCIO injects current flow into a variety of spots on the athletes’ body through lie detector like bands. Some acupuncturists also inject current flow through the needles, at strategic spots, in line with injuries or pain ridden points. This current flow is usually the type that car accident victims receive, though pads, and the blue gel electro paste that reduces skin resistance to the flow of the injected current. Djokovic said of Cetkovic, “He’s a good psychologist.” One of the symptoms of wheat allergy can be shortness of breath, the symptoms Djokovic showed in several matches and not just the Davis cup default. An immune system allergy reaction against the muscle tissue can occur for years before it becomes diagnosed. If this happens to an athlete like Djokovic recovery time and muscle strength are affected. Another example is the autoimmune reaction that occurs in asthma, a well known breathing condition which can be induced by grain ingestion. If this happens to an athlete, lung function and oxygen capacity affected reduces the athletes aerobic capacity and creates shortness of breath, one of Djokovic’s main symptoms. The heat really made it worse for Djokovic at the Australian, as heat affects the lungs extremely if wheat allergy is truly an issue. There was some debate about his defaults, whether they were the result of mental energy lapses, or a true physical problem, and not just a mental beat down! Djokovic really needed a nutritional psychologist. Ian Hart is a well know fitness athlete, and he was featured on the cover of fitness magazine. He had a wheat allergy and did not know it. Here is a video of him explaining what happened to him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDdu5kNtXPU&feature=player_embedded#! Ian hart. Nutritional psychology David Levitsky is a professor of both nutrition and psychology at Cornell University. He said, regarding glutenous wheat allergies, "It's mostly mental energy you're talking about, not energy supplied to muscle tissues," Mental energy causes you to win or lose in tennis. That’s why so many players are psych artists. An growing number of players are now nutritional experts. When I first started playing the game in 1968, no one cared about what they ate or cross training. The Aussies were famous for drinking rounds of beer after slam matches, and what is beer made of? Fermented hops and barley. Barley is one of the foods that can cause gluten allergy. An allergy is different than celiac disease. It’s called celiac in the U.S., and coeliac elsewhere. Levitsky said, “Celiac disease sufferers can incur far-reaching health effects from eating gluten, including the inability to absorb nutrients.” Celiac literally has a latin root: of or relating to the abdomen, or the core, that so many tennis players use on every shot in the game! The coeliac term was first used in 1662. It’s from the Latin coeliacus, from the Greek koiliakos, from koilia cavity, from koilos hollow cave. Levitsky, the nutrional psychologist, said, “A gluten-free diet might have benefits for those with mild allergies, or even no allergy at all. The other part of the story is, if you believe in a cause of your disorder, it becomes the cause. We see this in many different studies. If you believe it, you change your behavior in the direction of being cured. If you believe it, you change your behavior in the direction of being cured." That’s where Djokovics’ psychologically oriented nutritionist came into play. Igor convinced Djokovic that his breathing problems and endurance problems were caused by a physically induced gluten allergy. Levitsky seems to be implying that Djokovic was not allergic to gluten, but only thinks he was. In tennis, mental energy is extremely important. The level of mental concentration required is enormous, for each point played, and in most matches the gladiators battle for hundreds of points. In a real gladiatorial contest, the matches lasted as long as the first error. When you are fighting to the death, you have to train to avoid that first mistake. Djokovic said in April, 2011, "I have lost some weight but it's only helped me because my movement is much sharper now and I feel great physically.” The gluten-free diet didn't turn Djokovic into a world beating dominant player. He was a Grand Slam champion and No. 3 in the world while eating glutenous proteins. But he lost weight. Nadal is now gaining weight. There is no other top player playing right now as thin as Djokovic. He is like zero body fat then. He is starving thin. He does not have any body fat. He is solitary confinement thin. The change may have turned him into a faster, more fit tennis player or it may have simply made him more confident that he was a faster, more fit tennis player. Confidence is directly related to how fast you feel on the court! There seems to be a one to one direct correlation between zero body fat and confidence with several top players. Look at Mardy Fish. He put together a streak of 16 wins out of 18 matches shortly after losing 30 lbs, and Roddick also played better after a weight loss caused by Larry Stefanki work outs, as did Verdasco after teaming up with Gil Reyes in the Las Vegas desert, running up that horribly hot hill Agassi used to run up. He came within two forehand winners of beating Nadal at the Australian semi final. He needed 97 forehand winners, not 95! Nadal was doing really well when he was far thinner. Now that his weight is going up his game is heading south, along with his waist line. Seles never recovered after gaining 30lbs after her stabbing. Those extra 30lbs around her belly were not exactly intimidating! Djokovic is another level up before meeting Igor. He was a little bit of a head case before meeting Igor in June of 2010, and now he is thin and confident. If you gasp in shock about how thin a player is, their game improvement may be equally shocking. His forehand used to break down under pressure, and now it’s from another planet. Federer said, “I don’t play like that. I believe in hard work.”, regarding Djokovics’ ridiculous forehand winner. He was match point down in the us open semi final against Federer’s serve, 40-15. That was the single best return I’ve ever seen in my life! Food manufacturers, and celiac sufferers are among the folks who know just how widely grains are used in modern food, beer, medicine coatings, and dinner fare. The obvious whole wheat products are bread, pasta, pies, breakfast cereals, biscuits and cakes while wheat is also widely used as a filler, coating or thickener in many other foods. Wheat is found in sausages and the breadcrumb coatings, fish fingers, as well as being used as a thickener in gravies and sauces, including oriental ones such as soy sauce which has whole wheat in it. Grain-barley-based alcoholic beverages are also out of bounds for coeliacs and for Djokovic. Wheat subspecies (such as spelt, semolina and durum) and related species such as barley, rye, triticale and Kamut also induce the gluten allergy symptoms. *spelt *wheat *semolina *durum *barley *rye *triticale *kamut Food which replace the gluten proteins most commonly used are, potato, corn or other flours such as rice, potato, etc, to make gluten-free bread, pasta and biscuits, which are almost palatable for celiacs. Many complain of addiction to the very thing that is killing them. Wheat protein replacements: • Rice • Beans • Potatoes • Sweet potatoes • Winter squash • Lentils • Buckwheat Did the gluten free diet improve Djokovic’s performance? Or was it the other things his doctor, Igor Cetkovic did for him? Igor put Djokovic on a diet of: no white: sugar, fat, salt, flour, and began a regular injection using the SCIO machine: varying frequencies of electrical current into various parts of his body. The diet got rid of a lot of poisonous food that Djokovic was eating and caused his weight to go down rapidly.