US golfing star Michelle Wie said on Tuesday she was feeling healthier after embarking on a gluten-free diet, inspired partly by the success story of tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
“I heard that story that he turned gluten-free and became No. 1 in the world,” Wie told a press conference in Singapore ahead of the US$1.4 million HSBC Women’s Champions tournament starting today where she will be competing. “I think it’s really motivating me.”
Djokovic, who has battled allergies in his career, has credited a gluten-free diet as one of the key reasons behind his surge to the top of men’s tennis.
Like the Serbian, Wie is also allergy-prone and has tweeted earlier this month that her hands are less swollen after omitting gluten from her diet.
“I am allergic to everything in this world, I don’t really digest food very well,” the 22-year-old Hawaiian of Korean descent said. “So I just thought maybe if I cut out gluten, I can feel better because I heard that it causes inflammation, everything ... but it’s been week three and I feel a big difference.”
“You know, my joints don’t feel sore as much, I digest food a lot better, my hands feel less swollen so I feel really good,” she said.
Wie, who turned pro shortly before her 16th birthday, said having to cope with school work from Stanford University has not been a hindrance at all in her golfing career.
“I don’t think going to college has really affected my golf just because I have never actually had an experience of playing golf without going to school,” she said.