Jack Vanderberg, Staff Writer

There I was, reading the Cosmopolitan Snapchat story (probably checking my horoscope, I’m such a Scorpio), when I came across an article on cold showers. Being the guy who takes piping hot showers for hours on end, I was intrigued with the idea. Cold showers only feel good to me after a long run or other workout.


I read the article to see what all the hype was about. Afterwards, I did more research about it, because there was no way I was using Cosmopolitan as my primary fact-check (unless the research is on horoscopes, Cosmo always nails it with the horoscopes). I found that cold showers:


  • Increase alertness – After junior year, I find myself falling asleep in class a lot. If I can accommodate this with getting more than 4 hours of sleep at night, maybe I’ll actually stay awake.
  • Eases stress – With the fears of applying to colleges, the constantly full schedule, and the lingering nightmares from junior year, I figured I need some stress relief.
  • Enhances body’s muscle repair – I have no idea how this is supposed to happen, but I’m not going to question it. Tennis, believe it or not, is physically tolling… unless I’m doing it wrong.
  • Stimulates weight loss – Crunches haven’t been working that well, nor has running. Maybe this will be my Plan C?
  • Enhances health of hair and skin – I’m not one who gets very concerned about his complexion. However, I am a man that takes much pride in his hair, so reading this nearly seals the deal.
  • Lots of other various health benefits that I don’t understand the correlation to with cold showers.


After not so much consideration I decided; “What the heck, let’s give it a shot.”


I proceeded to take cold showers for one week. These are my findings.


Day 1

What the balls? That was absurdly cold. I have never taken a faster shower. That was just painful. You know that feeling when you jump into a pool and it’s really cold at first? It’s just like that but you never get used to it. I thought this was supposed to relieve stress, yet all I can think about is how stressed I am to do this for six more days. And of course I take showers at night so now I’m wide awake. I almost skipped washing the armpits because the cold water just pierces you, and I have ticklish armpits. I just needed to stand in the piping hot water for 10 seconds to balance out the pain. I really don’t want to do that again tomorrow.


Day 2

Well, I decided to do it again. I thought it might be a good idea to bring the temperature up a tad so I could handle it long enough to actually clean myself. Remember that feeling when you jump into a pool and it’s really cold at first? It was just like that, but this time you’ve been in for about ten seconds and you aren’t thinking too much about it, but enough that you’re still uncomfortable. I was actually able to clean myself, too, which was as reassuring as it was necessary. It wasn’t enjoyable, but it was fun finally getting out. This challenge has definitely solved my 45-minute-long shower issue and condensed it down to about five, maybe six minutes.


Day 3

I’m definitely not used to it, but I’m expecting it this time. The only thing on my mind right now is cuddling up into bed and laying there in a warm blanket as I think about how abusive that shower was. I used to hate getting out of the shower because the air was always so cold and punishing, but now the water is even colder than outside of the shower. If this challenge has helped anything so far, it has helped me get out of the shower sooner… and kept me from falling asleep in the shower again….


Day 4

It’s been four days since my last warm shower, and I think I’m developing anxiety. The warm water is literally right in front of me, at the touch of a finger, yet it still remains so far away from me. I feel like Elvis Presley in his song “So Close Yet So Far.” Maybe for the next shower I’ll just play that song on repeat. So clooose, yet so faaaar, from paradiiiiiiise….


Day 5

I just got back from a run and I’m feeling freakin’ PUMPED! My testosterone is pumping right now and I’m about to punch this cold shower right in the drain. I’m so hot right now and I’ve never been more ready for a shower. I’m gonna go put all of AC/DC’s greatest hits on a playlist and play them full blast, I don’t care if I wake Mom up. Ok that’s a lie, but still playing Thunderstruck at a somewhat reasonable volume and GETTING CLEAN.


Day 6

Well yesterday’s run made me really sore, so I just feel weak today. I’m typically a really tired person, and honestly I thought I was going to fall asleep in the shower. But there’s something about a cold shower that just won’t let me do that. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing, but I’m just genuinely shocked at how ready I was for that shower last night and how not-ready I was tonight. Between the workout of the run and and the intensity of that shower, I was just in a physical and mental hangover today, and that cold shower hit me like a monday morning in the office. One more day, Jack, one more day….


Day 7

My god… this is it. I’m done. I didn’t really notice it until I was stepping into the shower that this would be my last forced cold shower… that I know of, at least. I faced the shower head and let the water hit my face. I felt so strong, so resilient as I stood there and faced my demons for the last time. I deliberately took a longer-than-normal shower this time. I put up with the cold for just a little longer to reassure myself I was strong enough to do this. As I stood there, I realized that there are lots of people who do this VOLUNTARILY. They WANT to do this. I can respect the idea that they find this soothing and stress-relieving… but how? I also thought about a lot of different things, because you know, shower thoughts.



After a week of cold showers, I can conclude multiple things, the first thing being that I hate cold showers. A lot. The only time I can really handle cold showers is after an intense workout. Even before this challenge, I would find myself getting the shower to the coldest temperature possible. But any other day, a warm shower was always the way I wanted to roll.

As for the health benefits that I researched, I didn’t notice much of a difference in some of them. I feel like a week wasn’t really enough time to see the effects of cold showers on my health. That doesn’t mean that cold showers don’t improve your health in any ways, however. Cold water helps with clear skin by closing its pores and preventing oils from entering them (and thinking about it, my skin actually did improve this last week.) It also helps people in the morning be more alert and ready for the day.

There is one thing that I was… questionable about. Relieving stress. There are many people who hate cold showers (like myself) and would never want to go through that. However, there are also many other people who might find relaxation and peace with a cold shower and that could definitely help with stress.

The biggest conclusion I can draw from this experiment is that everyone should try it. If I’m feeling up for it, I might continue to try it to see how much my health will benefit. But trying it won’t hurt. Well… maybe a little.