Tom Brady says that “It really doesn’t matter how much exercise you do if you’re not eating the right food and providing your body the right nutrients.”
He is one hundred percent correct about that.
Brady follows a strict diet which is more often than not organic, local, and plant-based.
His diet includes drinking about 12- 25 glasses of water with electrolytes a day, a lot of smoothies mainly with with blueberries, bananas, seeds, and nuts, protein shakes made with his self-branded protein powder and almond milk, hemp milk or sometimes rice milk, self-branded protein bars and lots of alkalizing foods like brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and dandelion greens.
He avoids the following. Alcohol, coffee, gluten-containing bread and pasta, breakfast cereal, corn, dairy, foods that contain GMOs, foods with high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats, sugar, artificial sweeteners or soy, fruit juice, grain-based foods, jams and jellies, most cooking oils, frozen dinners, salty snacks, sugary snacks, sweetened drinks, white potatoes, fungus, tomatoes, eggplants, chili peppers, most fruits and prepackaged condiments like ketchup and soy sauce.
Brady refers to his diet as an “alkalizing” and “anti-inflammatory” diet. He states the reasons for following a diet of this kind is that alkaline foods “helps the body thrive, whereas eating too many acidifying foods leads to a condition called acidosis, which makes us more prone to infections, colds, flu, low energy, fatigue, sore muscles, joint pain, hip fractures, bone spurs, poor concentration, and mood swings.”
An anti-inflammatory diet on the other hand, Brady says, enhances athletic performance and helps speed up recovery time.
Is Brady’s diet healthy? It’s highly restrictive but yes, experts would not fault it on the basis of health. Is it working for him? Yes. Will it work for you? Most likely if you can stick to it.
What experts are not in agreement with Brady on is the ‘why’ behind his preferred diet choices because according to their research, they lack scientific backing.
Can you alter the body’s pH level through diet?
The lungs and the kidneys are responsible for keeping the body’s pH level within the normal range which is 7.35-7.45. They do this without any prompting from external factors such as diet.
Stuart Phillips, a professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University says “It’s next to impossible — in fact, I can’t think of an instance — where people have been able to change their blood pH with diet.”
Michael Joyner, a Mayo Clinic exercise researcher says “If you actually eat a bunch of baking soda — even if you do that — you don’t change [the pH level] that much.”
Conclusion – Brady’s diet while healthy does little to alter his body’s pH.
Can an anti-inflammatory diet keep you healthy and improve recovery times?
Dr. Scott Walker, a family practice physician at Gunnison Valley Hospital in Utah says “inflammation is the body’s natural response to a problem, so it makes us aware of issues that we might not otherwise acknowledge.”
The body can experience two types of inflammation: acute or chronic (sometimes called systemic) inflammation.
Acute inflammation arises from a minor incidence like a cut and the effects are gone within a couple of days. Chronic or systemic inflammation arises from persistent conditions such as osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease.
Poor diet and lack of exercise can also contribute to chronic or systemic inflammation which is why a diet
According to the Arthritis Foundation, an anti-inflammatory diet may be helpful for those suffering from arthritis.
Some chronic inflammations are the result of the body’s immune system misreading the signals and causing an inflammatory response when one is not required. The white blood cells sent out to attack find no foreign matter and end up attacking vital organs, tissues and, cells. An anti-inflammatory diet is deemed to be helpful in this instance.
Phillips: “I don’t know a morsel of new scientific knowledge [supporting] what Tom Brady would like for you, that his dietary practice is linked to his career longevity or his success as an athlete.”
Joyner: “The only post-exercise diet that’s been shown to speed recovery, is getting enough carbohydrates to replenish glycogen that’s been depleted after a workout, or protein to help with muscle building.”
Conclusion – An anti-inflammatory diet may improve your health but there is no scientific research that shows it improves recovery times or athletic performance.