Zac Efron Reveals 'Baywatch' Body Transformation Led to 'Bad Depression, Insomnia'

The actor opened up about the lengths he went to in order to achieve the look he called 'fake.'

Zac Efron put his body through hell to achieve the chiseled look he had in the 2017 film Baywatch. And while his Adonis-like body may have been aesthetically pleasing, it's a process he never wants to revisit ever again.

The 34-year-old actor opened up for the October issue of Men's Health and revealed that the training regimen was so intense, he ultimately developed a bout with depression and insomnia. He went to such great lengths to achieve the look, Efron said part of his training regimen also required "powerful diuretics," colloquially known as water pills, which help the body get rid of excess water and sodium.

"That Baywatch look, I don't know if that's really attainable," he tells the outlet. "There's just too little water in the skin. Like, it's fake; it looks CGI'd [Computer-Generated Imagery]," he said. "And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don't need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent of body fat."

Efron's great lengths to achieve his Baywatch look also meant eating the same three meals every single day, as well as training, and lots of it, regardless of what got in the way. Like, sleep. He told the outlet that, even if filming lasted until midnight, Efron was committed to waking up at 4 a.m. to hit the gym.

Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health
Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health

The actor said he doesn't want fans to think he's complaining, but he's choosing to open up about his experience because it really took a toll on him, physically and mentally. The process was devastating, to say the least.

"I started to develop insomnia," he says, "and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time re-centering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up."

According to the magazine, it wasn't until six months after filming wrapped that he finally started to feel like himself again. Suffice it to say, Efron has made the necessary adjustments when it comes to his fitness, like his diet. He's now a proponent of intermittent fasting. When it comes to his training and recovery regimen, Efron now includes foam-rolling, stretching and even ice baths.

"It’s my favorite part of the day. Before is when it’s most miserable, and when you finally just commit and jump in there. From that point forward, you’ve conquered something deep within you; you do not want to get cold," he says. "That’s the simplest philosophy: Anything you don’t want to do, make it a habit."