Tom Brady’s Diet – Similar to a High School Football Player?

Patriots+Quarterback+Tom+Brady+directs+his+team+during+a+game+against+the+Washington+Redskins.
Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady directs his team during a game against the Washington Redskins.

Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady directs his team during a game against the Washington Redskins.

Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady directs his team during a game against the Washington Redskins.

Rhys Levine, Sports Editor

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Last Sunday, the viewing public watched a battle, that to many Eagles fans, had been narrowed down to one thing: stopping Tom Brady. At 40 years old, the prolific Patriots quarterback is far from just clinging to his roster spot. Rather, Brady has continued to add to his legacy in spectacular fashion, leading the league in passing yards, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl, and being named a NFL First Team All-Pro. Considered by many to be amongst the most consistently dominant players in the history of the league, there are many great qualities attributed to Brady. Players point to his leadership ability, analysts to his intelligence and playmaking, and fans to his indescribable “it” factor. To Brady though, an oft-overlooked part of his success lies in his incredibly strict health maintenance, especially his diet.

While it is no secret that many great athletes have gone great lengths to mentally and physically train themselves towards peak physical condition, Brady’s diet may stand above all others. Incorporating many “pseudoscientific” elements into his the way he eats, Brady has developed a diet he describes as “alkalizing” and “anti-inflammatory.” These two properties, according to Brady, allow for a wide variety of beneficial effects, “enhanced athletic performance” and quicker post-workout recovery. Brady’s belief in his methods as the source of his high level of play and consistency on the field has actually led him to develop his own brand of athletic products, such as his TB12 electrolyte mixture. But, while Brady may believe that his diet aids his performance as a professional, there are a wide variety of differences between his eating habits and those recommended for an amateur, such as a high school player.

Many of the everyday ingredients we find in our food frowned upon by Brady are actually recommended by several expert dieticians and nutritional authorities. While Brady’s diet restricts a wide variety of components in food, such as salt and dairy, many of these components are thought of as necessary to the development of a student athlete. Dietary expert Molly Morgan points to bodily functions such as perspiration, a process that sheds the body’s sodium, as a cause for athletes to factor small quantities of salt into their everyday diet, as a means of “retaining fluids.” Morgan also advocates for dairy consumption amongst young athletes, as products like chocolate milk serve as a “convenient blend of carbohydrates and protein.”

Despite these inconsistencies, Brady’s specialized diet does hold some parallels to more common dietary advisements. As a protein source, both Brady’s diet and the one recommended to high schoolers lean towards lean meats, such as turkey and grilled chicken, as well as vegetarian options, like nuts and quinoa. And, while Brady has his chefs cook with coconut oil instead of olive oil, both Brady and Morgan encourage the consumption of olive oil as a sauce or salad dressing.

In all, while Brady’s diet is controversial, and many professionals look upon it as a simple example of an experiment Brady is claiming to be beneficial, there are actually factors that correlate with those of proven dietary facts. And, heading into his eighteenth season as a pro, the aging quarterback is going to have to continue to prove his methods on the grandest scale.

 

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