Regardless of how you feel about the New England Patriots, it's hard to dismiss the fact that Tom Brady is one of the most impressive quarterbacks in the history of football. After all, the man has enough Super Bowl rings to bling out an entire hand. Being a champion athlete at the age of 40 takes a lot of dietary discipline, and it turns out that Brady's diet is even more hardcore than previously reported.
In his new book, "The TB12 Method," the sports star reveals all of his fitness and nutrition secrets — which includes drinking a whopping 25 glasses of water a day.
"The regimen I follow is a mix of Eastern and Western philosophies. Some of these principles have been around for thousands of years. My nutritional regimen may seem restrictive to some people, but to me it feels unnatural to eat any other way," Brady writes in the book, which the Boston Globe has previewed. "Many people have conditioned their bodies to a nutritional regimen made up of lots of white or pale-looking foods — french fries, potato chips, white bread, chicken nuggets — that don't exist in nature."
So far, so reasonable, right?
Brady starts the day at 6 a.m. and "immediately" chugs 20 ounces of water mixed with his TB12 electrolyte concentrate. Over the course of an average day he will drink up to 25 glasses of this water-electrolyte mix (which he adds to "everything" he drinks). To put this in perspective, the Mayo Clinic recommends an average of eight cups per day to replenish all the water you lose, while the Institute of Medicine recommends a higher water intake — 13 cups a day for men and nine for women. So in other words: That is a lot of water.
Next up, it's time for a smoothie: "Typically, it contains blueberries, bananas, seeds and nuts," Brady says. "It's nutrient-dense, high in fat, high in protein and high in calories." After that, he works out at 8 a.m., drinking more of the electrolyte water during his sweat session. He then has a protein shake consisting of a scoop of his own protein powder, almond milk and, yes, more electrolytes within 20 minutes of completing his workout.
There's no way he's thirsty at this point, right? But Tom Brady's day has just started, and he still has a lot more liquid to drink. Sometimes, around 11 a.m. he might have a snack like his Cacao Goji Energy Squares or Dark Cocoa Coconut.
Brady, whose diet consists of 80 percent veggies and 20 percent lean meats, eats lunch around noon, "often a piece of fish, but always with lots of vegetables."
"I make sure most of what I eat is alkalizing," he writes about the inflammation-reducing diet. Brady explains he tries to keep "acidifying" foods to 20 percent of his diet, with the other 80 percent made up of alkalizing foods, including Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and dandelion greens. He avoids sugar, white flour, MSG, iodized salt, nightshades (tomatoes and peppers) as well as dairy, while he rarely consumes things like white rice, bread, cold cuts, pineapples and yogurt.
Brady also adheres to a set of food combination rules to promote digestion, including not combining proteins with carbohydrates or fruits with other food, making sure to mix proteins or carbs with vegetables and, what may come as a surprise to many, avoiding the consumption of water with a meal. "Drinking water with your meals can interfere with good digestion," Brady writes. "Drink water half an hour before a meal, and then wait an hour before you have your next glass."
Later in the day, around 2 to 5 p.m., he often has a hankering for another snack, so he will whip up another protein shake or have some fruit (grapes, bananas and apples have the Brady stamp of approval), chips and guac, hummus or raw veggies.
The Brady-Bundchen household eats dinner around 6 p.m, which "is another nutrient-dense meal that includes a lot of vegetables." While he doesn't offer specifics, several recipes are included in the book — chicken and salmon burgers paired with greens and even a pasta (brown rice, of course) with cream sauce. He emphasizes that he doesn't eat the pasta very often. And while he isn't a fan of tea and rarely indulges in alcoholic beverages, he "might drink a cup of bone broth."
Brady's diet might seem restrictive to some, but he is perfectly satisfied with it. "I enjoy how I eat and what I eat, and never feel like I'm missing out," he writes.
What Do YOU Think?
Does Tom Brady's diet surprise you? Could you maintain this diet? Do you agree with his dietary beliefs?