Michael Hunter, MD on Medika Life

Rock-Solid Nutrition: Eat Like “The Rock”

You may not want to become a bodybuilder, professional wrestler, or massive entertainer. Still, I’ll bet there is something you can learn from the Rock.

DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON is not just a household name in the world of entertainment and professional wrestling; he is also renowned for his impressive physique and commitment to maintaining optimal health. Today, we explore rock-solid nutrition: Eating like “the Rock.”

You may already know about his rigorous training routine. However, what often goes unnoticed is his disciplined approach to nutrition.

You may not want to become a bodybuilder, professional wrestler, or massive entertainer. Still, I’ll bet there is something you can learn from the Rock.

Today’s Topics — Eat Like the Rock

In this essay, we will delve into the dietary habits of Dwayne Johnson, exploring how adopting his eating style can contribute to overall health and well-being.

I am not advocating for his 6,000-calorie daily intake (unless you are doing extraordinary training), but we can learn much from “the Rock.”

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” ― Dwayne Johnson.

Eat Like the Rock — Dwayne Johnson’s Philosophy

Dwayne Johnson’s dietary philosophy is rooted in balance, consistency, and discipline. His daily caloric intake is substantial, but he emphasizes eating clean and nourishing foods.

Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

Johnson’s diet typically consists of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables.

He consumes six or seven meals daily to support his massive muscles. His diet is full of protein, complex carbs, and greens, according to an interview with Men’s Health.

This balanced approach helps him fuel his intense workouts and maintain his muscular physique while supporting his overall health.

Eat Like the Rock — He’s Consistent

Johnson told Men’s Health he tries to eat “clean” year-round. His nutrition and eating habits don’t vary much.

The Rock sticks to a very strict diet for six days per week. He uses his rest day for “cheat meals,” which he believes allows flexibility and prevents him from feeling deprived. He explains:

“It’s better to stay in shape than to get in shape. I am a real creature of habit. I usually eat the same thing every day for days and weeks and months. It’s very consistent. It’s very boring. It’s also extremely disciplined.”

Creating Habits

Here are six steps to creating habits that stick:

  • When building a habit, make yourself want to do it badly.
  • You don’t have to be perfect. Be consistent.
  • Love the activity for its own sake. I don’t work out today because of its health benefits but because I love doing it. With enjoyment comes the release of dopamine (the so-called desire chemical), making you want to do that activity again. That is how habits stick.
  • Aim big, but start small.
  • Don’t just try to run and eat five vegetables a day — instead, become a healthy eater.
  • Don’t just try to add 5 pounds of muscle mass — instead, become a fitness person. In short, change your identity.

Protein for Muscle Maintenance

One of the cornerstones of the Rock’s diet is a high intake of lean protein sources.

He frequently consumes chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef, which are rich in essential amino acids crucial for muscle maintenance and growth.

This emphasis on protein helps repair muscle tissue after grueling workouts and aids in developing a lean, muscular physique.

“Go hard at what you can change. Where people get wrapped around the axle [is focusing on what they can’t].”

That’s Accenture CEO Julie Sweet in an interview with Hope for Axios’ Finish Line profile series.

Details on The Rock’s Protein Intake

Because the Rock awakens early, he is ready for his second meal by 10 in the morning, sitting down to a heaping plate of chicken, greens, and rice.

Later, he’ll enjoy more lean meat like chicken or fish, greens, and slower-digesting carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes.

Johnson also drinks a big protein shake after workouts, his strength and conditioning coach, Dave Rienzi, told Insider.

The shakes have up to 70 grams of protein, 35 grams of carbohydrates, and fruit. The shakes also contain the muscle-building supplement creatine (a muscle-building supplement), which helps provide more fuel for intense workouts.

I Don’t Recommend So Much Protein All At Once

I won’t follow his 70 grams of protein approach in one sitting.

Scientists generally recommend consuming 15 to 30 grams of protein at each meal.

Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

The Cleveland Clinic (USA) reminds us that higher intakes — more than 40 grams — in one sitting give no more benefit than the recommended 15 to 30 grams at one time. Don’t waste your money on excessive amounts.

How Much Protein Should I Consume?

I am preparing for the largest bodybuilding competition in the Northwest. Master’s division for the “older folks.”

How much protein should I consume? A 2014 study of resistance-trained subjects discovered this:

Subjects who ate two grams of protein per pound of body weight per day didn’t build more muscle than another group that ate less than one gram per pound.

One study shows that the maximum muscle gain benefits peak at 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

I top out at 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight. Since I weigh 155 pounds, I don’t exceed 186 grams daily.

Excess protein consumption can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease. Many high-protein foods are high in saturated and total fat. Finally, too much protein can tax the kidneys, posing a risk to people with (or predisposed to) kidney disease.

Protein: Sources, deficiency, and requirements

Protein is an essential nutrient for the body to function. This article looks at how much protein a person needs…


Complex Carbohydrates for Sustained Energy

To fuel his demanding workouts and maintain energy throughout the day, The Rock incorporates complex carbohydrates into his meals.

Johnson in April 2009. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwayne_Johnson.

The Rock prefers brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, and baked potatoes. They provide a steady release of energy, preventing energy crashes and promoting optimal performance during intense training sessions.

Eat Like the Rock — Healthy Fats for Overall Health

Despite his strict diet, Johnson recognizes the importance of incorporating healthy fats into his meals.

He sources these fats from the following:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Coconut oil
  • Fish oil supplements

These fats are essential for overall health, as they support cognitive function, hormone production, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.

Learn the facts about fat

Not all fat is created equal. Find out which type of fat to choose – and which to avoid – for good health.


Abundant Vegetables for Nutrient Density

The Rock firmly believes in the value of vegetables in his diet.

Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and well-being.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Johnson often consumes various colorful vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and peppers, ensuring a high level of nutrient density in his meals.

There may be hope for me, as I enjoy those vegetables.

Strategic Meal Timing

In addition to the quality of his food choices, Dwayne Johnson pays attention to meal timing.

The dude sure can eat. During his wrestling days, the Rock was taking in 6,000 to 8,000 calories daily — and his diet has largely remained the same.

“I do eat five to six, sometimes seven meals a day, whether or not I’m training for a role, which usually I am training for some sort of role or trying to maintain for the role that I’m currently in,” he told Delish.

He consumes multiple smaller meals throughout the day, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents overeating.

Meal frequency and portion size: What to know

Is having three larger meals per day healthier than having several smaller, more frequent meals?


Since the Rock gets up early, he’s ready for his second meal by 10 a.m. He sits down to a heaping plate of chicken, rice, and greens.

Later, he’ll enjoy more lean meat like fish or chicken, greens for nutrients, and slower-digesting carbs like sweet potato.

This approach also optimizes nutrient absorption and keeps his metabolism active.


Staying well-hydrated is a vital aspect of The Rock’s health-conscious lifestyle.

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining bodily functions, aiding digestion, and supporting optimal muscle performance during workouts.

Johnson’s hydration choice includes water, herbal teas, and, occasionally, low-sugar electrolyte drinks.

Supplementation for Nutrient Gaps

While The Rock primarily relies on whole foods for his nutrient intake, he acknowledges the importance of supplementation to fill potential gaps.

He takes a multivitamin daily to meet his nutritional needs, especially during intense training and dieting periods.

He reportedly takes at least seven daily supplements. These include fish oil, Casein, BCAAs, L-Glutamine, Glucosamine, whey protein, and Amino Acids.

He Limits Processed Foods.

Dwayne Johnson is disciplined about limiting processed foods and refined sugars in his diet.

These items are often laden with empty calories, unhealthy fats, and excess sugar, leading to weight gain and health issues.

By avoiding these products, the Rock controls his caloric intake and overall health better.

Indulgence in Moderation

While The Rock maintains a strict diet most of the time, he is not entirely immune to indulgences.

He believes in the importance of balance and occasionally allows himself to enjoy his favorite treats like pancakes and cookies.

This moderation ensures that he can stick to his dietary plan in the long term without feeling deprived.

He Cheats (Really)

And by cheating, I mean this: Johnson’s cheat meals can involve various food combinations, such as 12 pancakes with peanut butter and syrup, three to four double dough pizzas, a box of donuts, sushi, pasta, bagels, two “Big Daddy” burgers with the works, french fries, and plenty of desserts.

While his cheat meals vary considerably, most of his cheat days likely surpass 5,000–7,000 calories.

Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

How much does he believe in cheat foods? Johnson partnered with Salt & Straw, a small-batch ice cream company, to create a line of flavors inspired by his cheat meals.

Final Thoughts — Rock-Solid Nutrition: Eat Like “The Rock”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s dietary approach is a remarkable model for those aspiring to maintain optimal health and a strong physique.

His emphasis on balanced nutrition, focusing on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and abundant vegetables, provides essential nutrients for overall well-being.

The Rock’s strategic meal timing, hydration, and supplementation further support his health-conscious lifestyle.

Following his example, I hope to improve my health and physical performance and lead a more robust, well-rounded life.

The Rock’s Diet — Specifics

If you want to dig deep and learn more about Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s diet, here you go: Rock’s Diet Plan.


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Michael Hunter, MD
Michael Hunter, MD
I received an undergraduate degree from Harvard, a medical degree from Yale, and trained in radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. I practice radiation oncology in the Seattle area.

Michael Hunter, MD

I received an undergraduate degree from Harvard, a medical degree from Yale, and trained in radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. I practice radiation oncology in the Seattle area.

Connect with Dr. Hunter



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