“ Create the energy and vitality you need to do the things you want to do - these activities are all part of a joyful life.”
What I learned from Tom Brady about Anti-inflammation, Performance, and CBD Oil
As we get ready for Super Bowl LIII 2019, it amazes me how Tom Brady at the age of 41 is on his way to his 9th Super Bowl. How can he still be so dominant, almost 20 years into his umteen championship career?
Tom Brady is often revered as the G.O.A.T. “Greatest of all Time”, due to his numerous accomplishments, records, and accolades. This year he is finishing up his 19th consecutive season, one week before one of the biggest games of his career in Atlanta at Super Bowl LIII. Tom Brady has quarterbacked the Patriots to eight Super Bowls and is one of only two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl in their first season as a starter. He is also one of two players to have won five Super Bowls, and the only player to have won them all with a single franchise. Tom Brady is notorious to rivals and idolized by fans. Even though some may not root for Tom Brady, there is no denying that he is one of the all-time greatest NFL quarterbacks to play the game.
Tom has been very outspoken about his need to keep his body in tip top shape to be able to continue to perform at such a high level. Even so far as to have his personal trainer with him at all times during the season (although controversial).
In his 2017 book, The TB12 Method, Tom highlights the most important rules he lives by for his own health and wellness.
The TB12 Method:
The TB12 Method focuses on performance and health with a holistic approach offering these basic principles:
Integrate positive daily habits into your lifestyle.
See the body as a holistic mechanism. Meaning, the body is one system. Treat it well. It is the only one you have. Your health and performance are integrated.
Find balance in your life. Balance is as much about creating the right mixture of strength, conditioning, and pliability as it is about lifestyle choices- what we eat, how much rest and recovery we get, and what daily activities we engage in. The more balanced we are, the better.
- Vitality is key to performance. Vitality is what you should aim for as a gauge for your efforts. Vitality in this sense means being able to do the activities you love without pain, and with energy, enthusiasm, passion, and endurance.
- Increase Pliability - Stretch, Massage, and train the muscles to be soft and flexible
- Promote anti-inflammatory responses in the body. Anything that reduces inflammation in our bodies, including hydration and nutrition, maximizes pliability and accelerates recovery. Try to avoid self-inflammation- whether it’s in your mind, body, or spirit.
- Adopt Healthy Nutrition. The more nutrient-dense food you eat, the better your body can generate energy.
- Practice brain exercises. The research at TB12 reminds us that the brain is an organ that we need to exercise in the same way we train our bodies. I try to keep my brain as healthy as possible by ensuring it gets the right amount of cognitive exercise, along with proper hydration and the right nutrients
- Get your mind right. Brain Rest, Recentering, and Recovery is crucial to performance. The body and the brain need recentering, rest, and recovery via sleep, meditation (or other balancing techniques that encourage the right mindset).
What Does CBD Oil Have to Do with It?
CBD Oil as an Anti-inflammatory
According to Tom’s top principles of health, he emphasizes repeatedly throughout the book that reducing inflammation in the body is crucial to optimum health. He accentuates the need to cut out foods that cause inflammation such as fast-food, sugar, dairy, alcohol, and replace with foods and supplements that are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant such as berries, avocado, coconut, and fish.
Of all the qualities that CBD Oil offers, it’s anti-inflammatory properties are arguably the most well-researched of the bunch. Being successfully utilized to treat almost all digestive conditions, as well as many other medical challenges, it is now looked upon as the most effective anti-inflammatory drug available – even beating out traditional options.
Many studies have found that CBD can reduce joint inflammation and other inflammatory pain in rats, without side effects. This may point to potential relief from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis in humans (3).
CBD is widely known by researchers as one of the best natural anti-inflammatory.
CBD Oil for Pain Relief
Of all the reasons that people use CBD Oil today, pain is the most common.
While Tom encourages balance, pliability, and vitality, he doesn’t say that you will not experience some pain and muscle soreness. (Imagine playing an NFL football game for 60 minutes!) The key is to minimize the pain through a holistic approach.
Many studies have shown CBD Oil is effective in reducing inflammation and alleviating pain because it interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system. A study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found that CBD significantly reduces chronic inflammation and pain in mice and rats. A 2008 review identified that CBD offered effective pain relief without inducing adverse side effects in patients.
Tom Brady is a big proponent of staying calm, focused and positive. He often mentions that he attributes a part of his success to his daily practice of meditation. Meditation has allowed him to practice quieting his mind, understanding his stress emotions, and remain calm and focused. Being able to control your emotions during stressful times and remain calm is quite the feat. (Imagine a 300lb man running towards you ready to tackle you to the ground!)
This being said, Tom Brady understands and conveys the message that your mindset and emotional state have quite a bit to do with your overall performance. We can understand how being mentally prepared for a job or task can have enormous effects.
In the words of Lou Holtz, “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
While CBD is most commonly used to treat physiological symptoms such as pain, there is growing research that indicates it can also be used for mental and emotional stability and other mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. A study by the University of São Paulo found that CBD significantly reduces subjective anxiety, leading researchers to conclude that “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
In various animal studies, CBD has shown notable anti-anxiety and antidepressant-like effects.
Many CBD Oil users have anecdotally given CBD Oil credit as helping them with being able to focus and gives them the calming effect needed to be able to perform their daily activities.
CBD Oil For Recovery and Sleep
Tom Brady believes that sleep is of the utmost importance for long term top performance, he even launched his own line of sleepwear to promote sleep. With the likes of Tom Brady and Arriana Huffington emphasizing sleep as a number one top priority, research is now showing by the numbers how performance is directly linked to sleep.
When life is demanding and your to-do list is longer than the laundry piling up, how is one supposed to turn off the monkey chatter and get a good night’s rest?
In the United States, approximately 70 million people suffer from insomnia, insufficient sleep or another sleep disorder. But several patients with sleep issues report that ingesting a CBD-rich tincture or extract a few hours before bedtime has a balancing effect that facilitates a good night’s sleep. CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality.
Some smaller studies have shown that CBD at bedtime could improve sleep, and a study on rats in 2013 showed that CBD increased total sleep time. CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia, according to research. CBD has been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain.
The Recap - CBD Oil correlates with EVERYTHING the TB12 Method Promotes
While Tom Brady has not commented on CBD Oil, many ex-NFL athletes and top performing athletes such as Nate Diaz, Ronda Rousey, Jim McMahon, Ricky Williams, and our own Antonio Castillo Jr. just to name a few have been vocal on the benefits of CBD Oil and how it has been a game changer for their recovery and performance.
Although Tom Brady has not endorsed the use of CBD or Hemp Oil, it is one of the ONLY herbs and natural supplements that touches on and has benefits to every single principle on the TB12 Method.
If following the TB12 Method has allowed Tom Brady to play at peak performance for over 10 years, I am excited to see future athletes excel well beyond Tom with the addition of CBD Oil to their daily regimen.
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