Zac Efron reveals the devastating reason behind his battle with depression

Zac Efron’s career in film and television has spanned more than a decade, but there’s no denying that his role in “High School Musical” put him on the map. As most of us know, Efron played the role of Troy Bolton, a high school basketball star who could also sing and dance. And who could forget his on-screen and off-screen romance with co-star Vanessa Hudgens? At the time, the two seemed like a couple made in Disney heaven.

But since his role in the Disney hit, Efron has had a great career with many big films like 17 Again and Baywatch. The former teenage crush has spoken about his role as a lifeguard on Baywatch on multiple occasions and shared all the hard work it took for him to achieve his body for the film. Efron’s trainer, Patrick Murphy, told Men’s Journal that he put the cast on an intense exercise regimen that included high-intensity exercise and a strict diet.

In a 2020 interview with “Hot Ones,” Efron admitted that his diet for the film meant he was “almost [lose his] Mind.” The star added, “I never want to be in that good shape ever again.” Now, Efron is opening up even more about the intense “Baywatch” routine and why it’s taken a toll on his mental health.

Zac Efron’s intense diet and training took its toll

Zac Efron is getting candid about his mental health. According to the star, he went into a deep spiral after filming Baywatch in 2017. In an interview with Men’s Health, the star admitted that achieving the toned physique for the film — which saw him shirtless and in swim shorts for most of the time — wasn’t “really attainable.” He added: “Well, it’s fake; it looks like CGI. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to make that happen. So I don’t have to do that. I prefer a lot more, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat.”

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The actor revealed that he ate the same three meals a day, worked out too hard and wasn’t sleeping well due to all the extra energy. “I got insomnia and went into a pretty bad depression for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out,” Efron told the outlet. “I had a really hard time refocusing. Ultimately, they blamed it on taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed things up.” Since then, the star has come a long way, changing up her diet and workouts. Now ice baths are among his favorite parts of his new routine.

According to his IMDb profile, Efron has many projects in the pipeline, including an untitled Netflix rom-com that he is currently filming. He will also star in the remake of Three Men and a Baby.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800 -950-NAMI (6264) or visit the National Institutes of Mental Health website.