Tom Brady was ‘hurting all the time’ at 25 and knew he had to make a lifestyle change to keep playing football

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Tom Brady. Jason Behnken/AP Images
  • Tom Brady is still dominating at age 43.
  • Brady told reporters after the 2016 Super Bowl that he “hurt all the time” at 25 and knew he had to make a change.
  • Brady credits his strict diet and lifestyle to his ability to keep playing football into his 40s.
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Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl.

Now 43 years old, Brady has defied all odds about what is possible from an ageing quarterback. He has the chance to further establish himself as one of the greatest American athletes of all-time with seventh Super Bowl.

How this is all possible for Brady may stem from the dramatic shift in the lifestyle he made during his career. Brady has a famously strict diet, consisting of plenty of all-natural and whole foods while excluding foods like tomatoes and peppers for fear of bloating. He drinks a ton of water. He goes to sleep by 9 p.m., doesn’t drink alcohol, stays away from lifting heavy weights, and focuses on flexibility.

After winning the Super Bowl over the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, Brady recalled knowing that he had to make a change early in his career. Brady said he was “hurting all the time” at 25 and knew he wouldn’t be playing into his 40s if he didn’t do something.

“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.

“I try to spread that message to a lot of other players just because football is a demanding sport and it’s a demanding sport on your body. And your body is your asset, and if you are hurting all the time, football is no fun. When I was 25, I was hurting all the time, and I couldn’t imagine playing as long as I did, just because, you know, if your arm hurts every day when you throw, how can you keep playing? And now, at 39, my arm never hurts and my body never hurts. Even after I get banged up, I know how to take care of it and jump on it right away, so that I can feel good for a Wednesday practice.”

Over the years, Brady has grown more vocal in explaining and promoting his methods, releasing a book, “The TB12 Method,” to act as a guide for people who want to live like him. His life is micromanaged to continue playing football at an age when others are retiring.

Brady has said he would like to play into his mid-40s. He reiterated that point to reporters this week, saying he would consider playing past 45, adding that he’ll know when the time is right to stop playing football.

One thing is for certain: Brady’s own lifestyle will not be the cause of any future decline.