Written by Zach Grossfeld
Ditch the warm water for an icy blast. Here are my thoughts on how cold showers have changed my life:
Warm showers suck.
This piece won’t be an article about the science behind cold showers and how they are better than a hot douse.
Although the research is overwhelming (increase in testosterone, boosted immune system, activating the body’s defenses), you don’t care about it. You want to answer the question: “How can I feel and look better in the morning?”
The answer: turn the knob to the right and blast that cold stream.
About 18 months ago, I started hopping into cold showers each morning.
A friend told me about how great he felt after cold showers, and I decided to give them a try. Day one. Turn the handle to the right. Watch ice-cold water spat across the shower floor. Watch some more. Fuck. Maybe I should go lukewarm to ease into it.
Screw it; I’m hopping in.
The water punched my chest, and I felt like an ice-cold lightning bolt struck my heart.
For thirty seconds, my breathing remained deep and shallow. An alertness shot into my body that I had never felt. Holy shit, this was a mistake. Then, after a minute, my body reached an equilibrium. The cold didn’t feel shocking and actually started to feel good, even slightly warm?
How is that possible?
My breathing returned to semi-normal.
After a three minute speed-rub rub down of face lather and body wash, I hopped out of the shower.
Damn, I am ready to go.
This feeling wasn’t the classic PTSD (Post Typical Shower Depression) where the cold sets in, your skin feels dehydrated, and all you want to do is get back under the warm water.
This was something else.
I felt massive energy. My eyes stood wide. Getting out of the shower felt like a relief, not a burden. Compared to the cold shower, the bathroom air felt like a snuggie. My mind seemed more alert, ready to tackle the day.
I continued my ice-cold morning routine and after a few weeks, I started to look forward to it. I began to feel bad for people who take warm showers in the morning.
How do they even walk out the door with all that dehydrated skin and low energy? Maybe that’s why I’m writing this article, to convert a few of you to the cold side.
Also, in a cold shower, worrisome thoughts and anxiety disappear.
Actually, all thoughts disappear.
The chill puts the body in survival mode and makes it impossible to maintain a stream of thought. Don’t believe me?
Think your worst thoughts and fears, then hop into a cold shower. For those few minutes, you won’t be thinking about anything else except the cold charge running through your veins. And after you step out, chances are your anxieties won’t seem as terrifying.
To be clear, cold showers aren’t a magic pill.
I wish they were so I wouldn’t have to shrink my nuts every morning (an unfortunate side effect that goes back to normal within the hour). But after a cold shower, I feel a bit more energized and prepared to conquer the day. Warm showers don’t bring me to the same place.
Sometimes, cold showers suck. I don’t want to get it. But it becomes a challenge. No matter your mood or motivation, you either step into it or you turn the knob to the left.
In a year and a half, I’ve never regretted taking a cold shower. There were mornings I didn’t want to, but after, I always feel great.
About once per week, I allow myself a cheat shower at night. This is when, usually on a Friday, I’ll crank the hot water and blast some music on my waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Hot showers feel great to unwind after a long week. I use them as a reward for getting under the cold water each day.
As a recap, Cold Showers:
Save time (3 minutes as opposed to fifteen in a warm shower)
Add time to your morning routine (see ‘save time’)
Tighten your skin and hair follicles (added beauty bonus)
Cold morning showers have changed my life, and I hope that you will give them the chance to change yours. You don’t have to follow my schedule, make it your own.
Maybe you don’t want a cheat shower. Perhaps you’ll take cold showers in the morning and hot showers every night. Start with three days per week instead of everyday icy blasts (but I have a feeling you’ll get addicted..)
In a time where society is addicted to the next new “healthy” trend, like the Peloton or Pilates, the cold shower is a readily available, low-cost supercharge.
Step under the water, and you will be rewarded.