Tom Brady’s Diet: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

tom brady diet

Getty Tom Brady's diet is an attempt to extend his career.

Tom Brady’s diet is just one of the ways the Patriots quarterback is trying to maintain his body to allow him to play football until he is 45 years old. Brady released a book, The TB12 Method, in 2017 detailing his philosophy on health, fitness and what he eats.

Brady’s diet prevents him from eating certain fruits and vegetables. Sugar, dairy and even tomatoes are all excluded in the TB12 method. Brady focuses on drinking lots of water and 80 percent of what he eats is vegetables, per Business Insider.

Here’s how Brady described his water intake, per Forbes.

TB12 is simple: Drink at least one-half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. That’s the minimum. Ideally, you’ll drink more than that, and with added electrolytes, too. This makes sense, considering the composition of our bodies.

Brady focuses on eating foods that are anti-inflammatory, meaning they help speed his recovery. Vox described Brady’s philosophy on eating the right foods.

For Brady, the “right foods” are “alkalizing” and “anti-inflammatory.” Alkaline foods lower his pH level, he writes, which can help with a range of ailments, from boosting low energy to preventing bone fractures. (He’s wrong here.) Anti-inflammatory foods, meanwhile, supposedly enhance athletic performance and help speed recovery.

Learn more about Brady’s diet and the TB12 Method.


1. A Typical Day For Brady Involves Loading up on Protein, Lots of Snacking, Eating Fish & Drinking Smoothies


NFL superstar Tom Brady reveals fitness tipsAt age 40, Tom Brady shows no signs of slowing down in a game dominated by younger players. The New England Patriots quarterback tells Norah O'Donnell his performance is due to his unique fitness and diet regimen, described in his new book, "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance," in…2017-09-18T13:39:18.000Z

The Boston Globe detailed what a typical day of eating for Brady looks like, and it may be more exhausting than you think. Brady starts his day off with water then a smoothie a few hours later. After working out at 8 a.m., Brady enjoys a protein shake. By 11 a.m., all Brady’s food so far has been in liquid form. At this point, Brady okays a bit of snacking, but only foods on the approved list.

Brady’s lunch normally consists of fish and a lot of vegetables. He does not eat proteins with carbohydrates. Brady might have another afternoon snack if he is hungry, something like an apple, grapes, banana or another protein shake. Brady tends to eat dinner at 6 p.m.

“Dinner is another nutrient-dense meal that includes a lot of vegetables,” Brady writes in his book (via the Boston Globe).


2. Gisele Loves Dunkin Donuts Munchkins, Which Are Anti-TB12 Method


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Gisele is with Brady in his TB12 efforts, but she admits to having her weakness. Gisele noted that Dunkin Donuts donut holes called Munchkins are one of her cheat foods.

“Oh, my God. I cannot have one. I have to have, like, 10,” Gisele told US Weekly. “They’re so tiny . . . It’s a guilty pleasure.”

Another thing Gisele is serious about is meditating. Gisele detailed her meditation routine in an interview with Vogue.

Every time I had a challenging time and needed clarity, I would do meditation, but I wasn’t consistent about it. I would go on vacation for 10 days and meditate for an hour every day, then I would come back and maybe I wouldn’t do it every day. Whenever I felt a lot of intensity coming from all over the place, I would decide to meditate. It wasn’t until about two or three years ago that I met Mario [Orsatti, a director of the David Lynch Foundation], and he introduced me to Transcendental Meditation, that I really started to meditate more regularly.


3. Brady Drinks Up to 300 Ounces of Water a Day

Brady’s diet is as much about what he drinks as it is what he eats. According to the Boston Globe, Brady drinks 12 to 25 glasses of water a day. Brady tends to avoid alcohol, and adds his infamous electrolytes mix to anything he drinks. Brady is also big on protein shakes and smoothies. Brady can drink up to 300 ounces of water on particularly active days, per Forbes.

“Typically, [the smoothie] contains blueberries, bananas, seeds, and nuts,” Brady writes (via the Boston Globe). “It’s nutrient dense, high in fat, high in protein, and high in calories.”

While Brady is an evangelist about drinking water, he does not drink water while eating meals. Instead, he advises to drink a glass of water about a half an hour before you eat, and another glass an hour after the meal. Brady believes that drinking water while eating interferes with digestion.


4. Brady Calls TB12 a Manual, Rather Than a Cookbook


I Tried The Tom Brady Diet And Nutrition PlanI tried the intense diet and fitness regimens that 40-year-old NFL quarterback Tom Brady touts in his new book "The TB 12 Method." Along with a diet that's heavy on vegetables and lean protein, Brady stays away from alcohol, caffeine, dairy, and sugar. This is what it was like to eat and train like Tom…2017-11-20T00:00:01.000Z

Brady is very particular about what you call his latest book. In an interview with GQ, Brady corrected writer Andrew Globe about referring to TB12 as a cookbook rather than a “nutritional manual”, because nothing screams fun like a manual.

After correcting Globe on the category of his book, Brady explained to GQ what motivated him to be so passionate about nutrition and health.

Well, the concept started really generically. Five or six years ago, one of the guys I work with helped start TB12. I learned so many different things from him because I was kind of—and still am—an aspiring athlete in a lot of ways. I still want to reach my maximum potential, I still love doing what I do, and I want to do it as well as I can for as long as I can. And I learned a lot of different things over the years that I would say are probably nonconventional or different from the way things have always been done…

I think I’m living proof of what it’s been. I was the kid that was the 199th pick that never had the body for it. People didn’t think I’d play one year in the NFL, and now I’m going on my 17th year. So I actually feel like I’m a great case study, and I want to inspire athletes who do want to be their best to have a place to go where they can learn—to me—what the best information is available out there.


5. Not Everyone Believes the TB12 Method Works the Way Brady Claims


Katie Nolan, Damien Woody and Jonathan Vilma try Tom Brady's Thanksgiving diet | ESPNKatie Nolan, Damien Woody and Jonathan Vilma get a glimpse of what Thanksgiving would be like if you followed the Tom Brady diet outlined in the quarterback’s new book. ✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔ Watch Latest Episodes on WatchESPN: es.pn/LatestEpisodes ✔ Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: es.pn/YouTubeTV Get more ESPN on YouTube:…2017-11-22T15:21:48.000Z

Vox’s Julia Belluz wrote a detailed rebuttal of Brady’s dietary claims. Belluz agrees that Brady’s diet is healthy, and helps him on the football field. However, Belluz notes Brady’s dietary recommendations may not have the exact impact he lays out in his book.

Before we go any further, let’s just be clear: There’s nothing wrong with Brady’s diet. While he takes some of the food restrictions (like the ban on eggplant, tomatoes, and bread) to the extreme, cutting down on junk food, sugar, and alcohol while loading up on fruits and vegetables is always a good idea.

But there are many problems with the claims Brady makes about the effects of the diet. There’s no good scientific evidence that the diet does the specific things Brady claims — neutralize the body’s pH level or improve muscle recovery.

Stuart Phillips, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University, explained to Vox why Brady’s claims may be unfounded.

“After doing nutrition and exercise research for almost 25 years,” Phillips told Vox. “There’s lots of examples where people who are successful athletes have attributed their success to one practice or another. But the main point is: If you pull it back and start to look at the science that underpins what people are saying, there is none there.”

Overall, Brady’s adherence to a healthy diet is sure to help his desire to play into his mid-40’s. It just may not have the causation Brady has claimed for his recovery and longevity.

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