JAN Bednarek’s gone gluten-free in a bid to boost his performances on the pitch.

Known behind the scenes as one of the club’s most professional players, the Polish international rarely leaves a stone unturned when finding ways to develop.

And it was a blood test that revealed cutting out gluten could help improve work in training and on a matchday.

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic famously claimed he went gluten-free which he believes gave him an added edge on the court leading to an era of dominance.

“I think I did a blood test to check what’s wrong with my digestion system and I found out that gluten may not help me to be fully fit and healthy,” Bednarek told the Daily Echo.

“I started to eat things without gluten and it hasn’t been very complicated. I would have gluten-free pasta and rice as opposed to normal pasta and rice.

Daily Echo: Tennis star Novak Djokovic (Pic: Tess Derry/PA Wire)Tennis star Novak Djokovic (Pic: Tess Derry/PA Wire)

“I think you need to adjust and have different recipes which is something I did with my girlfriend.

“To play at the highest level the small things can make all the difference.

“I think you need to try everything and, for some people, a gluten-free diet will be good but for others, it could be bad.

“There is no one way or gift for success. For me, it works really good, so I will stick with this diet.”

Astute in his training and recovery, Bednarek sets an example that he hopes others will be able to follow.

In a video posted by Saints, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joked that the defender celebrates a win by going to bed at 8 o’clock.

The Polish international disputes this claim and insists he doesn’t want to have any regrets when he has to hang his boots up at the end of his career.

And this is the reason why he explores every avenue to become a better player.

“When people see you are professional they follow you because they start to think that they should work hard as well,” the central defender added.

Daily Echo: Jan Bednarek looks bemused during the game against ArsenalJan Bednarek looks bemused during the game against Arsenal

“I try to be the best version of myself and that’s the most important thing. You have to try everything to be the best and to reach the highest level.

“When you retire at the end of your career you don’t want to look back and regret anything. That’s how it goes.

“But, for me, there is also time to recover and a time to forget about football because that’s mentally very important.

“You want to be fresh for the next day and to have a clear mind.”

Bednarek’s always trying to learn new ways to boost his development and, in line with Hojbjerg’s joke, sleep is an important part of that – just not at 8pm.

“There are many things [that I do],” he added. “You can mention massages, not going out and staying at home. I think there are too many things to mention.

“Small things can improve your game and I try to use everything I can to develop myself.

“I think sleeping time is the most important part of recovery so for me it’s very important to go to sleep at the right time and to also wake up at the right time.

“I need to prepare for my sleep in the right way and it’s another very important thing for footballers to do.”