Health & Fitness

The Importance Of Proper Hydration According To Tom Brady's TB12 Method

tom brady tb12 method hydration

In his 2017 book, The TB12 Method, to illustrate the importance of proper hydration, Tom Brady makes the powerful analogy of a hydrated muscle resembling a fresh beef tenderloin and a dehydrated muscle resembling a piece of dried up beef jerkey.

The TB12 Method is Brady’s fitness training methodology for achieving a “lifetime of sustained peak performance,” which he and his trainer, Alex Guerrero, designed over the course of 12 years of working together.

The TB12 Method is a holistic training lifestyle that centers around developing and maintaining muscle pliability, a way of preventing injuries by keeping muscles strong, active, and easily flexible.

According to his book, Brady and his trainer believe that “muscle pliability is the missing leg of traditional strength and training model of aerobic activity and weight lifting” and that “pliability and the TB12 Method can help reduce the risk of injury” as well as provide a set of tools for anyone to enhance their long-term potential.

The TB12 method consists of 12 principles, and this article highlights the principle which Brady believes to be “by far” the most important of the twelve— proper hydration.

In the book’s chapter on proper hydration, it explains the critical role it plays in aiding in bodily functions and gives some fresh and sensible tips on getting the most out of your water intake.

Since what the book suggests is relatively easy to implement, I thought it would be worthwhile to summarize the book’s main points in this blog post.

Sometimes a new understanding of why something is important is just enough of a catalyst for a new habit to take hold.

Before getting into the information, I will share that Brady’s regimen has received criticism, saying it’s not backed by science and that “exercise science has never heard of muscle pliability.” On the other end of the spectrum, in this article from 1994, Assistant Professor of Dance at UCLA, Judy Alter, claimed: “flexibility is out, muscle pliability is in.”

As with any topic, take the points that resonate with you and leave the rest.

The TB12 Method’s Beliefs On Hydration

Listed below are TB12’s reasons why pliability and overall health is dependent upon hydration:

1 | Water constantly regenerates our muscles and maintains our level of pliability. Therefore, developing optimal muscle strength depends on pliability.

2 | Water helps the lymphatic system flush out toxins. Therefore, if we don’t drink enough water, toxins build up in our cells, tissues, and organs.

3 | Water hydrates, while soda, juice, coffee, tea, and alcohol are dehydrating and take away from pliability.

4 | Water with added electrolytes is best. Electrolytes are already present in our bodies in the form of sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients. Electrolytes create an electric charge that aids in many essential processes in the body like muscle contraction, nerve impulse, the lymphatic system, and regulating pH levels. Read more about electrolytes here.

5 | Because water aids in so many bodily functions like, metabolism, digestion, brain, kidney, muscle, joint and circulating oxygen into the bloodstream, it’s important to keep those systems flushed with water.

6 | Water hydrates cartilage, which decreases joint pain. This is especially important for athletes.

7 | Drinking water replenishes what we sweat and breathe out every day. Most athletes sweat and breathe out between 8-10 cups of water a day.

Why Enhance Your Water With Electrolytes?

The TB12 Method believes that water enhanced with electrolytes makes your hydration “wetter" and here’s why:

We lose water and electrolytes by breathing and sweating, which is why we are often dizzy and/or faint during exercise. Electrolytes help replace the minerals and nutrients lost through breathing and sweating.

Electrolytes help water permeate our cells. Water that’s been enhanced with electrolytes passes in and out of your cells easily and efficiently.

There are many electrolyte supplements on the market today. The formula Tom Brady uses is available on his website. According to the product description, the “TB12™ Electrolytes are harvested, not made — increasing the concentration of the 72 trace minerals extracted from an inland sea to effectively enhance hydration. This natural ionic trace mineral blend is flavorless and naturally preserving” and can be added to any drink.

The TB12 Method’s Take On Different Types Of Water

Tap Water: Water from municipal sources most likely contains chlorine, flouride and possibly lead. Therefore, filter it first, even when using in small amounts.

Distilled Water: Since distilled water is stripped of its mineral content, add electrolytes.

Spring Water: Bottles labeled “spring water” may or may not have been treated and could contain bacteria or could simply be treated tap water from various sources.

Mineral Water: Mineral water is a good option because it usually has an alkalizing effect.

Carbonated Water: Due to added sodium and that it contains less oxygen than regular water and could be acidic, Brady avoids carbonated water.

TB12 Method’s Rule of Thumb: At a minimum, drink at least one half of your body weight in ounces every day. To offset the dehydrating effects of a single serving of coffee, tea, juice, or alcohol, drink two servings of water, preferably enhanced with electrolytes.

The TB12 Method’s Recommended Hydration Routine

  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water when you first wake up.

  • Spread out your hydration during the day. Keep in mind that it takes at least 14 days to reach a baseline of hydration. So keep your intake of water consistent from day to day.

  • Limit drinking water during meals because it “washes away the body’s natural enzymes, interfering with digestion. Wait an hour or so after you’re done eating before drinking water.”

Conclusion

Although the TB12 Method is mainly geared toward helping serious athletes achieve a lifetime of sustained peak performance, it’s principles can be applied by anyone interested in maintaining general well being.

While I’ve always heard that it’s important to hydrate, I’ve never heard it explained for the reasons stated in Brady’s book. And since the reasoning seems logical as well as important, I’m willing to give it a try.

I’m glad I have a renewed appreciation for the importance of proper hydration, and hope to increase my water intake while decreasing my intake of beverages that are dehydrating (or at least offset the consumption with extra water.😉)

A Ridiculously Simple System To Help You Stay Consistent With Your Workouts

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If you struggle with staying consistent with your workouts (like I have for most of my adult life,) this post is for you!

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, “How To Stay Motivated To Workout,” where I shared a list of things I do to keep myself on track with my workouts. Everything I outlined in that post has kept me consistent since then.

However, I have since expanded on the fourth item in that post, which talked about having MINIMUMS and MAXIMUMS to backstop dips in motivation. Here is what #4 said:

4. Have Minimums & Maximums to Backstop Dips in Motivation. As you schedule your workouts, have a MINIMUM number you aim for each week. I've often heard that in order to get results, we need to train at least 4 times a week (5 varied workouts/week is ideal.) Of course, this is something you may need to work up to, but what I've noticed is that 4 workouts keep me consistent. With any fewer, I run the risk of getting off track. And if too many consecutive days go by without getting a workout in, it gets really easy to let the habit fall to the wayside. It's like you have to stay in the flow-- to get results, stay motivated, and strengthen your habit. In addition to your minimum number of workouts per week, keep in mind a MAXIMUM number of days you'll go in between workouts-- for me, that's 3 and 3 is pushing it. Once I've gone two days without working out, I know I need to get back in there ASAP. Stay in the flow!


In this post, I will expand on that concept and share a super simple system that helps me stay consistent with my workouts.

This system is really all I use at this point. It’s so simple that I almost feel silly writing about it, but it works so well for me that I figured it was worth sharing.

Here are the steps:

1 | Commit to a MINIMUM. First, have an absolute MINIMUM number of workouts you will commit to each week. For me, it’s currently 3, but 4 is ideal. If you’re not sure or you’re just getting started, I would suggest 3— but 4 or even 5 is best for really seeing results, especially if you’re also eating clean. My workouts consist of gym workouts, running outside, and mini workouts I do from my home. The more options I have, especially when time is short, the more likely I’ll keep my commitments.

2 | Commit to a MAXIMUM. Now, commit to a MAXIMUM number of days that you will go without working out. If you’re shooting for 3 or 4 workouts a week at a minimum, you really can’t go more than 2 or 3 days without a workout. Again, if you’re just starting out, I would suggest going no more than 3 days because this will keep you in the “flow,” of working out. Establishing your MAXIMUM will ensure that you hit the MINIMUM number of workouts you committed to each week.

3 | Find A Little Spiral Notebook. Now, find a little spiral notebook that’s probably in a drawer in your house and not being used. Just a little one is all you’ll need. It’s all about keeping this simple! If you don’t have one, go to a local dollar store and pick one up. For only a $1, you’re going to lock in this habit, I’m telling you!!

4 | Start Logging. At the top of the first page write “Week of _______” and fill in whatever date you’d like to start your weeks. Personally, I start with Monday, and this works for me because I like ending the week with Saturday and Sunday in case I need the weekend to round out my MINIMUM committed workouts. Use one sheet per week so you can easily see how many times you’ve worked out. Here’s a sample of one of my weekly logs …

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5 | Be Specific. Each time you workout, log it in and also write down what you did in your workout— include specific activities, sets, reps, time, distance, etc. The process of writing this down will give you a positive feedback loop and also show you what areas of your body you’re working out. It’s also great to flip back to see what you’ve done to give yourself proof that you’re staying consistent each week. Looking at past workouts will also give you ideas for future workouts.

The more you keep commitments to yourself, the more confidence you will have in yourself, and the more this habit will become part of who you are.

6 | Keep Your Notebook Close. Keep this notebook in a place where you can see it every day. It will also help you with scheduling/planning your workouts every week. Sometimes we don’t always know when we can schedule our workouts, but your MINIMUMS & MAXIMUMS will guide you. If you have a strong commitment to your MIMIMUMS & MAXIMUMS, this act of logging your workouts and seeing what you’re actually doing/not doing will be concrete evidence that you’re either on track or not. For example, if it’s Thursday and you haven’t workout out since Monday, you’ve already reached your MAXIMUM days without working and so you have to make time that day for your workout #2. Then, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you still have Friday - Sunday to make time for workouts #3 or #4 and you’re totally on track. Now that the rest of your week’s schedule is more clear, you may even have a better idea when you can fit in workouts #3 and #4!

7 | No More Guilt, Take Control! The great thing about having minimums, maximums, and logging your workouts is you’ll always know where you stand and you’ll feel less guilt. Even better, as you continue this week by week, your discipline become stronger which translates into feeling more in control of your habit.

So, that’s all there is to it! Ridiculously simple! If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes. I really hope it works as well for you as it does for me.

21 Things I Learned On A 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge

21 Things I Learned On A 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge

In our busy and temptation-filled world, maintaining a healthy diet is challenging for all of us. Our lives run at a fast pace, causing us to cut corners when it comes to making time for planning, prepping, preparing, or even thinking about our meals.

With each passing day that we delay getting serious and committed, we rationalize by telling ourselves that we'll get on track tomorrow. But unless we get super intentional and arm ourselves with some sort of plan, the cycle repeats.

Whether you want to make big changes or just some adjustments that will still give you lasting results, a great initial step in the right direction is going through a 21-day clean eating challenge.

A clean eating challenge is a great way to set yourself on a new path. It's not a diet but rather a mind and body reset and reprogram to break your ingrained habits or at least strengthen your resistance to your cravings and dependency on sugars, grains, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods. And the great thing is that It's a simple and straightforward plan.

While it's limited to only 21 days, the goal is to lock in the newfound awareness, habits, and changes going forward.

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

Getting regular exercise is one of the most healthy and rewarding habits we can practice for ourselves yet it's one of the most difficult to establish and therefore, often neglected. Why is that?

We start. We can't stay motivated. We stop. We start again. Life gets in the way. We stop again. The endless cycles of attempts to master this habit get old and frustrating, making it so hard to achieve results.

During the past two years, I've been the queen of starting and stopping. I've started, stopped, started, stopped and (for a fleeting moment) even considered giving up before deciding that I needed to figure all of this out. I knew I could do better. I also knew that mastering this habit would help me achieve other goals in life.

Now, into my 5th consecutive month of maintaining a strong level of commitment to my workouts, I feel that I have a good handle on how to stay motivated to work out by using the set of tools and practices I've acquired along the way, keeping me on track.

I started paying close attention to my mindset and actions so I could keep myself on track and catch myself before derailing again.

Here are the tools and practices that I've been using. I hope they help you too.

16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

 16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

If getting stronger physically is at the top of your list of areas in your life where you'd like to make progress, I hear ya.

In September when I began to pursue a long-time goal of writing a book, I just knew that the most important thing that I needed to do initially would be to get stronger physically.

Increased physical strength would carry over into all areas of my life, further supporting me as I pursue my goal.

Since I knew that getting back to the CrossFit gym was the most direct route to getting stronger, I reactivated my membership at JSACF in Manasquan. JSACF was founded by Skip and Paige Chapman in 2006, and it's the 180th affiliate CrossFit gym of the more than 13,000 gyms around the world today.

Around the same time, while waiting for my son at the orthodontist, I was drawn to a magazine headline that read something like "Julianne Hough's 6-Day Workout Routine."

I flipped to the story and read how she works out in a gym 4 or 5 times a week, mixes in either an enjoyable bike ride or hike for the other 1-2 days, and takes one day off. She also explained that her ability to stay consistent is attributed to keeping her workouts scheduled, varied and enjoyable.