Tom Brady’s Performance Secrets | Podcast #306

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Since we witnessed a great win and performance of Tom Brady in the NFL, we have Dr. J and Evan talking about the basics of food template and physical training to be an excellent athlete and fit in general. The Tom Brady Template, or TB12 Method, is a whole-foods-based diet that protects against diseases, may aid weight loss, and boost your sports performance and recovery. Still, it is very restrictive, not based on sound science, and likely difficult to maintain long term. 

It is important to note that everyone is unique, and well-known athletes are no exempted. It is still best to know what works for you. The bottom line is, if you want to perform excellently in your field (sports, fitness, etc.), it always encouraged to eat minimal processed, whole foods, etc. It is highly recommended to avoid inflammatory foods or acidic and hydration. It's also good to have a fitness program that aims to achieve adequate energy levels, recovery, performance, and overall health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:47       Vegan, NFL Diet, Tom Brady’s Diet

7:23       Grains, Gluten, Paleo

10:44     How We Can Do The Same Diet

15:03     Psychology Side Visualization’s Importance

16:29     EMF Mitigation Strategy, Bedroom Temp Control

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It's Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. We're coming off at amazing Super Bowl win just last night. I'm a big Tom Brady fan big Patriots fan growing up in the Boston area. So we have to kind of connect what's happening with current events to health, right? We know Tom Brady oldest quarterback ever most successful, he's the goat right greatest of all time. And there's definitely some nutritional and health secrets and tips. I think we can parse from his experience, maybe we can apply to ourselves for optimal performance and function. What do you think Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think that he's doing everything that we're preaching all the time. So it's great to be able to see that the proof is in the pudding. You're not seeing any amazing performing vegan quarterbacks, maybe there's some out there, but none that I know on mainstream television like this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the problem with you know, you can look at Cam Newton was vegan a couple years back and he had a lot of big bone and foot injuries is part of the reason why is unless you're doing tons of protein powders, it's really hard to get a lot of the dense amino acids you need for rebuilding your muscles, your tendons, your ligaments, you're also not getting a lot of that the collagen amino acids to turn over your cartilage and tendons and stuff. And then also really important fatty acids, you need fats to have cell healthy cell membranes, these fats are like a really important kind of building block for kind of buffering yourself helping yourself be more flexible, because fats are that outer cell membrane. And when you look at vegan vegetarian fats, a lot of them are going to be polyunsaturated fats, higher omega six, these fats tend to be a little bit more fragile, a little bit more heat sensitive, and a little bit more, let's say oxidizable in the body, because there's more omega bonds, right? So omega six fat means there's four, six double bonds throughout that long chain fatty acid and double bonds, they're not as resistant, they're not as pliable, okay, they're, they're more fragile, and they can oxidize with heat and stress. And so the benefit of having animal fats is you have a lot more stability, because the fats are more saturated, you have a lot of fat soluble vitamins A D, and K in there. And then you don't have the oxidizable nature. Anytime you oxidize a whole bunch of fats, you're going to, you're going to require a lot of antioxidants to help stabilize those cell membranes, because oxidation means those cells have lost electrons, and you need antioxidants that are willing to give up an electron to stabilize it. So good saturated fatty acids, again, fish oil, wonderful, right, but it's an omega three, so it's a little bit more heat sensitive. But if you're doing some good omega threes with some saturated fats, and you're keeping some good balance, omega threes are going to be wonderfully anti inflammatory. And they're a plant based omega three, they just they don't quite get converted to the active omega threes in DHA, EPA 80% go don't get converted or kind of lost in that conversion be that delta five desaturase enzyme. So that's the first thing on the fats. 

Evan Brand: Let's go through the list here. So they they're calling it his NFL diet, which is kind of funny because like I said, this is the diet that you and I are pretty much prescribing for almost everyone. He's saying here that of course, he's got a private chef, of course, at that level of wealth, you're gonna have private chef 80% of what he's eating his vegetables. He's getting the freshest vegetables. If they're not organic, he doesn't use it. And he will do some rice. He will do some quinoa and millet. He's doing grass fed organic steak. He's doing duck, he says every now and then he'll do chicken. He's doing wild salmon. He uses raw olive oil, but he doesn't cook with it. He only cooks with coconut. And he uses Himalayan salt and never uses iodized salt and then no nightshades which you and I've done podcast on autoimmune protocol. And you're going to pull out the Nightshade. So he's saying here Nope, no tomatoes, peppers, mushroom, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then he said, but he said he's very cautious about them. No coffee, no caffeine, no fungus, no dairy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So a couple of things to highlight there. So number one, just want to highlight a few things is Tom's using saturated fats to cope with why we've already talked about that there are a lot more heat stable, they're not going to oxidize, they're not going to break down. Also Coconut oil is very good for your cell membranes. And if you're kind of switching into a fat burner status, right, you kick off a lot of ketones, a lot of fatty acid metabolites called ketones from coconut which is very high and a medium chain triglycerides, right, this is c6, c8, c10, c12, right capric caprylic, caproic and lauric acid, these are your medium chain triglycerides. So very important for fat burning. Also, Tom does about 20% meat. So that's good quality, organic, high quality grass fed meat, right? So he's probably consuming with his body six for 230 pounds. So he's probably consuming about at least three to 4000 calories a day if he's really active and working out. So you can imagine he's probably consuming about I'm in a gas between 160 to 250 grams of protein a day probably around that depending if he's lifting or how story is. And also he's cutting down a lot of the nightshades now nightshades may be okay, a lot My patient may be listening and saying, Well, you know that J started me off on an autoimmune diet, I could add back in some Nightshade, some tomato, some potatoes. And that may be great for you. But when your joints are under a lot of stress, and a lot of inflammation from big linebackers tackling you every Sunday, your joints may be a little bit predisposed to inflammation and those nightshades and that alpha solonian content, maybe just enough to flare it up. So depending on how active you are nightshades may be something you want to keep down. inflammation in your joints is the problem.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I think with the fruit thing, it's interesting, too, he's saying he's not really doing fruits, occasionally. There's something in a smoothie, maybe some berries or banana smoothie, but beyond that, he's not really doing fruit. So, I mean, yeah, you would assume he probably is, you know, I wouldn't say keto, because he does say he is doing some grains and rice and stuff. But I mean, in general, this is what you and I are doing everyday personally, every day clinically, he's saying he does do nuts, or he'll do a organic salad. And that could be roasted chicken with guacamole and mixed nuts. So what else here?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I also know Tom does a lot of protein and he's his big protein his way. So he does whey protein. Whey Protein is an excellent protein because it's very high in sulfur amino acids very high in cysteine. Very high in MSM or MSM mfine. So it's high and a lot of the sulfur based amino acids, glutamine, glycine, cysteine taurine, so whey protein is really good to me, it's 99% dairy free. So even though I think Tom doesn't do dairy, they may do a little bit of butter in there. But it's a good amino acid. Now, if you're sensitive, you could always do pea protein or just collagen amino acids. If, if dairy, were the potential that even a tiny bit of dairy is a problem. Again, whey protein is 99% lactose and casein free. So most people that have dairy problems are with the lactose and the casein. So that's one component. Tom also doesn't do a lot of coffee. Now, I think coffee may be okay for Pete many people. I think Tom's issue with coffee is the diuretic aspect. And the minerals. I know Tom talks about minerals a lot. Now, you could still do coffee, just keep it to once a day, you know, you know, do your one or two servings in the morning, take it with fat and amino acids. And just make sure you're hydrating before and after. And you are supplementing extra electrolytes, your muscles and your cells need good levels of sodium and potassium. So that sodium potassium pump and that good cellular communication can happen. That's very, very important.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So I mean, really, we should title this podcast, the Super Bowl diet or something or this how to win a Super Bowl diet. Now, in regards to the training, I don't have any details on that. But I mean, I will say that in general, he's he's an athlete, obviously. So he's probably going to benefit more. Some of the people may say, Well, what about the grains, you guys always talk like grains are a bad thing. I think in his case, he's gonna need some more starch. I just feel like in general, if you were trying to perform at that level, and he were just like strict keto, like just meats and veggies, I don't think he would perform as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So Tom does a lot more starches in the wintertime. And so his big starches are still going to be safe starches, grain free starches. So sweet potatoes are from what I understand are going to be a big source of a lot of the starch that he consumes in the winter and Tom when I have seen his grain free.

Evan Brand: I don't know maybe he changed it. This one article said that he was doing rice, millet beans and quinoa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I've seen other articles. And again, that that may be that may be something that he does, but I'm pretty sure in during the season he is 100% grain free. I know he's gluten free. And a couple articles talking about him getting more sweet potatoes and other safe starches. But again, it depends, right? A lot of those foods are pseudo grains, like the qinhuai is the beans if you have good digestion maybe right? So it depends kind of where you're at on that. I've seen a lot of grain free but definitely gluten free, right? The problem with gluten free is you can consume rice and oat and still be gluten free. But they they're still not grain free. So grain free I think is gonna be a big component. And then I think the other thing is I have seen in Tom's locker room I have seen him with creating in his locker. So I do know creatine is a powerful thing as a fuel your muscle uses. So creatine and whey protein, and I think bcaas are something that he uses on a day in day out basis just for easy accessible fuel for his muscles out of the gates. hydrations a big component. Electrolytes are a big component, mostly a paleo paleo autoimmune kind of template, I think is a big one out of the gates there. And I know Tom's trainer Alex career is a big kind of proponent of acid alkaline diet kind of stuff. I'm not a huge fan of that. But in general, if you're consuming good quality meat and lots of vegetables, you're pretty much gonna not be overly acidic anyway because of the alkalinity from the vegetables. And in regards to the pH that people forget right, meat may be acidic, but grains are actually 10 times more acidic than meat. So if someone is concerned about pH and their food, remember grains are going to be 10 times more acidic than me it's a logarithmic scale. Meats like around a 5 ish. I think grains are in the four range. So each number is a 10 X, you know, interval from the previous number.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people listening are like, Well, I'm not performing in any Super Bowls. So what do I do? I mean, honestly, you can benefit from the same thing. Like I said, we're implementing this clinically, I do rice, I feel fine with it. I don't have any issue. It's not a staple. For me, it's a treat. But you know, I think it depends on what's going on with your gut with your blood sugar, with your sensitivity. I mean, it is possible you have some gluten cross reactivity. So you know, if you're looking for advice I see in general, do what we'd mentioned. But you know, what the, with the grain piece, I don't know, you really got to consult with us and look at your labs, because I think that's how we could base it off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I mean, the big thing is, Hey, you know, you want to be active, you want to be able to play with your kids, you want to be able to do your hobbies, to your sports, be active well into your old age, and it's all about yours, it's about quality of yours, right? So it's about being able to do your thing, right. And I say, the more you can participate in life and not notice the pain in your body, that's the better the more you can be present with your kids and your family and your hobbies. The more you're worried about your back and your elbow in your knee as you're doing the activity, I think the less present you're going to be and so I think one of the key things is just keep your body in a great place. So you can do all those things. Now, from a training standpoint, I know Tom Just so you know, I think what you said is perfect regarding like rice and such as long as you don't have a serious activatable immune issue. You know, you could probably cheat on some of that stuff. As long as you don't have a significant you know, symptoms afterwards. I think it's probably okay as long as it isn't that 80-20 80% of the time not 20% maybe Okay, I my birthday last weekend, we had some we had some crab fried rice and of course it was gluten free, but it just a little bit of it and I felt good afterwards. So you know, you always can mitigate that. From a training standpoint, though Tom really trains for playability. He doesn't overly inflame his muscles with too much lifting because he wants to keep his muscles strong and active, and be able to contract turn on and off fast. But he also doesn't want to overly inflame the muscle and cause it to become reflexively stiff. Think of it as like beef jerky, he wants a strong muscle, but not a muscle that's going to be overly inflamed that won't absorb for so it's kind of like a soft, raw fillet steak versus beef jerky, right? Beef jerky is hard and stiff. And if you put a lot of force into it, it can kind of tear, right? Think of that soft tenderloin. It's like a sponge, it can absorb force. So Tom's kind of training modality is training for pliability training for force absorption. So not overly inflaming the muscles, so doing a lot of band work. And doing works that really not overly hypertrophy and cause the muscle to get more inflamed and bigger and stronger, but strong, but also smart, strong and not overly inflamed and hard and stiff. So the playability is important because he asked to absorb force. And he asked to put repetitive inflammation on it from throwing and doing certain movements. So he wants that force to be distributed throughout his muscles well and not rip that beef jerky every week, if you will.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and that's probably a better approach for most people to have. I mean, you know, like you mentioned, maybe the people on the defensive side, the line, they're gonna have a totally different strength training profile than him he wants to be lean, he wants to be flexible, nimble. So that's what I want to be, I don't want to be just just huge and strong like a rock, I want to be just nimble, I want to be flexible, but still have strength.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, some of the band works nice. I mean, you can get bands that provide a lot of force, like the x three bar band is one that I have, because you can provide hundreds of pounds of force and create a three to 400 pound deadlift to that band. It squats as well, push movements pull movement, so you can still create a lot of force. The thing I like about bands is just use some technical terms as most people, they hurt themselves in the eccentric motion of a lift. In other words, you're going into a squat, right and you drop down at the bottom, maybe you go a little bit too fast, or you're doing a deadlift at the bottom, you kind of bounce that bar up, or you're doing some kind of a bench press and you're really trying to push that thing back up and you come down too hard and, and stretch that muscle. The nice thing about a band, it's more forgiving as you go into a eccentric motion as you elongate as you elongate the muscle, right? So in other words, you're going deeper into a squat, or you're letting the bar go deeper into your chest. The the elasticity in the band becomes less because the band's becoming, it's moving closer to its origin and insertion. So there's less force, so where your muscles the most compromise. It's putting the least amount of force on that muscle, so there's less chance for you to injure it. And that's helpful. So if you're an athlete, that can be helpful. If you're an everyday person, it just gives you that little bit more forgiveness so you don't get hurt.

Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. Well, I think that's all I really need to say about it. I mean, I think we could ramble on about how awesome it is that this is probably the one of the most successful athletes of all time and he's doing what we're telling people to do every day. I think it makes Look up. But beyond that, I don't have anything else to add.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One other thing I would say sentiment wise amino acids, creatine bcaas. On the mind, psychology side visualization is very important. Anytime you go into an event like the Super Bowl, if you can go into into that place 1000s of times ahead of time. In your head, it gives your nervous system the ability to feel like it's not a foreign environment, the more you can put your body in your mind into a place 1000s of times or hundreds of times ahead of time, once you go in there that fight or flight response is less likely to happen when there's less fight or flight, you can use your frontal cortex better, right? frontal cortex allows you to think read the play, do all the things you got to do go through your reads as a quarterback, the more your fight or flight is happening, the more you're going to react out of fear. And that may not give you the best opportunity. So I'd say that's the big, I would say sleep is a big component, you kind of already highlighted that, you know, probably 10 hours a night. There's other modalities that Tom's using, he's using certain clothing types that are infrared in regards to it to generate infrared heat, which helps decrease inflammation help a blood flow. I've heard things in regards to late potential laser stuff, infrared lights, hyperbaric oxygen, these are all other potential modalities that may be used may or may not be accessible to the average person. But when you're making 10s of millions of dollars off your body, they help with reducing inflammation. And then other things may involve stem cell stuff, things like that outside of the season. Who knows. I mean, Tom looks amazing.

Evan Brand: Oh, one last thing. Yeah, one last thing. I did see that he's like strictly no tech in the in the bedroom. So he luckily he's not bringing the cell phone into the bedroom. So maybe he does have some kind of emf mitigation strategy in place to that would be smart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There's probably some EMF mitigation there, I think as well. And then also, I know Yeah, and that's a big one. And he also is a big thing in regards to temperature control at bedtime. He really mitigates You know, he tries to dial in the optimal temp at bedtime for deeper sleep. I know that's around 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit. On the bedtime side. Is there anything else I would say outside of that playability component, good training. Just think about all the right I think that's really the big one. Oh, he has a big smoothie in the morning with some banana and some fruit and some whey protein. So I like I like smoothies in the morning. Because if your digestion isn't great, or you have to get up and workout in a few hours, you don't want a big solid food in your body, you want something easily accessible. So I think that's great for anyone that's being more active in the morning. I think we hit a lot of the major things. So if someone's listening here, how do you become more like Tom Brady out of the gates, I think you kind of progress to a paleo template, see if nightshades are an issue for you or not right, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, look at adding in some bands to a little bit more of your workout to stimulate muscle growth. I think adding good sleep and hydration added minerals, you can always play around with amino acids to help enhance body. anabolic metabolism, healing and recovery. minerals, of course, I think is great. And mindsets always great, too. Anything else you want to add, Evan?

Evan Brand: Now there's probably some other secret supplements we don't know about. But yeah, I'd be interesting to know with adaptogens and all that. Or if he's doing, you know, neurotransmitter support, maybe he if he's doing bcaas, who knows maybe he's doing some brain support too, right? Like some fossil title sarine or some acetyl l carnitine. A lot of that stuff in there too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There's definitely some more stuff in there. I 100% agree. So hey, this gives everyone a good start kind of a little bit of an insight. I know Tom Brady is one of those guys either love him or hate him. But I mean, the fact that his longevity is there and his victories are hot, the highest ever, right? He's the goat greatest of all time. So we got to at least be able to kind of put our emotions aside and learn from it and see if it's a couple of things we can use to make our lives and our health better.

Evan Brand: Awesome, awesome. If people need help clinically to implement some of this stuff. Like I said, We do this every day with our clients. Tom Brady's not our client, but you know, we would certainly be open to helping him run some labs on him. I'm sure where is he? Or is he? Maybe he might be happy to look at his mitochondria, see what's going on there. Make sure he's running on all cylinders. But if you need help, you can reach out to Dr. J at or me Evan at And we look forward to talk with you all next week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y'all. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye bye.


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