Tom Brady hasn’t always been the model of health he is today, but the water habit — that’s apparently been around for a long time.

And while Brady’s penchant for downing booze earlier in his career is the stuff of legend, the New England Patriots quarterback knew his limits even back when he was a young pup.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, along with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak, has a new Patriots book out Tuesday titled “If These Walls Could Talk: New England Patriots,” which tells some previously untold stories about the history of the Patriots franchise.

One of those stories is that of a young Brady, out celebrating New England’s Super Bowl XXXVI win over the St. Louis Rams in a post-season dinner in downtown Boston. According to the story, the Patriots hit up Abe & Louie’s for a night of feasting and heavy drinking. It was the annual rookie party where the high-paid first-year players pick up the tab, as the rest of the team indulges with the most expensive items on the menu.

That included, according to Howe, the priciest of booze: $375 shots of Hennessy Timeless.

Brady, apparently more of a beer guy, knew he couldn’t swig those shots all night. So, he orchestrated a game plan.

Here’s Howe’s excerpt on The Athletic:

Brady recognized where the night was heading and got out in front of it. My father, Joe Howe, was the bar manager at Abe & Louie’s for years, and he worked the bar for that party. Brady pulled my father aside with a special request: When they order me a shot, please just give me a water. I’ll pay for the shot if I have to. I just can’t drink that stuff all night.

So, Brady spent the night drinking water while the rest of the team tipped back the strong stuff to excess. Kind of puts a different spin on getting “lubed up,” right?

While the rest of the room got hammered, Brady seemed no worse for the wear, and linebacker Willie McGinnest took notice.

“Linebacker Willie McGinest, who always treated my father great, saddled up on a barstool,” Howe wrote, “had his head in his hands and lamented as he looked at a completely coherent Brady: Joe, who is this guy? First, he takes over for Drew Bledsoe. Then, he wins us a Super Bowl. Now, he can outdrink all of us? What can’t this guy do?”

All these years later, we’re left asking the same thing.

Click here to read the entire excerpt on The Athletic >>

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images