With six Super Bowl wins under his jock strap after his team winning the Super Bowl LIII, New England Patriots' Tom Brady is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. The 41-year-old demonstrates serious discipline when it comes to taking care of himself, and his super-strict diet has become almost just as notable as his performance on the field.
Brady's theory is that it doesn't matter how much you exercise, if you’re not eating the right food and providing your body with the right nutrients. “The regimen I follow is a mix of Eastern and Western philosophies," he writes in his book "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance. "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."
Here is a rundown on everything Tom Brady eats on an average day — as well as the many things he completely avoids.
Eating, the Tom Brady Way
There are many rules to Brady’s diet. First of all, he doesn’t consume any inflammatory foods, including nightshades. “So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms or eggplants,” his personal chef Allen Campbell explained to The Boston Globe in 2016. “Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month.”
He avoids coffee, caffeine, fungus, dairy and most fruits, other than bananas. But the list doesn’t end there. White sugar, white flour and MSG are also no-gos. And while his chef will use raw olive oil, he never cooks with it and instead uses coconut oil. “Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats…I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt,” he added.
As if his anti-inflammatory diet isn’t restrictive enough, Brady also follows the alkaline diet, which aims to minimize muscle inflammation. He explains in his book that it helps him stay healthy and avoid getting injured on the field.
“Acidifying” foods — including white bread and rice, cold cuts, fruits such as pineapple — are theoretically limited to around 20 percent of his diet. The majority of his diet consists of alkalizing foods — such as root veggies, leafy greens, fruits such as bananas and cherries, nuts and whole grains.
According to his personal chef, Brady’s diet is 80 percent veggies (organic and only the “freshest”, and 20 percent lean meats like grass-fed organic steak, duck, and chicken. He will also eat whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and beans.
That's not all! He also doesn’t believe in combing certain foods such as proteins with starches, including potatoes or bread, so he only eats his meats with veggies. Also, he doesn’t like combining fruits with anything, however, he will occasionally blend them with nuts or seeds in a smoothie.
Tom isn't the only Brady with self-imposed dietary restrictions. The rest family, including his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, as well as his children follow a somewhat modified version of his diet.
In his book, Brady explains that he wakes up bright and early at 6 am and starts the day off with an electrolyte-infused water. Electrolytes are salts, acids or bases that contain ions, and are beneficial for keeping your body hydrated, especially after excessive sweating or exertion. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, also contain electrolytes — in addition to sugars and artificial colors and flavors — ingredients Brady would never ingest into his body.
Next, he drinks a pre-workout smoothie made with blueberries, bananas, nuts, and seeds. “It’s nutrient dense, high in fat, high in protein, and high in calories,” he explains. 20 minutes post sweat session he refuels with a protein shake, usually made with one scoop of his own protein powder, almond milk and electrolytes. He refers to this as the “20-minute rule” and claims he rarely neglects to follow up an intense workout with one of his shakes.
In between meals Brady enjoys munching on healthy snacks such as fruit, protein bars and protein shakes. Many days he will have his first snack around 11 am. “I never go long without snacking,” he writes. Other go-to snacks include guacamole, hummus and raw veggies.
A typical lunch for the star quarterback includes “often a piece of fish, but always with lots of vegetables.”
Dinners for Brady often consist of (take a guess)... lots of veggies. Sometimes he even pairs them with soup broth. In fact, bone broth is one of his favorite late night snacks.
Even Tom Brady has an occasional sweet tooth, but his version of a sweet treat is likely a whole lot healthier than yours. The NFL star included his recipe for avocado ice cream in his book, which includes ingredients such as avocado, raw cashews, coconut meat, dates and raw cacao powder.
Brady’s cheat meal is incredibly nutritious. According to his chef, it is something along the line of a quinoa dish with wilted greens. "I use kale or Swiss chard or beet greens,” Campbell said. “I add garlic, toasted in coconut oil. And then some toasted almonds, or this cashew sauce with lime curry, lemongrass and a little bit of ginger. That’s just comfort food.”
Lots of Water
If you haven’t already noticed, Brady consumes a significant amount of liquids. In fact, in his book he claims to consume between 12 to 25 glasses of water per day. There is also a strategy to his water-drinking. Apparently he only drinks H2O 30 minutes before a meal and then waits at least an hour after eating before having his next glass.
Okay, so eating like Tom Brady may be a little difficult for the average bear. But luckily the NFL star has partnered with vegan delivery service Purple Carrot to offer TB12 Performance Meals, which you can have delivered to your home every week, to make it easier. He also has his own line of snacks and even hydration supplements like electrolytes and protein powders.
Or, you can just use his super healthy diet as inspiration to eat more veggies, drink more water and cut your intake of processed foods and call it a day!