Zac Efron Reveals The Role Fitness Plays In His Sobriety

By William Georgiades 04/06/17

The Baywatch star detailed the diet and exercise plan that helps him stay on track mentally and physically in a new interview. 

Zac Efron

Zac Efron, the star of the upcoming Baywatch movie, says that exercise has been part of what has kept him sober since he entered drug treatment twice in 2013.

In an interview with Men’s Fitness, Efron told the magazine about fame in his teens, his alcoholism and addiction, and his recovery and physical health. The actor, who came to prominence as the star of the 2006 smash hit, High School Musical, has a new lease on life with sobriety and success going hand in hand.

"When I’m very careful about my fitness and have a goal in mind, it keeps me motivated and balanced," Efron told Men's Fitness. "I wake up earlier. I don’t feel the need to be out [socializing]—that kills your day, your hobbies, and your motivation. Balancing sobriety and work and finding that comfortable place where you feel like a good person."

Efron also opened up about his sobriety to Bear Grylls on a 2014 episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls. “I was caring less about the work and more about the weekend,” he told Grylls. “I don’t want to have to take anything from the outside to feel good on the inside.”

The fitness routine that Efron credits for his sobriety is not as extreme as that of his Baywatch co-star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, about whom Efron says, “He's reached nirvana—muscle nirvana.”

Nonetheless, Efron had a 10-week plan before filming, of twice a day, six day a week work-outs with personal trainer Patrick Murphy, who told the magazine that this “was the most dynamic program I've ever put together for a client.”

After those 10 weeks, when filming began, Efron continued his regimen on set. His diet also became extremely healthy. "After a while your body stops craving junk food," he said. "There's this trigger that happens after two or three weeks of dieting and eating healthy food, where your body switches its primary energy source from burning mainly carbohydrates to burning fat.”

He adds, at that point, “all your cravings change. You go, 'Holy cow, I want kale and vinaigrette shredded with beets and a little bit of sweet potato!'"

Efron has previously talked about his sobriety. In Elle magazine last year, Efron said, “I wouldn’t take anything back, I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.”

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William Georgiades is a former editor at EsquireBlack Book, the New York Post and the Grapevine and has written for several publications including New York MagazineVanity Fair, the London Times and GQ. He has been the features editor at The Fix since 2013. You can find him on Linkedin.