Tom Brady boasts one the longest-lived careers in the NFL, and the 39-year-old quarterback reportedly hopes to stay on the field for another seven years. After winning his fifth Superbowl, it certainly seems that whatever Brady puts his mind to, he achieves.
Playing for the NFL obviously requires a lot of hard work, dedication and more than a modicum of talent, but the longevity that has experienced Tom Brady isn’t a gift: He works for it through his diet and lifestyle. Fergus Connolly, football performance director for Brady’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, says, “I have no doubt that Tom Brady’s ability to recover is due to his lifestyle health.” Many players often have no choice but to leave the game of football behind, in the wake of injuries like torn ligaments and shredded cartilage. As a football expert Connolly says, maintaining proper sleep, nutrition, strength, flexibility, along with spiritual and cognitive resilience, are all integral parts of having a long career with the NFL.
“You can’t survive in the NFL without giving lifestyle an emphasis and for a long career it has to be all aspects,” Connolly states. And if anyone puts an emphasis on their diet and lifestyle, it’s Tom Brady. While many people believe that Brady just won a genetic lottery, Connolly argues that all NFL players have been blessed with good genes of some sort to make it so far in the game. The expert believes that how a player takes care of those good genes is far more important than the presence of good genes alone. (RELATED: Read more stories about staying healthy for the long-term at Prevention.news)
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Tom Brady himself has attributed his diet and lifestyle to his success and longevity in the game of football, and has even said that nutrition and lifestyle changes helped to save his career. Brady says that when he was 25, he was hurting all the time, and his arm bothered him every day after throwing the ball — but now at 39, he experiences no pain after throwing at all.
“I’ve tried to just take care of myself through learning through a lot of positive and negative experiences with that. When you’re in a locker room for 17 years, you kinda learn what to do and what not to do and what works for you. I’ve found probably a unique way that’s a little outside the box that’s really worked,” Brady said in a recent interview.
And the Brady method certainly is unique. Brady’s diet is extremely strict, but immensely healthy. The football star’s diet consists of nothing but organic ingredients, and the football star stays away from sugar, white flour, MSG, iodized salt, and nightshade vegetables. Brady also avoids coffee, fungi and dairy products, and sticks to a primarily alkaline diet. The “Brady diet” focuses on whole, organic foods, with what appears to be an emphasis on reducing inflammation. Nightshade vegetables in particular are known for causing an inflammatory response in some people, and can worsen painful conditions like arthritis. It makes perfect sense why a professional football player would generally abstain from such foods; even the slightest edge can make a difference.
Brady’s lifestyle is also key to keeping his health on track. With a 9:00 PM bedtime, Brady ensures he gets plenty of rest and recovery each day. The quarterback also does not drink and focuses on flexibility training rather than lifting heavy weights. Brady attributes his flexibility to his longevity, stating that focusing on weight training alone ensures that one’s muscle fibers will be short, dense and lack any significant range of motion. Brady explains that the game requires a lot of stretching, running and moving — so keeping muscles flexible is actually integral to keeping injuries at bay. Flexibility training is known for maintaining and bolstering mobility, as well as reducing the risk of injury.
While Brady’s detractors may say that his organic, alkaline diet and lifestyle are “absurd,” it’s clearly working out quite well for him.