The Super Supplement: Why Tom Brady Takes Ashwagandha
“To me, football is so much about mental toughness, it’s digging deep, it’s doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms.”
— Tom Brady
Love him or hate him, Tom Brady has been a fact of life for generations of Americans. He was a routine part of Super Bowl Sunday (nine times) while with the New England Patriots, like Budweiser Clydesdale commercials or mom’s chili or a spectacular halftime show. There isn’t a bigger power couple on Earth than him and Gisele Bündchen.
Seeing the six-time NFL champion quarterback take snaps now in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform is a little shock to the system, especially for New Englanders. But life goes on, and we can all learn something by watching Brady get the most out of his. This month, Brady turned 43 years old and in so doing revealed one of his little secrets to aging successfully:
Brady’s own health and wellness company, TB12, just introduced two nutritional supplements called Perform and Recover. We were especially intrigued by the former. According to the company, Perform is a plant-based nootropic (designed to keep your brain and neurons sharp and focused as you train) formulated with a blend of Rhodiola, Mango Leaf, Ashwagandha and Sceletium. These ingredients help:
- Promote energy & focus (Rhodiola & Mango Leaf)
- Support cognitive function and stress management (Ashwagandha)
- Support mood (Sceletium)
If I was a Patriots fan — like my coworker who is editing this post — then I probably would not go on here. But I live in Brady’s new backyard, and we are so psyched to have Brady (and his favorite target Rob Gronkowski) that we even bought a Tampa Brady Bucs jersey for our English Bulldog. The next Super Bowl is scheduled right here, so Brady could be the first player to lead his team to the championship in his own stadium, maybe even as MVP. That makes me interested, and it makes me want to talk about Ashwagandha.
Here are four things you should know about this Super Supplement for the ages:
1. The Legendary Herb Of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine practiced in India, and it can be traced back to 6000 BCE. According to mythology, the knowledge of Ayurveda was first perceived by Brahma and then handed down to Daksha Prajapati then to the Ashwin twins (the divine doctors),then passed to Indra, and so on.
The basic premise of the practice is that we literally are what we eat; our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we take in are metabolized into energy and information that form our cells, organs and tissues. We maintain the body’s delicate balance by taking in the proper vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, and that has always included Ashwagandha.
For most of these six millennia, Ashwagandha has been a much-revered herb that has been used as a Rasayana, or tonic. Its root is also regarded as an aphrodisiac, narcotic, anthelmintic, diuretic, thermogenic, astringent and stimulant. It is sometimes called “Indian ginseng,” because it has similar rejuvenating properties, although the two herbs are botanically unrelated. When we say Ashwagandha has legendary roots, we mean not just what’s in the ground but also what got us here today.
2. Horse Power: How It Got Its Name
Ashwagandha is a combination of the Sanskrit words ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. It describes the root having a powerful horse-like odor. Likewise, the translation has come to mean that the herb has ability to give you the vigor and strength of a stallion! If Brady had signed with the Denver Broncos or Indianapolis Colts, this would be even better. Authentic buccaneers probably just smelled, period.
Ashwagandha’s Latin genus name is Withania somnifera, and if that sounds like something to do with sleep, then you’re right. Somnifera means “sleep inducer.” If you’re Tom Brady suited up for yet another Super Bowl, you want to be chill and composed, not overhyped. Also, Brady’s bestselling book, The TB12 Method, extolled the virtues of always getting proper sleep.
Traditionally, organic Ashwagandha has been given as a nerve tonic and adaptogen, which is an agent that helps you adapt to emotional and physical stressors. In addition to chronic stress, it has been used in India for a wide variety of conditions such as rheumatism, insomnia, goiter, joint inflammation, constipation, nervousness, hormone balance and parasites.
3. Hello, Little Shrub
Organic Ashwagandha is a plump little shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers, and it belongs to the same nightshade family as the tomato. This plant bears red fruit roughly the size of a raisin. The adaptogenic herb is native to arid regions of India, the Middle East and northern Africa, but these days it also appears in more mild climates including the U.S.
This perennial grows up to five feet, with simple oval-shaped leaves covered in velvety hair. Its flowers are green to white to bright yellow and radially symmetric. The round berry it produces is orange to red in color. The berry is enclosed in a membranaceous brown sheath, and the kidney-shaped seeds of the berry are yellow.
The plant’s root is a fleshy main taproot that is white to somewhat yellow-brown in color, and it is forever-famous to locals. The root is harvested at the peak of readiness, and carefully shade-dried to retain its full color and aroma. Then it is thoroughly extracted.
4. Brady’s Brain Booster
It’s easy to see why Brady relies on Ashwagandha. Havasu Nutrition’s Ashwagandha Premium Stress Response supplement is caffeine-free, so there are no stimulants or drowsiness. It helps produce optimal energy levels and wards off fatigue. It supports the body’s natural immune defenses and sleep cycle. Whether you are studying an NFL playbook or studying for a big test, Ashwagandha serves as a great brain booster to give focus and calm edgy nerves.
Ashwagandha is the perfect natural solution for anyone feels overwhelmed, tired and easily irritated. Research shows the herbal supplement can lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression, increase muscle mass and testosterone, and much more. All of us deal with stress, some more than others, and Ashwagandha is proven to help as you juggle busy schedules and especially in a 2020 loaded with new-and-improved stress.
Yes, that 2020 stress even includes overhanging uncertainty about the next NFL season, and how even a schedule of games could be adversely affected by the threat of COVID-19. But if we are watching football this season, then Brady will be there as always, just not with the team that he led for the last 20 seasons.
“Mentally, the only players who survive in the pros are the ones able to manage all their responsibilities,” Brady once said. “Everybody struggles in different ways.”
Patriots fans, you might want to get some Ashwagandha.