Tom Brady, for those of you who don’t know, plays quarterback for the New England Patriots. He’s an extremely successful athlete, and probably gets asked “what is your secret?” a lot.
Well, now he’s released a book that reveals his tricks, which are extremely questionable and extraordinarily unscientific. Amongst the stranger claims of the book is that he became immune to sunburn because he drinks 11.4 liters (2.5 gallons) of water a day.
But that’s not how it works. That’s not how it works at all.
Tom wrote in his book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, that he stopped getting sunburn thanks to his water consumption.
“When I was growing up, and playing outside in the sun, I got sunburned a lot. I was a fair-skinned Irish boy, after all,” he wrote, as transcribed by SB Nation.
Brace yourselves, science fans.
“These days, even if I get an adequate amount of sun, I won’t get a sunburn, which I credit to the amount of water I drink.”
Yeah. It gets worse. Also, Tom’s sister talks like she’s live on QVC.
“I always hydrate afterward, too, to keep my skin from peeling. When I once told that to my sister, she said, ‘You mean I don’t have to use all those moisturizers and facial products to keep my skin looking good? I should just drink as much water as you do? I think you should market your TB12 Electrolytes as a beauty product.’ I just laughed.”
Let’s be clear: There is no evidence whatsoever that drinking a lot of water can prevent you from getting sunburn. The best ways to avoid sunburn are to use sunscreen and stay in shade.
Brady presumably also uses SPF as well, otherwise he’d be getting sunburn. Because, we can’t stress this enough, drinking a lot of water won’t prevent the sun from burning your skin.
There are also no clear benefits to drinking as much water as Tom if you aren’t getting as much exercise as he is.
The Food and Nutrition Board’s advice (recommended by the CDC) says women should take in approximately 2.7 liters (0.6 gallons) of total water a day (from all beverages and foods), and men an average of 3.7 liters (0.8 gallons). Tom drinks up to a whopping 11.4 liters (2.5 gallons), which is probably fine for him as an athlete, but is pushing at unhealthy levels for non-athletes.
Drinking too much water can lead to health problems, rather than sun-resisting superpowers.