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Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Medically Reviewed by 

Iulia Serban, RDN
Last updated on September 22, 2023
Novak Djokovic and his high-calorie breakfast smoothie.

Collage and smoothie photo credit: Unfold Today. Novak Djokovic photo credit: Andrew Campbell.[1]



Although Novak Djokovic, one of the best tennis players in history, shared the ingredients of his special breakfast smoothie recipe before winning the 2015 US Open, he didn't mention a very important part of his recipe: the ingredient quantities.

Novak Djokovic's face from profile.

"My special recipe is banana, coconut/rice/almond milk, cinnamon, chia seeds, protein powder, flax seed, cacao powder," Novak Djokovic wrote on Twitter one day before winning the 2015 US Open final against Roger Federer.[2]

The absence of the ingredient proportions is even more frustrating because five days before he listed the ingredients, Djokovic had shared a video teaser in which he counted the health benefits of his breakfast smoothie. Watch the video below.[3]

All in all, Djokovic left many of his fans curious about the complete smoothie recipe, and whether the drink would fit their diets.

Fortunately, as experts in preparing smoothies, especially weight gain smoothies, we used our guide for preparing high-calorie smoothies to find the right quantity for each ingredient listed by Novak.

Furthermore, we asked registered dietitian Iulia Serban to review the recipe to confirm it's healthy.

Before heading to the recipe, let's take a quick look at how many calories the smoothie has.

Smoothie's calories

The standard variant of Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie has 525 calories.

If you need more calories, however, you can modify ingredient quantities by following these guidelines:

  • For 1000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 1.9;
  • For 1500-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 2.86;
  • For 2000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 3.81.

Now, let's explore the recipe.

Equipment

Equipment needed to prepare Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie - blender, knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon.

To make Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie, you need four pieces of kitchen equipment:

  • Blender
  • Knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon

Ingredients

Ingredients of Novak Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie.
  • 2 medium (236 g or 8.32 oz) ripe or slightly ripe bananas
  • 4 tsp (0.5 oz or 14 g) chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp (0.4 oz or 10 g) flax seeds
  • 6.8 fl oz (200 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 scoop (1.1 oz or 32 g) rice protein powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp (0.2 oz or 6.25 g) raw cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp (0.05 oz or 1.3 g) cinnamon 
  • 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) water

Ingredient quantities explained

If you're wondering how exactly we set the quantity for each ingredient, here comes the explanation.

First of all, we included two medium-sized ripe or slightly ripe bananas for three reasons:

  1. Banana is the first ingredient mentioned by Djokovic in his recipe reveal post;
  2. The main ingredients of a smoothie are by definition fruits or vegetables;
  3. Ripe or slightly ripe bananas are sweet enough to balance the taste of the smoothie.

Second, since Djokovic didn't count chia and flax seeds among the first 3 ingredients, Novak likely uses the two types of seeds as secondary ingredients.

Therefore, we decided to add small servings of seeds to bring their health benefits into the mix without overpowering the taste of the smoothie.

Moreover, the smoothie includes 6.8 fl oz (200 ml) of coconut milk and not more of it because we need to keep bananas as the main ingredient. We completed the liquid base of the smoothie with 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) of water to ensure the smoothie is easy to drink.

Furthermore, we decided to use 1 scoop of rice protein powder because it's a classic serving size that brings enough plant-based protein to help with maintaining or building muscle.

When it comes to cinnamon and cocoa powder, since they both have a very aromatic taste, they should be used in small amounts to avoid making the smoothie too flavorful.

Ingredient substitutions

When he listed the ingredients for his breakfast smoothie recipe, Novak Djokovic mentioned he allows himself to substitute coconut milk with rice or almond milk.

Also, it's important to note that Djokovic forgot to mention the kind of protein powder he uses for his special smoothie. Fortunately, in his book "Serve to Win" Djokovic shares his preference for rice and pea protein concentrate, so those are likely his choices.

Novak Djokovic's face from profile.

"After practice, I have an organic protein shake made from water mixed with rice or pea protein concentrate (which is sometimes called medical protein) and some evaporated cane juice. I don’t drink whey or soy shakes. I find that, for me, this is the fastest way to replenish," Djokovic writes in his book "Serve to Win".[4]

Instructions

1. Break bananas

Peeled banana vs peeled banana broken into pieces.

Peel the bananas and break them so they will fit in the blender.

2. Adapt ingredients to blender size

Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.

If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 750 ml (25.4 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.

3. Add ingredients

Adding ingredients of Novak Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie in a blender.

Add the ingredients to the blender making sure coconut milk and water end up at its bottom.

If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the coconut milk and water lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.

4. Blend

Ingredients of Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie - unblended vs blended.

Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).

If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.

5. Serve

Novak Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie in a glass.

Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.

From now on, you will be able to replicate a high-calorie variant of Novak Djokovic's breakfast smoothie in your kitchen. How awesome is that?

In terms of its flavor, the smoothie tastes bittersweet and has a cinnamon aroma while the bananas are hardly noticeable. Note that using unripe bananas or too many flax seeds can make the smoothie too bitter.

How to store

Although Djokovic doesn't say how much he stores his smoothie for, or if he does it at all, our general recommendation is to drink the smoothie right after blending. This way, you'll avoid any flavor or texture changes.

Alternatively, you can usually store smoothies in the fridge for about a day.

Nutrition facts

  • Volume: 25.4 fl oz (750 ml)
  • Calories: 525
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Carbs: 76 g
  • Fat: 15 g

Out of the total calories of the smoothie, 58% come from carbohydrates, 26% from protein, and 26% from fats.

Therefore, Novak Djokovic's breakfast smoothie is a rich source of energy that also helps with building muscle.

Moreover, since the smoothie has less than 30% of its calories coming from fats, it counts among the low-fat high-calorie foods.

Now, for a more detailed breakdown, let's explore how each ingredient contributes to the smoothie's overall nutrition facts.

Nutrition facts of each ingredient

Bananas

  • Weight: 2 medium (8.32 oz or 236 g)
  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 54 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Raw bananas.[5]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

The two bananas bring 71% of the carbs in Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie. After all, bananas count among the fruits with the highest number of calories.

Chia seeds

  • Weight: 4 tsp (0.5 oz or 14 g)
  • Calories: 67
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Source: FoodData Central - Chia seeds.[6]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Chia seeds, which count among the high-calorie snacks, bring 27% of the total fats in Novak's smoothie.

Flax seeds

  • Weight: 1 tbsp (0.4 oz or 10 g)
  • Calories: 55
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Source: FoodData Central - Flax seeds.[7]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Flax seeds, which also count among the snacks with the most calories, are responsible for 27% of the total fats in Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie.

Coconut milk

  • Weight: 6.8 fl oz (200 ml)
  • Calories: 62
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Source: FoodData Central - Coconut milk beverage.[8]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Coconut milk is responsible for 27% of the total fats in Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie.

Rice protein powder

  • Weight: 1 scoop (1.1 oz or 32 g)
  • Calories: 113
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Carbs: 2 g
  • Fat: 0.5 g

Source: Nutritionix - Rice protein powder.[9]

Source info

Name: Nutritionix

Type: food database

Operated by: Syndigo LLC

Characteristics:

  • Curated by a team of registered dietitians
  • Described as "the largest grocery database on the planet"

Rice protein powder is responsible for 74% of the total protein in Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie.

Raw cocoa powder

  • Weight: 2 1/2 tsp (0.2 oz or 6.25 g)
  • Calories: 14
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: FoodData Central - Cocoa powder.[10]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

The cocoa powder brings 6% of the total fats in Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie.

Cinnamon

  • Weight: 0.5 tsp (0.05 oz or 1.3 g)
  • Calories: 3
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Ground cinnamon.[11]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Benefits of drinking this smoothie

Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie has plenty of health benefits, even more than the ones confirmed by Novak.

Novak Djokovic's face from profile.

"I start my day preparing a smoothie that will help me fight the stress, give my body enough nutrients... there's a lot of stuff there, lots of minerals, lots of vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, good sources of omega-3," Djokovic said about his breakfast smoothie's benefits.[3]

Explore the most important health benefits of the smoothie below.

1. Gain weight easier

One of the most obvious benefits of consuming Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie is that it makes gaining weight easier without being too filling.

Stats confirm this.

According to the top of the best weight gain foods for females, 91% of the women who gain weight successfully consume smoothies.

Boost calories

Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie boosts caloric intake because it's nutritious, having 525 calories per serving. All those calories will help you get on a daily caloric surplus, the main condition for gaining weight.

Nevertheless, note that a person with an extremely active lifestyle like Novak Djokovic needs much more calories to maintain or gain weight than the average person.

Ability to eat more

Besides increasing your total caloric intake, Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie enables you to eat more because, unlike many solid foods, it keeps your appetite satisfied only for brief periods.

As evidence, a University of Bristol study compared fruit smoothies with fresh fruits and other drinks in terms of satiety. They concluded that fruit smoothies are more filling than drinks that are less alike to food (e.g., water and milk) but less filling than solid foods.[12]

Source info

Name: A Comparison of the Satiety Effects of a Fruit Smoothie, Its Fresh Fruit Equivalent and Other Drinks

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrients (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: University of Bristol

2. Build more muscle

Another benefit of drinking Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie is that it can increase your ability to build muscle because it has 34 g of proteins, most of which come from the rice protein powder in the smoothie's composition.

As proof, a pre-workout serving of 20 g of protein, according to a University of Birmingham trial on protein ingestion effects, is enough to promote muscle-building.[13]

Source info

Name: Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise

Type: journal article

Published in: American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism (peer-reviewed journal)

In addition, because it has between 20 and 40 g of protein, Djokovic's smoothie can replace pre-workout meals for muscle gain.

3. Increase energy

Djokovic's morning smoothie increases energy levels because it's loaded with carbs, most of which come from the two bananas in the smoothie's composition.

After all, as stated in a University of Lausanne study on the energy potential of carbs, carbohydrates are the main energy source for humans.[14]

Source info

Name: Carbohydrates as a source of energy

Type: journal article

Published in: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (peer-reviewed)

Made at: University of Lausanne

4. Strengthen bones

Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie can strengthen bones because it contains chia seeds and flax seeds, two plant-based sources of calcium.

The chia seeds in Djokovic's smoothie bring 88 mg of calcium while flax seeds bring 25 mg of calcium. Therefore, Novak's smoothie provides 12% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.

5. Improve immunity

Per Djokovic, consuming his high-calorie breakfast smoothie will get you loaded with antioxidants. This is true, given the smoothie contains six antioxidant sources:

  • Bananas;
  • Chia seeds;
  • Flax seeds;
  • Coconut milk;
  • Raw cocoa powder;
  • Cinnamon.

Antioxidants, according to a scientific review of antioxidants, increase health protection and disease prevention.[15]

Source info

Name: Antioxidants: Molecules, medicines, and myths

Type: journal article

Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (peer-reviewed journal)

6. Support heart health

Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie is also good for the heart because it improves cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduces blood pressure.

More specifically, here are some of the components in Djokovic's smoothie that improve heart health:

  • Potassium, found in bananas;
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), also known as an omega-3 acid, found in chia seeds and flax seeds;
  • Flavonoids, found in cocoa powder.

As scientific proof, a review of the effects of potassium says that potassium lowers blood pressure.[12]

Source info

Name: Beneficial Effects of High Potassium

Type: journal article

Published in: Hypertension (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: Medical College of Wisconsin

Moreover, a French scientific review of the link between alpha-linolenic acid (AHA) and coronary heart disease concluded that AHAs are a major cardio-protective nutrient.[17]

Source info

Name: Alpha-linolenic acid and coronary heart disease

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases (NMCD)

Made at: Université Joseph Fourier

Furthermore, according to a scientific review of flavonoids' effects on cardiovascular health, they can reduce blood pressure and promote blood flow to the brain.[18]

Source info

Name: The Effects of Flavonoids on Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Human Intervention Trials and Implications for Cerebrovascular Function

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrients (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: University of Reading

7. Reduce inflammation

Again, as Djokovic said, his smoothie also contains ingredients that reduce inflammation.

High inflammation levels, according to a Nature Medicine study on chronic inflammation, can rise the risk of chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.[19]

Source info

Name: Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span

Type: journal article

Published in: Nature Medicine (peer-reviewed journal)

8. Save money

Another benefit of drinking Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie is that it's affordable. The ingredients used to make the smoothie cost a total of $3.3.

In the end, the main ingredient of the smoothie, the bananas, and flax seeds, count among the cheapest high-calorie foods.

Recipe summary

To follow Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie recipe in a compact format, use the summary below.

Novak Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie in a glass.

Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie

This high-calorie recipe shows you how to make Novak Djokovic's special breakfast smoothie, whose ingredients he shared without including quantities before winning the 2015 US Open. The smoothie is based on bananas but tastes bittersweet while featuring a pleasant cinnamon aroma.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Blend Time 1 minute
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Smoothies
Servings 1 person
Calories 525 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 Teaspoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium bananas ripe or slightly ripe (8.32 oz or 236 g)
  • 4 tsp chia seeds (0.5 oz or 14 g)
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds (0.4 oz or 10 g)
  • 6.8 fl oz coconut milk (200 ml)
  • 1 scoop rice protein powder (1.1 oz or 32 g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp raw cocoa powder (0.2 oz or 6.25 g)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (0.05 oz or 1.3 g)
  • 8.5 fl oz water (250 ml)

Instructions
 

  • Peel the bananas and break them so they will fit in the blender.
    2 medium bananas
    Peeled banana vs peeled banana broken into pieces.
  • Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.
    If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 750 ml (25.4 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.
  • Add the ingredients to the blender making sure coconut milk and water end up at its bottom.
    If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the coconut milk and water lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.
    4 tsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp flax seeds, 6.8 fl oz coconut milk, 1 scoop rice protein powder, 2 1/2 tsp raw cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 8.5 fl oz water, 2 medium bananas
    Adding ingredients of Novak Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie in a blender.
  • Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).
    If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.
    Ingredients of Djokovic's high-calorie breakfast smoothie - unblended vs blended.
  • Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.

Video

Notes

Using unripe bananas or too many flax seeds can make the smoothie too bitter.
Here are 8 of the benefits of drinking Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie:
  1. Gain weight easier
  2. Build more muscle
  3. Increase energy
  4. Strengthen bones
  5. Improve immunity
  6. Support heart health
  7. Reduce inflammation
  8. Save money
Keyword breakfast, Djokovic, energizing, healthy, high-calorie, protein, quick, vegan, weight gain

If you decide to make Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie, let us know by taking a picture of the result and tagging it @unfoldtoday on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.

Also, don't forget to leave a comment and a rating in the comment section found at the very end of this article.

And if you haven't already tried the recipe, we encourage you to do so and share the result with us.

Now, why don't you explore other smoothie recipes below?

Other high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain

If you want to try other homemade smoothies that can help you gain weight besides Djokovic's High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie, visit our full list of high-calorie smoothie recipes,

And in case you wish to get creative, you can build your own high-calorie smoothie recipes. Learn what can you add to your smoothie and how to bring extra calories to it from our guide on how to make high-calorie smoothies for weight gain.

And if it happens to get bored of smoothies...

Try switching high-calorie smoothies for high-calorie shakes.

External sources

Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.

Written by
Claudiu Pop is a nutritionist, medical writer, journalist, and the founder of Unfold Today. He specialized in fitness and nutrition, especially in weight gain, by helping people increase their body mass since 2019 with over 20 articles published in the field.
Medically reviewed by
Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.
Iulia Serban, RDN
Iulia Serban, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Master's degree in Nutrition and Quality of Life. Both degrees were received from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu.
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