According to Johnson’s Instagram, the 48-year-old 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, Mashed reports).
Of course, if you’re aiming for size, these calories are incredibly important.
“Nutrition is the cornerstone in building lean muscle,” says nutritionist and exercise physiologist Jim White, R.D. “If the protein isn’t there, it’s not going to help your muscles grow. If the carbs aren’t there, you’re going to feel sluggish. If the fat isn’t there, it’s going to affect energy levels and overall health.”
In short, you need to master the soft art of building hard muscle—meal time. Your diet needs to be strategically choreographed to accelerate the repair-and-grow process that follows that strenuous workout session you’re so proud of.
But we also know the importance of cheat days. According to a recent study, regularly eating red meat and cheese can actually improve your heart health, reducing your risk of mortality in the process.
“Thinking on what constitutes a high quality diet for a global population needs to be reconsidered,” said Dr. Andrew Mente, lead researcher on the project. “For example, our results show that dairy products and meat are beneficial for heart health and longevity. This differs from current dietary advice.”
And that’s something that The Rock has said he absolutely buys into, admitting in an interview on YouTube for Food & Wine that he schedules his cheat meals once or twice a week – often racking up as much as 5,000-6,000 calories in one hit.
In case you’re wondering, this is around three times more than an average human eats in one day.
In one of his most recent cheat meal posts, comprising of “waffles, bananas and peanut butter”, The Rock explains that “this one timer gives me a small boost of carbs, sugar and fat – if you can find consistency with your training and diet – meals like this go a long way as your muscles, body and cognition absorb it all to keep us operating at that optimal level. Powdered greens mixed in my water and a freshly empty bottle of maple syrup because I don’t f*ck around with my syrup. Boosted up, now let’s get to work and have a productive rest of the week.”
So “don’t cheat yourselves, treat yourselves,” as says the man himself.