Standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing in at 260 pounds, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is larger than life. A kind and generous man by all accounts, he is consistently an inspiration to fitness fanatics, nutrition experts and the Average Joe, alike. His Instagram is a mixture of work, working out, and his philosophies on life and parenting. Regardless of the reason you follow him, he isn’t likely to disappoint.
With everything The Rock has shared over the years about his diet and exercise plans, it’s no wonder people are so curious about what supplements he takes — after all, you don’t get that built without a regimented system in place. Fortunately, he has been quite open about the method behind his madness. Here’s how The Rock stays in such good shape, and the supplements he’s used to help him along the way.
View this post on Instagram
Since today’s my birthday – my annual “birthday clang and bang” workouts are always special. Labored in sweat, grit, spit, cuss words, laughs, loud music and some other sexy shit 😈 But it’s mainly labored in the most important thing of all ~ gratitude. Grateful to have these two hands to put in the hard work and take some more cracks at success as we go down this wild & blessed road of life. #birthdayclangandbang #gratitude #cleanupyoursweatdammit
Who is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?
If you don’t know who Dwayne Johnson is, you might be living under a rock. (That’s the only time I’ll use that pun. Maybe. Probably not.) Dwayne Johnson is a former WWE superstar born from wrestling royalty — both his father and his maternal grandfather were professional wrestlers.
After spending the better part of a decade in the ring, he (mostly) retired from the WWE and transitioned into acting. Since 2001, he’s either had an on-screen role or executive produced over three dozen films — in addition to television shows — landing him the title of the highest paid actor of 2016 and the second highest paid actor in 2017 (losing out to Mark Wahlburg) and in 2018 (losing out to George Clooney).
Even though he’s better known for acting than wrestling at this point, he’s still rocking his nickname, which was inspired by his father, Rocky Johnson. He’s incorporated it into his Under Armour line called Project Rock, which also includes an alarm clock app called The Rock Clock, which specifically doesn’t have a snooze button because he doesn’t use one. You can even wake up at Rock Time, which is synced to his alarm clock, so you’re waking up when he does (spoiler alert: it’s typically before the sun rises and the alarm is in fact, quite alarming).
No matter how far his acting chops take him, it seems he still adheres to a strict diet and exercise regimen (not that he doesn’t rock his infamous cheat meals). However, diet and exercise will only get you so far — many athletes, wrestlers and bodybuilders choose to take supplements to maintain their hard-earned physique and take care of their bodies. Here are some supplements The Rock includes in his supplement stack.
What Supplements Does Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Take?
While The Rock is quite open about his diet and exercise routines, he keeps information about his supplement stack fairly quiet. Chances are, he doesn’t have any sponsorships from the supplement companies and he doesn’t want to promote any if it’s not in an official capacity. However, he’s spoken in interviews about his reasoning for taking supplements and occasionally in tweets about specific brands.
Between football, wrestling, and physically demanding movie roles, Johnson has been training hard for decades. As any athlete will tell you, that kind of training takes its toll on your body — particularly as you get older.
Johnson specifically states turning 40 as an impetus to train smarter: “when we get into our 40s, all of a sudden we start feeling aches and pains.” He hired a special conditioning coach who helped him work on nutrition, meal timing, workouts, and supplements. To that end, he takes glucosamine and chondroitin for his “poor joints.”
We don’t know what brand Johnson is taking, but it’s probably something similar to this Zenwise supplement:
What is it for? Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical native to our bodies. It’s in the fluid around our joints which helps lubricate them so they can move more easily. As you may expect, if there are issues with the amount of fluid, or if the fluid gets inflamed, you can experience joint pain or discomfort. Glucosamine supplements are generally taken for pain relief, especially by people with osteoarthritis.
Again, Johnson hasn’t specified exactly what brand he’s taking, but it’s probably similar to this one:
What is it for? Chondroitin is a natural substance found in connective tissues (like cartilage) in both humans and animals. This supplement is frequently used by people with osteoarthritis, and taken in conjunction with glucosamine. Oversimplified, chondroitin is believed to be one component that helps “slow the progression of cartilage destruction and may help to regenerate the joint structure, leading to reduced pain and increased mobility of the affected joint.”
Optimum Nutrition Platinum HydroWhey
We have this one on good authority. The Rock himself confirmed it via Twitter in 2016:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 18, 2016
What is it for? Whey protein is typically used to help athletes’ muscles recover and repair themselves more quickly — and there are countless brands and varieties at this point. Optimum Nutrition claims that their HydroWhey is extra special because of a process called hydrolysis, which essentially means they’re breaking down the protein. In their words, “By hydrolyzing whey protein isolates to break larger proteins down into smaller pieces, these ultra-pure whey isolates are able to get into your system rapidly, enabling your muscles to start recovering from heavy training.”
Protein is very versatile, in that it can be taken at any time of the day. Some people choose to get it in first thing in the morning so they’re ready for their day, while others use it as fuel pre-workout, and others use it to help themselves recover post-workout. Johnson says he typically drinks one protein shake a day while training (though, when is he not training?) and it’s a safe bet this is what he puts in his shakes. The big question is: what flavor does he like?
This formula also contains some branched-chain amino acids to make it even more effective — which gives you a hint as to what the next building block of The Rock’s supplement stack is.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
What are they for? Branched-chain amino acids are — you guessed it: a type of amino acid. “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of the protein. BCAAs specifically “stimulate the building of protein in muscle,” aiding in the recovery process post-workout, in addition to reducing muscle fatigue and breakdown.
While we don’t know for sure which brand Johnson uses, we know he likes the Optimum Nutrition Platinum HydroWhey, so it’s entirely possible he uses the same brand’s BCAAs (pictured above).
To understand the important role of BCAAs, you have to understand what happens to your muscles when you work out. When you train hard enough (whether enough weights or reps) you’re actually creating tiny tears in your muscles — and that’s okay! That’s what’s supposed to happen.
Your muscles get bigger because they’re repairing themselves, and that’s exactly what BCAAs will help them do. This makes total sense for The Rock, especially considering how difficult and laborious it is to build and maintain that kind of muscle mass.
What is it for? Glutamine is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Glutamine has a wide variety of uses, including relief of side effects related to chemotherapy drugs and aiding recovery after surgery, bone marrow transplant, or traumatic injury. In theory, it should help you with muscle recovery, but its effectiveness for athletic performance is debated.
What is it for? Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally thought to be good for heart health. Its benefits include lower blood pressure and triglycerides, the reduction of arterial plaque, and therefore, the reduction of risks associated with heart disease and stroke. Johnson’s reasons for taking fish oil are unknown — it could be something recommended to him as part of his training regimen, or it could be unrelated.
A word of caution with fish oil is that you shouldn’t take more than 3 grams per day. Most people take fish oil in pill form.
In addition to the ones specifically listed here, he claims to take a “multitude of multivitamins,” though he doesn’t say what they are. Considering how hard his level of training must be on his body — and how intense his schedule must be — it’s not entirely surprising that he relies on supplements to keep him going.
We can also assume that his supplements have shifted over the years according to changes in his workout routines, goals and personal needs. So while he may have taken the supplements on this list at one point, we cannot guarantee he is still taking them today.
This is another supplement we know The Rock took at some point, though it’s unclear whether he still uses it.
Had my coffee and Speed Stack. It’s time. AM training. Let’s dance motherf*****.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 18, 2011
What is it for? Speed Stack is a caffeine beverage that athletes often drink before workouts, especially if they’re working out early in the morning. The Rock is a notorious early bird — often getting up as early as 4:00am (Rock Time!) to get training in before his work day begins, so it’s not surprising that he’d want a boost of caffeine in his supplement stack.
Source Naturals Wellness Formula
This is another sure bet, as it came straight from The Rock’s Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Got my ass kicked yesterday when I woke up with a fever. Saw my Dr who observed I had fluid in my lungs. Fun. Went to work, but for the first time in my entire career – wrestling around the world thru pain and hardcore injuries – shooting movies/touring around the world – yesterday was the first time ever I tapped out with only 3hrs left in my shooting day. So sick I couldn’t finish the job. Drive home miserable. The kid is back. Going to work. Ready to finish what I f*cking started and finishing this week on a strong uptick with my hard working crew. I’m also gonna do my best to get @kevinhart4real sick today. Wish me luck. #magicpotion (not pictured was my 2 shots of tequila before bed 😈🥃)
What is it for? Source Naturals Wellness Formula is simply an immune support supplement. What’s unclear is whether this is a consistent staple in Johnson’s supplement stack, or simply something he takes when he’s sick. Source Naturals says this supplement is “designed to support the immune system when under physical stress.” (It seems like “physical stress” is an accurate description of The Rock’s regular workouts.)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Diet + Workout
Obviously, there’s no magic supplement to make you look like The Rock. Perhaps Johnson doesn’t talk about his supplement stack often because it’s such a small part of his routine to stay rock solid. Anyone who is trying to lose (or gain) weight, will tell you that diet is the largest factor, and exercise is second — and he doesn’t skimp on either.
View this post on Instagram
While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson frequently changes his diet and workout plan, he adheres to each plan very strictly. He works with trainer and nutritionist George Farah to create plans that will help him achieve whatever goals he has for his new role. And much to our benefit, he’s not shy about sharing the details.
A few years back, The Rock’s diet plan went viral in part because of the incredible volume of cod he was eating — about two pounds each day. At some point, he stopped eating it because reports came out that the cod supply was dwindling (to be clear, the supply had nothing to do with The Rock’s diet — it’s because of warming waters off the coast of Maine due to climate change).
When filming Hercules, Farah created what they called the “12 Labors Diet” (a reference to Hercules lore), which involved a lot of halibut, chicken, steak filets and egg whites. His final meal of the day included 30 grams of casein protein, though he didn’t specify exactly what he was taking or how (was it scrambled in the egg whites or mixed into milk or water?). Nemean lion blood, optional.
Regardless of the method, people who try it in its various forms say it works, though the meal prep is very time-intensive and frankly, expensive. One of the biggest hurdles people encounter is that they just have to eat so much food that they have trouble 1) finding the time to cook seven meals each day, and 2) finding the time to eat seven meals each day. One man reported literally eating in his car at stop lights to make sure he got it all in.
Generally speaking, there are plenty of reasons to respect Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but his dedication to his training and eating habits is inspiring. Johnson shows us what’s possible when you put your mind to something, work (extremely) hard and keep going until you achieve it.
What’s your current fitness goal? Let me know in the comments!
This article was originally published on January 4, 2018, but has been updated to reflect new information.