Mets Pitcher Noah Syndergaard Isn't a Fan of Tom Brady's TB12 Diet: 'Don't Get Me Started'

Halloween 2013 is the day Noah Syndergaard stepped out of mere “Mets elite pitching prospect” status and into the spotlight of a larger-than-life persona. Since posting a selfie in full “Thor” superhero regalia that day, Syndergaard has become a game-day fan favorite and a wildly popular Twitter follow.

Hammering the strike zone with a combination of electrifying two-seam fastballs, breaking pitches, and a deceptive change-up, it’s no shocker that his career was in flight. But as is the case in any superhero’s story, he has faced obstacles, including a major injury. 

Noah Syndergaard’s performance backs up the hype

The 6’6, 242-pound 26-year-old features superhuman size and athleticism. These attributes undoubtedly contribute to his intrigue and physical capabilities, as Baseball-Reference reports.

Syndergaard managed an elite 2015 rookie campaign, including a 3.24 ERA, a 1.047 WHIP, and 10 SO/9IP. He also won two dominant starts and turned in a clutch shutout relief performance during that year’s World Series run. 2016 saw him win his first All-Star appearance as he gained a handful of MVP votes and Cy Young votes. 

Syndergaard lost 2017 to an arm injury. Thor had a magnificent bounce-back year in 2018. He pounded the strike zone with the high-velocity fastballs and breaking pitches fans know him for. 2019 featured his second year over 200 strikeouts. But according to Syndergaard, struggles with his slider in the first half of the season left him with a sub-standard ERA of 4.28, reports SNY.

Thor faces a challenge

Syndergaard is one of the highest velocity hurlers in the game, according to FanGraphs. He also throws his sliders as hard as anyone in the game. A top MLB scout explained to the New York Post:

I tried to warn (the Mets) that the two-seamer would lead to elbow issues because it just puts too much stress on his arm. He’d be much better off with four-seamers and utilizing his changeup … Develop the curveball.

During the 2020 offseason, disaster struck. Syndergaard suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in March 2020 and underwent Tommy John surgery. The UCL injury was once a death knell for pitchers until orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe created the surgery, named after pitcher Tommy John.

The surgery has now been performed on over 1,000 MLB pitchers. Syndergaard’s teammate Jacob deGrom became the first to win a Cy Young award post-surgery, reports ESPN.

On May 8, reports SNY, Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said of injured pitches Syndergaard and Seth Lugo, “We’re hoping they are ready in a week or so to start rehab assignments … And then still sometime in June with Noah.” This would put Syndergaard’s rehab at some time this week. So we should hear from him or the Mets in the next few days. 

Noah Syndergaard’s recovery plan 

As is always the case with Syndergaard, he’s doing it his way. The 28-year-old shared the details of his holistic UCL recovery routine with GQ.

Syndergaard practices “grounding, or earthing, which is basically standing barefoot and making a connection to the Earth.” According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific research indicates that making direct contact with the electrons on Earth’s surface may help with pain, stress, inflammation, and other disorders. 

Syndergaard incorporates blood flow restriction bands in his weight lifting routines. He says this can “simulate an extreme load for the body. When you take the bands off, you’ll get this huge growth hormone response.” 

The 28-year-old has logged close to 300 hours in a hyperbaric chamber. This practice promotes healing and recovery. Syndergaard also jumps in a cold tub twice a day to improve his mental function and control his breathing in high-stress situations. 

Syndergaard disagrees with diets that “shun red meat.” He practices a “nose to tail” method of eating, incorporating organ meats and other animal parts into his diet. The nose-to-tail philosophy operates under the philosophy that not wasting parts is more respectful to animals and healthier for humans.

Syndergaard is not in favor of Tom Brady’s TB12 diet. The NFL quarterback’s famously restrictive nutrition plan features an 80/20 ratio of protein-free to protein-based foods. It definitely shuns some foods the pitcher eats, especially meats. The pitcher elaborated to GQ:

We don’t really do, like, the normal “healthy eating,” as you would say, like the basic Tom Brady diet, which is… don’t get me started on that. A lot of red meat — grass-fed, grass-finished — none of that conventionally-raised bullshit.

When asked why he’s taken a different path than the mainstream, Syndergaard says he wants to feel that he “did everything I possibly could to make sure that I put my body and myself in the best position to succeed and be the best person I can be.” 

After hitting 97 miles per hour in his first rehab outing and his first start approaching fast, the 2021 MLB season will tell us in no uncertain terms whether his approach did just that. 

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