Tom Brady claims that his longevity in pro football is the result of eating wholesome food, taking nutritional supplements, and following a game-changing personal training regimen all under the direction of his close friend and business partner Alex Guerrro.
The age-defying New England Patriots quarterback also assailed what he considers the poisonous nature of the typical American diet and registered disagreement with the traditional food pyramid.
The Patriots seem to be in the process of steamrolling through the NFL regular season and Sunday take on their Deflategate rival Indianapolis Colts, whose starting QB Andrew Luck is still questionable owing to a shoulder injury.
An unusually animated and less guarded Brady, 38, defended his controversial personal training guru and “body coach” during his weekly phone interview on the Dennis & Callahan — with Minihane — morning show on Boston’s sports radio station WEEI, the same show in which he previously endorsed Donald Trump for president (since walked back to some extent).
Guerrero — or perhaps we can now call it Guerrero-gate — came up in the radio conversation after co-host Kirk Minihane pressed Brady about his professional ties to the physical therapist, who Boston Magazine deemed “a glorified snake-oil salesman.”
Brady and Guerrero are business partners in TB12, a holistic sports training/therapy center that is about field goal distance from Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots home field.
Guerrero ran afoul of regulators in 2005 for hawking an unproven green supplement as a cure-all for disease on an infomercial, at the same time falsely referring to himself as a doctor. He paid a $65,000 fine to the Federal Trade Commission and “More important, the agency barred him from promoting Supreme Greens or ‘any substantially similar product’ as an effective treatment, cure, or preventative for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or any other disease,” Boston Magazine explained. Guerrero got in trouble again with the FTC years later for promoting an alleged concussion-prevention drink.
In responding to Minihane’s questioning, Brady insisted that he doesn’t know all the details of guru Guerrero’s past woes with the government, which Guerrero apparently regrets, but described the trainer as having “an incredible influence on my life” and that he has “a tremendous belief in Alex and what’s he’s accomplished with me.”
Since the interview, commentary about Brady’s support of Guerrero has used up a lot of oxygen on sports talk shows in Boston and perhaps elsewhere around the country as well as column inches by area sports writers, with most offering a negative assessment of the quarterback’s strong endorsement of his business partner.
Brady underscored that when it comes to health and longevity, however, it’s important to think outside the box, and that lifestyle choices are essential to wellness.
Unlike a holistic approach, the QB asserted that Western or conventional medicine (sometimes referred to as allopathic medicine) falls short by not focusing on prevention and is insufficiently proactive when it comes to sports injury prevention or helping people steer clear of illness in general — i.e, pre-hab rather than rehab.
“I take a green supplement. I take different supplements to try to help my body recover from the rigors of the training that we do. I try to eat really well. I try to have a clean diet so that I can play and try to prevent inflammation in my body. I try to do that so that I can play for long periods of time…I think what I’m trying to do is communicate ways to all athletes — young, middle-aged, older athletes — ways that have worked for me, and that have proven over the last 10 years to be very sustainable and very holistic approach to taking care of your body so that it can perform…”
Pushing back on the term quackery as it sometimes applies to alternative health practices, the Patriots superstar and husband of supermodel Giselle Bundchen added that he would consider some treatment modalities prescribed by conventional medicine as quackery too, given that many highly credential physicians told Brady that he would never play football again after his ACL injury.
The four-time Super Bowl winner noted, among other things, that his inflammation-reducing diet along with resistance/flexibility training and other techniques allow him to take the field every Sunday and enables peak performance.
“That’s not the way our food system in America is set up. It’s very different. They have a food pyramid. I disagree with that…You’ll probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why? Because they pay lots of money for advertisements to think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living? No, I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery. And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison for kids…I think we’ve been lied to by a lot of food companies over the years, by a lot of beverage companies over the years. But we still do it. That’s just America, and that’s what we’ve been conditioned to. We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food…You just keep eating those things, and you keep wondering why we do have just incredible rates of disease in our country. No one thinks it has anything to do with what we put in our body…”
While acknowledging that individuals should decide for themselves how to approach health based on their own belief systems, Tom Brady disclosed that once he retires from the NFL, he will become more active in educating others about a holistic approach to wellness, which he has developed in collaboration with Alex Guerrero.
[Photos by Maddie Meyer, Jim Rogash, and Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport]