Tom Brady will play in his 10th Super Bowl at 43. Yet the NFL legend says he thinks he can get better next year.

No white sugar. No white flour. Himalayan pink salt. Avocado ice cream. Coconut oil. And no, not the sweet smelling kind you get a whiff of at the beach.

They are just some of the things you can find on a list of very specific food preferences, which Tom Brady’s personal chef uses to cater to the sporting legend’s needs on a daily basis.

Speaking to the Boston Globe in 2016, Allen Campbell went all scientific when explaining the different things the ageless quarterback wants.

“I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt. … What else? No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.”

Sounds fun.

Quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes.

As Tom Brady embarks on his 10th Super Bowl and attempts to win his seventh title, one must consider how an underdog picked 199th in the sixth round of the 2000 draft went on to become an icon of the game. All this in a sport where the average playing career is 3.3 years, according to the NFL Players’ Association.

If he can get past heir apparent Pat Mahomes on Monday AEDT, Brady will join the likes of mammoths Bill Russell, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Joe DiMaggio to win at least seven or more titles and three MVP awards.

Brady’s dominance across such a long time frame points to hard work, dedication because if you’ve seen his NFL combine video, then you know the man wasn’t blessed with athletic prowess. But what he doesn’t have in terms of mobility he makes up for with his mental approach to the game and discipline. The NFL great is as famous as his TB12 diet – which he believes truly underpins his success as an athlete.

“Some younger players don’t give too much thought to nutrition,” he wrote in his book the TB12 Method. “They think they can eat anything they want, and their bodies will burn off the damage.

Tom Brady of the Buccaneers shakes hands with Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs.

“The problem is that by eating inflammatory foods, they’re eating things that create inflammation on top of the weight lifting they’ve done on top of the football game they just played on Sunday.

“That’s an inflammation response times three. As I said, if I know my body will experience inflammation every Sunday during the season, the last thing I want to do is stack on more inflammation on top of it — not if I want to feel great every time I take the field.”

While its easy to comprehend why an athlete would want to take care of their body to prolong their career and maximise their earnings, it’s not so easy to understand why someone like Tom Brady would want more.

He already has millions of dollars, a supermodel wife and the reputation as the most celebrated winner the NFL has ever seen. For most people the money alone would be enough to say thanks, but no thanks. Playing gridiron is perhaps the most unforgivable sport of all – where each and every player is one hit away from a life-altering injury.

Yet, Brady with his shiny whites and crafted cheekbones, craves more at the age of 43 and approaches his career with a chip on his shoulder. In the lead up to Super Bowl 55, the Buccaneers quarterback talked about how much better he expects to be next year than he’s been this year. He even has plans on improving his speed. But he’s not alone, athletes are playing for longer and performing more consistently at a higher level than their contemporaries in the past across all sports.

The likes of LeBron James, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and Roger Federer are edging closer to 40 and don’t even look like slowing down. In fact, Brady and LeBron are just one of two athletes in the four US major professional sports to make 10 championship appearances over the last 30 years.

James is known to spend around $1.5 million a year on his body to aid recovery, in a bid to extend his career. Of course, professional athletes like Brady and LeBron have private chefs preparing all their meals and their fat salaries allow them to take full advantage of the technological advancements of the day.

“The technology of making us younger and stronger is definitely helping,” said Colin Scotts, the second Australian ever to be drafted to the NFL.

“Brady is not a freak, this is what we’re going to see . The money does help as well. You look at someone like Brady who never gets injured he’s the example of how athletes will last longer and it’s exciting.”

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Brady’s longevity will undoubtedly have an impact on the legacies of the players that come after him for years to come. Once upon a time it was about climbing the mountain top, or winning a Super Bowl, but now the debate inevitably turns to consistency and the ability to maintain greatness.

His feats are difficult to grasp in the cut-throat world of the NFL, both on and off the field. This is Brady’s third Super Bowl appearance after the age of 40 and will be his 10 the overall which is double the amount of any starting quarterback.

He is the NFL’s all-time leader in Super Bowl completions (256), pass touchdowns (18), and pass yards (2,838).

Brady is signed through next season on his two-year, $50 million contract, but he’s also said he will consider playing beyond 45 years old.

Asked in the lead up to the big game if Brady could sign an extension this offseason, Bucaneers head coach Bruce Arians said, “I don’t have anything to do with contracts, so that would have to be a [GM] Jason [Licht] question.

“I think Tom is real happy where he is at, and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

*Watch Super Bowl LV Live on ESPN, channel available to watch on Foxtel and stream on Kayo. Live pre-game coverage starting with a pre-show from 9.00am AEDT, and kick off at 10.00am

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