NFL

Tom Brady’s Diet Would Be a Disaster for Regular People

Tom Brady isn’t just one of the best quarterbacks in football. He’s also one of the healthiest. Brady promotes his diet and lifestyle as often as he can. But what exactly does he do differently than the Average Joe, and why would regular people have such a hard time keeping up with it? 

Tom Brady poses at a red carpet event for his new diet and lifestyle brand
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady poses during the TB12 Grand Opening Event | Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Tom Brady career overview

Brady has won six Super Bowls for the New England Patriots. He was drafted by the team with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. Here’s what he’s been able to accomplish over the course of his career

  • 282 games played
  • 217-63 win-loss record
  • Completed 63.9% of his passes
  • 73,951 passing yards
  • 536 touchdowns
  • 178 interceptions

Brady has obviously had an excellent career. Where he’s diverged from most quarterbacks or superstars is his longevity. Despite being well north of 40 years old, Brady is still going.

Having the ability to do that requires optimal conditioning and supreme physical fitness. Brady wouldn’t be able to do that without an impeccable diet. 

The details of Tom Brady’s diet

Brady’s diet is highly restrictive. A dietitian, Carolyn Williams, reviewed Brady’s book titled The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, to suss out the details of what he eats. She found that he limits some foods that are both very common and well-liked within the general populace: 

Here’s what’s off-limits or should be greatly limited, due to their inflammatory effect in the body:   

Gluten and refined carbs like bread, snack foods, cereals, pastas

Trans and saturated fats

Dairy like milk, cheese, and yogurt

Excessive salt

Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and bell peppers

Excessive caffeine and alcohol

Processed foods and added sugars

Another guideline of Brady’s diet includes eating a diet that is 80% alkaline, 20% acidic. This means eating “lower acid” produce that’s either raw or lightly steamed.

Foods with high alkaline content include broccoli, carrots, green beans, spinach, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. Examples of highly acidic foods include soybeans, walnuts, salmon, beef, chickpeas, yogurt, pineapple, and strawberries. 

Brady’s diet recommendations include: 

  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Stay away from dairy. 
  • Limit your nightshades. 
  • Stick to an alkaline diet. 

The doctor reached the conclusion that while some of Brady’s guidelines are sound (avoid inflammatory foods and try to eat anti-inflammatory foods), some of the claims aren’t backed by science and therefore possibly not worth the effort for the average person. 

Why Tom Brady’s diet would be a disaster for regular people

While Brady’s diet works for him and helps him prolong his career, it probably wouldn’t work for most. There are four major reasons why this is true: 

It requires maximum discipline 

Brady’s diet is so restrictive that it would mean avoiding foods people can consume or acquire much more easily. The fact is most people aren’t elite level athletes and don’t need to be so strict.

Most people don’t have the resources

Not everyone can afford diet experts or personal chefs to ensure they’re doing everything right. They’re left to do their own research, which can be overwhelming at times. 

Some of Brady’s health habits are controversial 

In his book, Brady advises that because of how much water he drinks, he doesn’t need to use sunscreen. This is borderline dangerous advice and isn’t backed by science. Regular people should not just blindly follow Brady’s advice, especially advice that is anecdotal at best.

It’s too hard to keep up with

Brady’s diet is so intricately designed that most people would be confused by it. That may lead to frustration, which may lead them to give up on it after a short period of time. The stress of most peoples’ everyday lives means that they can’t devote the amount of time Brady can to thinking about his diet.