The ‘Crazy’ Diet the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski Follows to Stay Fit

The New England Patriots will take on the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Sunday, and fans are wondering if it might be the last game for Rob Gronkowski. During a press conference Monday, the Patriots tight end played coy about his future in the NFL, instead embracing his goofy side by donning a sombrero and joking about attending frat parties.

Though Gronkowski might joke around, he’s actually ultra-serious about some things, including his diet. He’s taking a cue from teammate Tom Brady and following a strict eating and fitness regime designed to keep him in top physical and mental condition.

Gronkowski has embraced Brady’s TB12 diet

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots talks to the media during Super Bowl LIII Opening Night | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Brady is famous for his strict diet. The 41-year-old quarterback eats a diet that is 80% plant-based, his personal chef told Boston.com in 2016. That includes vegetables as well as grains like brown rice, quinoa, and beans. The non-plant-based portion of his diet is mostly made up fish and lean meats like organic steak, duck, and occasionally chicken. Cooking is done using coconut oil.

Brady avoids white sugar, white flour, MSG, iodized salt, tomatoes and other foods in the nightshade family, mushrooms, dairy, and caffeine, his chef said. He also eats very little fruit and drinks tons of water. The goal of the diet is to reduce inflammation by eating alkalizing rather than acidic foods. Brady outlined the basics of his diet in his book The TB12 Method.

Gronkowski has reportedly been following a similar diet since 2017. In the beginning, Brady was reportedly even cooking some of Gronkowski’s meals. He also put the hard-partying player on an alcohol diet, ordering him to drink three glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage he consumed.

Gronkowski says the diet works

Gronkowski told Business Insider in October that the strict diet is working for him.

“Just learning from him and how to take care of your body is just a great process,” he said. While Gronkowski’s diet sounds a little less intense than Brady’s, he’s still sticking with the same general principles.

“I’m not super, super crazy, but I’m pretty crazy about [his diet],” Gronkowski said. “I like to go with mostly plant-based diet. I’d say about 75% and then the other 25%, just keeping it clean but eating whatever. Always making sure I get my fruits and veggies in every day.”

Gronkowski says following Brady’s TB12 plan has encouraged him to try foods he might have passed on before, like avocado ice cream, which he calls “delicious.”

Brady and Gronkowski aren’t the only elite athletes who’ve embraced a plant-based diet. Tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams are both vegan, as is NBA star Kyrie Irving and boxer David Haye.

Gronkowski says that the changes to his diet have made him a better player.

“I think it’s huge,” he told Business Insider. “I think it’s helped me tremendously. I think it helps me keep playing football and has extended my career.”

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