What Does Tom Brady Actually Eat?
With six Super Bowl wins under his belt, there’s no doubt that Tom Brady is doing something right with his nutrition. But what exactly is he doing, and why? What does he eat and drink? Where does he get his protein? And does Brady’s way work for everyone? We are here to set the record straight.
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The myths behind the legend
A lot of people think they know what Tom Brady eats and why, but a lot of these people are mistaken. For example, Brady has been described as a vegan. Although Brady puts a lot of greens on his plate, he isn’t that strict himself.
“When people ask if I’m a vegan or a vegetarian,” says Brady. “I tell them no, decidedly not.”
In fact, Brady’s meals consist of roughly 80 percent plant-based foods and 20 percent animal-based foods. Outside the cold New England winter months, that 80 percent might stretch up to 90 or 95.
One plant food Brady avoids, however, is the strawberry — and for a long time, the world wasn’t sure why. In fact, up until a 2016 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Brady had never eaten a strawberry. Despite the numerous tenets of Brady’s personal nutritional lifestyle, and despite the fact that Brady’s eating habits have been described as “ultra-strict,” the real reason Brady cuts strawberries out of the picture has nothing to do with nutrition. He just doesn’t like them.
But let’s get back to the big question: what does Tom Brady eat, and why?
Brady’s simple plant-based lifestyle
First things first — Brady follows a plant-based diet. This is nothing new. He himself calls it “commonsensical.” People all over the world have practiced and recommended a plant-based diet — from the Jains of the Indus River Valley to the Orphics of Ancient Greece. In fact, in 2010, a study found that there were 1.2 billion vegetarian people on the planet. Talk about a team sport.
The reason Brady joined in on this global trend is straightforward: fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients, fiber, and enzymes, and people who eat diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have lower rates of inflammation. Simply put, athletes need nutrients to fuel their bodies, and fruits and vegetables provide those nutrients without the negative side-effects of higher-glycemic foods.
Despite his enthusiasm for a plant-based lifestyle, Brady also eats meat. “Just not that much,” he notes. “If anything, I subscribe to balance.” A balanced lifestyle for Brady means limiting meat to a small portion of his meals and maximizing vegetables and grains.
A typical day in the life of Tom Brady
Brady’s day starts at 6:00 a.m. and his immediate focus is loading up on electrolytes and nutrients. “I wake up and drink 20 ounces of water with electrolytes,” he says. After that, a high-calorie, high-fat, high-protein smoothie follows. The usual fare is bananas, blueberries, nuts, and seeds.
After about two hours, Brady starts his daily workout. At roughly 20-minute intervals throughout his workout, he’ll replenish his electrolytes, but he won’t eat again until the workout is complete — around 11:00 a.m. At that time he tops off his workout with a scoop of TB12 Protein Powder in almond milk.
Around noon, Brady assembles his lunch according to his core principle of “mostly plants.” About 20 percent of his plate is a piece of fish, and the rest is vegetables — “lots of vegetables,” he notes — whole grains, and dark leafy greens. For the rest of the day, it’s TB12 Snacks, 2-3 more protein shakes, a plant-packed dinner, and — not infrequently — a steaming cup of bone broth.
What Tom Brady (Usually) Doesn’t Eat
One of the reasons Tom Brady eats the way he eats is to keep his overall inflammation level low. To that end, he limits, minimizes, or outright avoids a few common modern foods.
Some of these rules are common, like limiting salt, refined sugars and simple carbs, alcohol, caffeine, and trans fats. You’ve heard of these rules, and you probably already follow many of them.
Other rules might catch you off guard, like Brady’s avoidance of dairy and nightshades, but these rules stem from the same basic principle: keep inflammation low to sustain pliability. Brady stresses that his food choices are unique to his profession and probably aren’t going to have the same benefits for everyone. It is important to find a diet with food choices that suit your lifestyle.
“My diet is engineered and matched to the job I need my body to do,” Brady explains. “As long as I play pro football, I’ll be as disciplined as possible.”
How to fuel your body like Tom Brady
Following in Tom Brady’s nutritional footsteps is simple.
First, OPTIMIZE YOUR HYDRATION.
- First thing in the morning, drink 20 ounces of water with TB12 Electrolytes.
- Hydrate and replenish electrolytes every 20 minutes while you work out.
- Drink at least one-half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
Then, MASTER YOUR MEALS.
- Be mentally prepared to leave the table feeling 75 percent full, and then stop eating when you reach this point. This enables your body to absorb and digest your food more easily.
- At lunch and dinner, follow the 80/20 rule: fill up 80 percent of your plate with vegetables and greens and the remaining 20 percent of your plate with a lean protein (such as fish or organic chicken).
- Eat only whole foods — these are foods that were grown, not manufactured. Rule of thumb: if it’s in a box or a bag, it belongs there — don’t take it out.
- Take a multivitamin. Nobody’s perfect, and you never know what you may have missed.
FINALLY, INTEGRATE FOOD INTO YOUR WORKOUTS THE RIGHT WAY.
- Fuel your body before your workout by drinking a high-calorie, high-protein, high-fat smoothie or shake. (If you really want to fuel like Tom, add walnuts, acai powder, hemp or chia seeds.)
- Follow the 20-minute rule by having one scoop of TB12 Protein within 20 minutes of the end of your daily workout.
Food is fuel for your life
The perfect food choices are different for everyone, but they’re also the same for everyone. No matter what you do day-to-day, no matter what sport you play — you’re going to need a body that’s prepared to crush the task. Whether or not you choose to cut out nightshades and dairy, your body still needs nutrients, water, and energy that will last to the end of the fourth quarter. A TB12 Lifestyle provides that and more.
TB12 Grocery List
For years, athletes were more concerned with what they got out of their bodies than what they put into them, but we see things differently. Peak performance is the result of every decision you make. From the water you drink to the food you eat — every choice matters. That’s why we’ve put together the TB12 Grocery List to make it easier for you to make more good choices than bad ones.
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