What does Tom Brady eat? How the star stays on the field in his 40s

Tom Brady

CBS News

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is out with a new book Tuesday morning called, "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance." It includes recipes from Brady's nutritional regimen, which he says he's been following for 10 years. 

The athlete sticks to a diet consisting of around 80 percent fruit and vegetables. "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell visited Brady's home in Brookline, Massachusetts, for a rare look at exactly what's in his kitchen.

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Simon & Schuster

Brady opened up his refrigerator for O'Donnell. Inside, he said there is, "Probably a lot of stuff that's made here at the house. We have a garden out back. So we have, like, a lot of vegetables – like every – all the salads we eat come from our garden and so forth. But just a lot of good, healthy stuff." 

For Tom Brady, "good, healthy stuff" means food rich in nutrients like fiber and protein, but low in sugar and salt.

"I eat a smoothie most of the time. Like a really calorie-dense, nutrient-dense smoothie. My ideal one was like a blueberry smoothie with some seeds and some nuts, some electrolytes, some protein powder," Brady said of his typical breakfast. "I love almond milk, hemp milk, a little rice milk from time to time." 

Brady sticks to a mostly plant-based diet, but allows for some lean meat and poultry. 

"I'm not opposed to meat, obviously. We have roast chicken in here. So, like, you know, there's a little meat. But it's usually, like, little meat and vegetables; sometimes it's, you know, like some type of pasta. It wouldn't be like a, you know, flour pasta or anything like that but yeah somethin' that's gonna just keep inflammation down," Brady said.

He tailors his diet to foods that reduce inflammation. That, he says, leads to quicker recovery times during the season. Another Tom Brady essential? Water – about half his body weight in ounces per day. 

"Probably more. Just because – there's still a lot of, you know, output per day so I'm still losing a lot of fluid. I'd say, like, if you weren't exercising on a particular day that would be the baseline. I would say half your body weight in ounces. But you have muscle injuries because, you know, you've lost so much fluid, muscles are dehydrated, muscles are tight. I try to stay really on top of my hydration. I'm askin' my body to perform at the highest levels; I need the highest levels of hydration, too," Brady said.

Brady believes proper hydration and a well-researched diet, along with pliability, are keeping him on the field in his 40s. And while some may see it as a diet full of limitations, he says the opportunities it creates are limitless.
 
"I love to work out. I love to train. And I love to eat good. You know why I love to eat good? 'Cause it makes me feel better. And if I feel better, then I can work out more. And if I can work out more, I go play soccer with my kids on a Saturday in the backyard, and then go play a football game on Sunday," Brady said.
 
"I'm the oldest non-kicker in the league. You know, so that's pretty cool, too. If I can get to 45 and be healthy then I get to make a decision but I do wanna go out playin' my best. I wanna go out, you know, playing the sport that I love at a really high level and never being someone that is weighing down the team," Brady said. 

"The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance" is published by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS.