by Henry Gould – Feb 11th, 2021
You might have heard; Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just won Super Bowl LV. For Brady this was his 7th Super Bowl ring from 10 total visits to the big game. That’s a lot!
More impressive is the fact that Brady did this at the ripe old age of 43, making him the oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl title. The NFL is definitely a young man’s league, with the average age of players clocking in at 26 years old and a typical career lasting only 3.3 years. Given these unprecedented results, it begs the question: what is Tom Brady’s secret?
Much has been made about Brady’s less than typical training regimes (as well as his unorthodox alternative medicine practitioner Alex Guerrero), but most of the intrigue comes from his diet. Famously, Brady had never eaten a strawberry until a joke-y visit to the Stephen Colbert show, and claims to avoid all nightshades – peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes – claiming they have inflammatory properties, sticking to an alkaline diet instead.
Now, it’s hard to argue with 7 Super Bowl rings. But whether that’s a product of very specific dietary restrictions that don’t have a lot of evidence behind them, or if it’s simply because he is already eating a healthy diet regardless of the type of vegetables.
There’s no doubt that inflammation is a concern for human health regardless of your athletic ability, especially for things like heart disease and cancer. However, if we paid attention in statistics class, we know that correlation doesn’t always equal causation. Just because Brady following a strict “no nightshade” diet correlates with him winning 7 Super Bowl’s, doesn’t mean the two are related. He might just be really good at football, have good coaching, lots of money to pay for trainers and medical treatment, as well as GM’s who sign good players to play with him, and so on and so on.
Regardless, it’s fun to see what the best are doing behind closed doors. Maybe you pick up some tips and use them in your day to day routine, maybe not, but it can help inform us what it takes to get to get the next level.
Men’s Health visited Tom and went through his fridge to see what he’s eating on the daily, as well as how he fuels up and recovers for a big game.
If you’re more skeptically minded, Vox.com did a good breakdown on his 2017 exercise and diet book, “The TB12 Method”, concluding that the grandiose claims of his strict diet are probably not backed up by science, and instead a product of living a healthy lifestyle.
Either way, I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it…