Routines

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.

Evolving Through His Music: 24 Lessons From Prince's Journey Of Creative Expression

Evolving Through His Music: 24 Lessons From Prince's Journey Of Creative Expression

Recently I served as a juror in a civil case. As part of the juror selection process, the judge asked each potential juror a series of questions with the final one being, "If you could have coffee with anyone (alive or deceased and non-religious) who would it be?" Without hesitation, I answered, "Prince." 

I chose Prince because after learning more about him since his passing in April 2016, I have questions-- questions that were not asked of him during any of the interviews I've come across on YouTube.

Questions like, How did you get so much done? How did you alter your life so you remained in your creative flow? or Do you think you cracked the code on human potential when it comes to creativity?

When Prince was interviewed by the media or show hosts, the conversations typically turned to the usual controversial topics such as his dispute with his record label, Warner Brothers. Or, the interviewer tried to get Prince to open up about his "secret vault," where he stored his unreleased music.

Sadly, the answers to these questions shed no light on how he worked every single day of his 41-year career to become the master that he was, producing 39 studio albums (of various genres,) 4 live albums, and 136 music videos. He also won 8 Grammys, 6 American Music Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for Purple Rain and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

More important than any of the awards, Prince consistently created new material for his entire career and performed his new material live in a fresh production every time. He also evolved not only as a musician, songwriter, and performer, he evolved spiritually and as a person through his music.

Interviewers, in my opinion, missed opportunity after opportunity to gain a better understanding of how he was able to accomplish what he did. How many hours did he practice? What was his daily routine? Did he recognize and avoid the things that blocked his creativity? What about a follow-up question after he often said, "I am the music" or "I dream in music?" Why did he believe he evolved as a person, an artist as well as spiritually through his music?

I've been wanting to write a post about Prince for some time to possibly piece together the answers to some of my questions while also shine a light on just how rare he was.

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

We all have days when we wake up and feel as if we can handle whatever comes our way as well as days when (for no apparent reason) we feel the heaviness of the day-to-day. It's part of being human. The key to making most of your days in the positive category is learning how to "win" your day.

Winning your day is an intentional daily practice of locking in a feeling of optimism and purpose at the beginning of your day, which typically sets the tone for the rest of your day. Successfully repeating this process over the long-term will reap immeasurable results.

Discovering the best way to win your day is a personal endeavor because we all don't respond in the same way to the same things. But learning how to win your day is critical to your day-to-day happiness, your long-term success, and your ability to make the most positive and meaningful impact during your life.

Over the past seven months I've been more intentional and consistent about self-betterment than ever before, and here is what I've concluded about winning my days:

How A Morning Routine Can Help You Live With More Purpose And Die Without Regret

How A Morning Routine Can Help You Live With More Purpose And Die Without Regret

Back in 2009, Bronnie Ware, a nurse who cared for dying patients, shared the collective personal wisdom imparted by them to her in an online article called "Regrets of the Dying."

Because of the profound impact that her patients' insights had on her life, Ware felt called to share their wisdom publicly. The article went on to be read by more than 3 million people around the globe in the first year.

According to Ware's article, the 5 Most Common Regrets of the Dying are:

1 I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2 I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3 I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5 I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Why Do So Many Die With The Same Top Regret?

Most people carry around regrets throughout life.

We live with regret over the things we still have the power to control or change because we tell ourselves we could have what we desire if only we had more of some resource-- time, focus, dedication, conviction, energy, money, health or maybe even courage.