Ever since he popped onto our television screens when we were younger and asked, "Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?" in the wrestling ring, we’ve wondered … what exactly is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson cooking? Beloved movie star and certified buff hottie Johnson has a body that won’t quit. Considering how many action movies he’s starred in, his adrenaline must be constantly pumping too. How does he stay so fit, and what does he have to eat to keep his muscles so huge and rippling and, well, dreamy?
You might think that with his workout regime, he can eat whatever he wants whenever he wants. But it turns out it takes a lot of discipline (and an "in" at your local wholesale fish market) to eat like The Rock. There’s some tasty payoff, though. If you can keep up with his rigid diet all week long, you have an epic cheat day meal ahead of you! Let’s take a closer look at how Johnson really feeds his famous bod.
If "you are what you eat," The Rock is fish
Gym bros and fitness fiends are always talking about the importance of lean protein, and it would seem that The Rock has taken this to heart. One look at his diet reveals that he sucks down more protein in a single day than many of us do in a week. When he’s in muscle-building mode, Johnson sometimes eats a whopping 52 ounces of animal-based protein in one 24-hour span, and one of his top choices is fish.
His muscle building diet calls for 36 ounces of cod a day. Considering that the FDA calls 4 ounces of fish one serving, that means our guy is chowing down on nine servings of fish a day, far more than the two servings a week recommended by the USDA’s "Choose My Plate" guidelines. Thank goodness cod is a relatively low-mercury fish! It’s obviously working for Johnson, whose diet and exercise results are visible every time he flexes his muscles.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson eats a massive amount of white rice
The Rock may be a protein fiend, but he definitely doesn’t shy away from carbs. When he was training for the movie Hercules, he tried out something called "The 12 Labors Diet" for 22 days. It calls for tons of protein and a cup of Nemean Lion blood each morning (which Johnson admitted was "optional"), but along with all that, 5.5 cups of white rice a day.
Usually you hear fitness types talking about the evils of simple carbs like white rice, but The Rock is above all that. He needs his carbs, and he wants them in the form of light and fluffy white rice, thankyouverymuch! Not to mention he needs something to soak up all the delicious fish juice from the heaping piles of cod he consumes. That being said, if you’re not a totally ripped action hero who works out a bazillion hours a day, you should probably stick to the USDA’s recommendation of no more than 3-4 ounces of refined grains a day.
One dozen egg whites are a regular part of The Rock’s diet
While not even approaching the massive quantity of eggs consumed by Beauty and the Beast villain Gaston (5 dozen eggs, FYI), Johnson still manages to keep Big Egg in business with his massive breakfasts. When he’s working on building muscle, The Rock starts his morning with a modest two eggs. Sounds reasonable, right? But of course that’s just not enough for this ripped protein-hound. It’s his last meal of the day where he goes haywire, enjoying a massive 10 egg-white omelet before trying to get some shut-eye.
While filming Hercules he followed the 12 Labours Diet. This one called for four egg whites in the morning, which still seems reasonable. Then it goes and calls for another 10 egg-white omelet at night. Is that the secret to The Rock’s physique? That no matter what diet he’s on, he makes sure to ingest at least 10 egg whites a day? It sounds bizarre, but it’s clearly working for him. No matter what diet he’s trying, chances are The Rock has several dozen eggs in his fridge at any given time.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson saves the sweets for cheat day
One thing you may notice when looking at The Rock’s average diet is that it’s healthy. Like, super healthy, textbook healthy, Hulked-out bodybuilder healthy, not "Lean Cuisine and Organic Doritos" healthy. That means there are no sweets or foods with added sugars in any of his usual meals. The closest he’ll get is sweet potatoes. Now, a sweet potato does taste relatively indulgent compared to, say, a plain baked potato or steamed broccoli, but it’s certainly not enough to quell the yearning coming from a sweet tooth for something with a little sugar. The white rice he eats has some naturally occurring sugar too, but again, it’s not exactly anyone’s definition of a sweet treat.
While the physical results of abstaining from sugar certainly show, it takes a lot of willpower to resist junk food and dessert for most of your life. That explains a lot about some of the cheat meals Johnson occasionally indulges in.
On cheat day The Rock eats sushi with cream cheese
When we diet for just a couple of days, our cheat days end up being totally insane. Eating low-carb Monday-Wednesday totally means its justified to have spaghetti carbonara for lunch and dinner on Thursday, right? But when The Rock diets for a month, his cheat days still manage to be tamer than mine. One of his favorite indulgences is sushi, and you better not hold the cream cheese and mayo!
He usually sticks to lean fish like cod or halibut, but on cheat day Johnson is all about the Philadelphia roll. Plenty of his beloved white rice is wrapped around fatty, succulent salmon and a huge dollop of cream cheese, a far cry from the dairy-free diet he usually follows.
Next up, how about 16 California rolls? You’ve got mayo, avocado, and whatever that "imitation crab" stuff is made out of. Then again, with a food budget like The Rock, chances are you can afford the real crab meat. Now that’s living large.
Banana chocolate chip pancakes are The Rock’s fave cheat day meal
If there is one thing you must know about The Rock’s diet, it’s that he loves pancakes. It’s honestly endearing how, time after time, he turns to banana and chocolate chip pancakes as his cheat day carb-up meal of choice. Like a Brooklynite at a hot new brunch spot, Johnson just can’t help snapping a photo of these meals for Instagram, usually with his laptop open to Netflix in the background. Stars: they’re just like us!
Johnson often shares photos of these epic stacks along this bit of wisdom: "Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself." And treat himself he does, often eating more than five pancakes at a time, smearing them with peanut butter and a healthy dose of real maple syrup for good measure.
Though he does speak of getting the "sugar sweats" after indulging in these massive pancake meals, he’s always back at the gym and ready to replace pancakes with cod and rice the next day. If only giving up our own pancake obsession was so easy!
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson can eat enormous subs
What do you eat as a first course when you have a gigantic plate of peanut butter chocolate brownies waiting for you for dessert? The Rock skips the light salad and opts for two enormous subs instead. These aren’t lame, limp-bunned Subway creations, either. Two footlong baguettes are sliced in half, then loaded with generous amounts of turkey, cheese, curly lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, and onions. Since it’s cheat day we wouldn’t be surprised if there was some creamy mayo or at least a dressing of oil and vinegar on there too.
As far as cheat day meals go this one is pretty respectable, with most of the shock factor coming from just how much food two subs is rather than from the type of food itself. There are veggies on the sandwich, and a lot of protein from the turkey and cheese. Following these up with an entire tray of brownies is pretty whack, though.
The Rock eats a surprising amount of grains
The Rock eats a surprising amount of pretty much everything, but it’s no surprise that he usually sticks to lean proteins throughout the day as a major part of his diet. But while everyone else is getting caught up in low-carb hysteria, it is a little shocking to learn that The Rock is coolly and calmly ingesting a ton of grains each and every day. In one sample diet of what he eats when cutting (trying to rapidly lose body fat while gaining lean muscle mass), it’s apparent that Johnson is anything but carb-shy. This meal plan includes six servings of cream of rice or two cups of oatmeal, three rice cakes, one cup of grits, two cups of brown rice, and one cup of barley each and every day.
His muscle-building diet is a little different, but it still includes grain. He’ll eat up to two cups of oatmeal and six cups of rice when trying to bulk up. Eating like The Rock would definitely be hard, but at least you wouldn’t have to give up carbs!
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson can put away 5-7 meals a day
A body like The Rock’s is constantly moving and working hard, and that requires a pretty regular influx of energy. Unlike most of us schmucks who stick to a three meals and two snacks a day kind of life, Johnson eats between five and seven meals a day. They’re not little meals, either. To keep himself going, The Rock has to eat heartily, and his meals often contain at least 6-10 ounces of protein, a cup of grains or a baked potato, and a cup of veggies.
He eats his first meal around 5 a.m., after he’s done with his morning hour of cardio, then spreads the rest throughout the day to keep him optimally fueled. With an intense workout schedule that includes a few hours of working out a day along with various film and TV shoots, it makes sense that The Rock is eating pretty much constantly to keep his energy up.
Sweet potatoes are a staple of The Rock’s diet
When most of your diet consists of savory proteins, vegetables, and grains, it’s a blessing to be able to have something even remotely approaching sweetness. That explains why The Rock eats so many sweet potatoes, making them a part of his daily diet whether he’s bulking up or cutting down. He usually eats them baked, but when his family chef, Chef Evelyn, is in charge she’ll cook up some baked sweet potato fries for a change. Johnson’s not afraid to add his own touch, sprinkling on cinnamon and some liquid Stevia extract for extra calorie-free sweetness.
Compared to his cheat day meals, baked sweet potato fries are definitely a modest indulgence. They’re also really good for you, boasting tons of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in each serving. We’ve had sweet potato fries before, but we might just have to steal The Rock’s trick of adding liquid Stevia extract to make them even more delicious the next time we decide they’re on the menu.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson relies on supplements for extra nutrition
Most of us get the nutrition we need from food intake alone, even though it’s definitely fun to take a gummy vitamin everyday. It’s like candy that’s good for you! But when you’re an athlete, sometimes you need a little extra help beyond what even a healthy diet and a daily multivitamin can offer. There’s only so much cod even The Rock can eat in a single day, and last we checked Flintstone vitamins don’t contain 30+ grams of protein.
Johnson has a couple of tablespoons of fish oil a day, to help boost his intake of omega-3 fatty acids. After his morning cardio he’ll take 4-6 scoops of Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy, a mix of powdered amino acids and caffeine. Then, following breakfast and a second workout, he’ll have 60 grams of Optimum’s Platinum Hydrowhey protein and 15 grams of glutamine. Finally, he ends his day by pairing a 10 egg-white omelet with 30 grams of casein protein. Needless to say it doesn’t seem like this guy is going to run out of protein any time soon!