British tennis star Andy Murray isn't a fan of Novak Djokovic's highly publicized gluten-free diet, saying the wheat-free diet left him weak and lethargic.
“I tried it for a couple of months and felt awful,” Murray told reporters at the 2013 U.S. Open. “I lost all my energy and felt so weak. I didn’t feel it helped me at all, so I just went back to doing what I did before. It was working fine for me.”
Djokovic, 26, became the No. 1 tennis player in the world after switching to a gluten-free diet three years ago. The Serbian sensation revealed his diet and training secrets in his new book, "Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence."
Novak has credited the dietary overhaul for dramatically improving his tennis game and overall health. “Mentally, you’ll be fresh, you’ll be happier, you’ll be calmer,” he said. "Physically, you’ll be stronger, faster, more dynamic. Your muscles will work better.”
It was while on this eating plan that Murray defeated Djokovic at Wimbledon last month. Murray, 26, says varying his diet is what works best for him.
"I’m not on a specific diet," he said. "I eat healthy food, but it’s not something specific. Last night I had red meat, the night before chicken and the night before that, fish. I’m just trying to make sure I am not eating the same things a few days in a row."
Djokovic maintains that going gluten-free gave him the edge he needed to leapfrog to No. 1 from No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, but Murray (who's No. 3) says diet is only part of the winning formula. Hard work across the board is what wins matches, he said.
"Nothing replaces the work you do in the gym," he said. “You need to put the work in off the court and in the gym. And if you do that, you give yourself a good chance."