Why does Tom Brady have to be so damn good at everything? As if winning seven Superbowls wasn’t enough, the 45-year-old looks like a demi-god, is crushing single dad life, and has a respectably balanced routine that prioritizes *mostly* plant-based foods and lifting with joint-friendly resistance bands.
Predictably, the guy also has some serious smoothie game. He’s long talked about his daily blueberry smoothie. But life doesn’t always give you blueberries. In a recent Instagram post, Brady shares his pivot: an almond butter cup smoothie.
“This is my favorite. The perfect dessert smoothie. $%#&@! amazing,” Brady said in the video. Consider us sold.
But how does it really taste? And is it actually healthy? I picked up all the ingredients and crunched the numbers to find out.
Here’s everything you need to know about Brady’s sweet sip.
How to Make Tom Brady’s Almond Butter Cup Smoothie
Here’s how Brady does it.
- ½ Tbsp hemp seeds
- ½ Tbsp chia seeds
- ½ Tbsp flax seeds, ground
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 handful walnuts
- 1 banana, medium-sized
- 1 serving chocolate protein powder (Brady used his own TB12 brand chocolate plant-based protein)
1 cup ice
- ¾ cup almond milk
- Optional: 1-2 pieces dark chocolate
- Throw the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy.
Is It Healthy?
Yep. According to my calculations, his almond butter cup smoothie clocks in at 646 calories, 37 grams of protein, 47 grams of carbs, and 38 grams of fat. Enough to hold you over between meals or sub for a meal (depending on your personal intake). What’s more, the calories come from generally healthy sources.
Your body needs around 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to fuel muscle growth (1). Brady’s smoothie will help get you there. On top of the protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and almond butter all deliver a hit of plant-based protein.
Mix in some heart-healthy omega-3 fats from the almond butter and walnuts, and this smoothie goes beyond your average muscle-building protein shake. Omega-3 fats improve heart and brain health and reduce inflammation.
Our take: don’t skip the chocolate. First of all, is chocolate ever really optional? Second, dark chocolate is packed with flavanols—a subclass of flavonoids—and antioxidants to help calm inflammation.
But, How Does It Taste?
Surprisingly, pretty good. You wouldn’t expect a smoothie that’s base is mostly nuts, seeds, and nut milk to taste great; but, like most things Brady does, his smoothie excels. It’s nutty and chocolatey like an almond butter cup. Most importantly, it’s not too sweet—the banana, ice, and lack of added sugar keep it light. Honestly, I could sip on this all day. And the true test: I will make it again.
Why You Should Eat More Protein
If you’re considering sucking down your own almond butter cup smoothie, there are plenty of science-backed benefits in your favor. Studies show a diet high in protein can help:
- Maintain and increase muscle mass (2)
- Boost bone health (3) and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (4)
- Reduce appetite and hunger levels (5)
- Reduce cravings and late-night snacking (5)
- Boost metabolism and burn more fat (6)
- Reduce blood pressure (7)
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol (8)
- Maintain and lose weight (9, 6)
- Recover faster (10)
Animal or Plant-Based Protein?
If you don’t have a problem with whey protein powder, you may be better off using that over a plant-based option like Brady. A 2021 review found that animal protein (including whey) tends to have a more favorable effect on lean mass than plant protein (11). But it also found their effect on strength is the same.
If you do go plant-based, know that plant-based protein is generally not as well absorbed. Which is why veggie eaters should opt for a blend like pea and hemp, or pea and pumpkin, “as the mix fills in the amino acid gaps of each individual source,” Brian St. Pierre, the Director of Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, previously told The Edge.
Brady’s TB12 protein blend is formulated with just one plant-based protein source: peas. While this isn’t typically optimal, Brady’s ingenious almond butter cup smoothie recipe contains other plant-based protein sources like hemp, chia, and flax seeds—which when blended with the pea protein help make it more bioavailable to your body. The result: the optimal plant-based protein smoothie. Well played, Brady, well played.