There is no question that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Therefore, it is easy to say that he knows what he's doing when it comes to keeping himself fit to play at the top level even at the age of 45. However, recent reports are claiming that abstaining from sex ahead of games has damaged his relationship with wife Gisele Bundchen.

The Brazilian supermodel and the NFL star are believed to be on the brink of divorce after Gisele left the family home more than a month ago. They have since been living separately, and according to Marca, Brady's abstinence ritual is one of the factors that led to the current state of their relationship.

Previously, Brady admitted in the "Armchair Expert" podcast that sex with his wife is not part of his pre-game ritual. He reportedly abstains for 24 hours, but that can extend to 72 hours before really important matches such as the Super Bowl, which he has won seven times.

With the NFL season lasting more than half the year, this strict ritual if true, could have left Gisele dealing with a strictly "scheduled" sex life.

If true, Brady would not be the first athlete to stay away from a romp in bed ahead of a competition. In fact, even though many studies have debunked this notion, countless athletes from around the world somehow believe that engaging in sexual activity may reduce their level of performance.

Nevertheless, the couple has not revealed the exact reasons behind their current separation. It was earlier reported that Gisele was livid when the quarterback decided to return for a 23rd season in the NFL just 40 days after announcing his retirement earlier this year.

In any case, Brady's success on the field is a combination of a number of factors, and it remains to be confirmed if he does follow an actual number of abstinence hours before a game. Apart from that, he is also believed to adhere to a strict nutritional program.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen
Tom Brady Gisele Bündchen Reuters