You may know him from his time wresting in the WWE, his acting in Fast & Furious 6, the remake of Jumanji, or the HBO television series Ballers, or maybe you’ve worn clothing from his Project Rock line with Under Armour, or tried his tequila brand Teremana. However you’re familiar with him, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, named one of Time’s most influential people in 2019, is one of the most popular actors, celebrities, and entrepreneurs of our time. Just look at his Instagram page, where he is the fifth most followed account behind athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and celebrities like Kylie Jenner.
The Rock is known for being a kind and successful businessman as well as a father, but he’s also famous for his beast-like physique, and doesn’t hold back sharing how important fitness is in his life. You can regularly find posts on his gram of him working out at the gym, or what he refers to as his “Iron Paradise,” and his workouts are no joke. (Related: I Worked Out Like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for 3 Weeks)
And if you’ve followed him for a while, you may have seen this post from 2017, where he accidentally allowed viewers to peep his “big bottle of pee.” That’s right — Johnson uses empty disposable water bottles as “pee bottles” when he’s at the gym. “I go hardcore when I train, I don’t have time to go to the bathroom,” he says in the post. “I find a bottle, I pee in it, and I keep training like a beast.”
Johnson recently elaborated in an interview with Esquire, sharing that the reason for the pee bottles is that he stays extremely hydrated before hitting the weights and his gym doesn’t have a bathroom. “I need to go to the bathroom a lot,” he told Esquire. “Not a lot, but probably a couple of times during a workout I have to go to the bathroom. So I break out the bottle.” He assured viewers that he keeps track of his bottles well, but you can’t help but both laugh at this habit and also cringe a bit at the thought of someone accidentally picking up the wrong water bottle without noticing. It’s certainly not the most sanitary habit — especially if he’s not able to adequately clean his hands after (private gym or otherwise).
That said, workout hydration is important — but do you need to be drinking so much during a workout that you might need to “pull a Rock?”
“The Institute of Medicine fluid guidelines — which includes all fluid, not just water — recommend 95 ounces per day for women, and 131 ounces per day for men,” explains Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., author of Sports Nutrition for Coaches and founder of Active Eating Advice, based in Pittsburgh, PA. For women, that’s about 11 (8-ounce) cups per day, or the equivalent of almost 3 liters of fluid.
It takes about an hour for 20 ounces of fluid to leave the stomach, says Bonci, so if you mainline water right before a workout, yeah, you’ll probably need to pee. “There’s no reason to drink a gallon of water before a workout unless you want the fluid shooting out of your nostrils,” she says. “Optimizing fluid intake is the goal — there are no bonus points for drinking more than you need.”
What does optimizing your workout fluid intake look like, exactly? You can get a hyper specific recommendation by calculating your personal sweat rate (more on that below), but a general rule of thumb is to drink 17-20 ounces of water at least two hours prior to exercise, 7-10 ounces of water for every 10-20 minutes of exercise, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Bonci doesn’t recommend consuming all your liquid mid-workout at exactly the same time, as you may start to feel bloated or uncomfortable. Instead, she suggests four to eight good sizes gulps every 10 to 20 minutes.
As for after your workout, “the goal is to drink 20 to 24 ounces of fluid to replace every pound lost during exercise,” says Bonci. You can figure out this amount by weighing yourself before and after exercise, and subtracting the second number from the first. If you drank any liquids during your workout, subtract it from your post-exercise weight before doing the aforementioned math. (Related: How Much Should You Really Sweat During Exercise?)
“This replacement can occur in the hours after exercise — you don’t need to drink a copious amount of liquid immediately after working out unless you want to.” Keep in mind that fluids also come from foods you consume, especially things like produce, milk, soup, coffee, and tea.
Not surprisingly so, Bonci doesn’t think reliving yourself in a bottle at the gym is at all necessary. That said, she does point out that your pee can actually be a good indicator as to your hydration levels. “If your [urine] before working out is scant or dark in color, that should prompt you to drink fluid, so you don’t start exercise at such a fluid deficient state,” she says. “I’m a fan of drinking 20 ounces of fluid upon awakening, and ideally 20 ounces with each meal.” (See: The Best Ways to Stay Hydrated All Day Long)
And while Bonci recommends incorporating fluid breaks into your day and your workouts, she also thinks it’s okay to pause your training to take a pee break. While The Rock’s workout ethic is still pretty damn admirable, we’re going to have to agree with Bonci on this one — let’s leave the bathroom breaks to the bathroom.