The Official 21 Day Cold Shower Challenge (& Your Chance To Raise Money For Healing Damaged Brains).

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Article-new, Articles, Biohacking, Body, Fitness, Recovery & Sleep

You know the feeling.
You step into a cold shower, try one of these “cold soaks” everybody seems to be talking about, or plunge into a cold river, lake or ocean and…

…you feel like you're suffering through a brutal crucible.

Despite its ability to cause rapid fat loss, immense strengthening of your immune system, a shutdown of inflammation, a big boost in stress resilience, improvement in sexual performance and fertility, lowered blood sugar, a cut in food cravings, improved adrenal function, enhanced thyroid function, improved deep sleep quality and increased pain tolerance…

…perhaps this whole cold thermogenesis thing just doesn't feel like something you can make a positive habit.
But today I've got good news.

If you've been looking for a reason or a motivation to try cold thermogenesis, cold showers, iceman Wim Hof style protocols or anything else involving tapping into the power of cold and being able to control your body's response to cold…

…and nothing feels compelling enough to suffer through five minute freezing cold showers each morning…

…then I have the perfect reason for you to get chilly and learn how to do this whole cold thermogenesis thing, no matter where you're at in the world…

my brand new 21 Day Cold Shower Challenge.

Here's how it works: during this 21 Day Cold Shower Challenge, you get to both raise money for charity and simultaneously tap into all the health, performance, metabolism and sexuality benefits cold thermogenesis can give you.

The challenge is quite simple, really:

You take a 5 minute cold shower (no temperature rules, but as cold as your shower can truly go, scout's honor…) each morning for 21 days from April 1st – 21st. Then you post a (clothed or towel clad, no nudies!) photo on any social media outlet you have (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as evidence. You *must* tag @BenGreenfield and you must use the following hashtag: #ColdShowerChallenge

The best part? All proceeds go towards The Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization that conducts innovative clinical research and develops evidence-based guidelines that improve the outcomes for millions of people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year.

During this challenge you will learn everything you need to know about cold thermogenesis and cold showers, and even get access to a private Facebook community with all participants (including me), donate money to Brain Trauma Foundation, revitalize your life, body, brain and waistline to be ready for spring, and bask in the many cognitive and performance-enhancing benefits of cold thermogenesis!

So…you in? Click here to join in now, feel free to forward this to a friend, and leave any questions below!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

38 thoughts on “The Official 21 Day Cold Shower Challenge (& Your Chance To Raise Money For Healing Damaged Brains).

  1. Lori says:

    I absolutely love the cold/hot shower, where can I get a timer for 20 seconds cold & 10 seconds hit for the shower? Thx

    1. There's gotta be an app, or you can just count ;)

    2. Wynn says:

      I used the tabata timer app and set the intervals for 30 seconds on 10 seconds “rest” and place it outside of my shower haha

  2. Katie says:

    Hi Ben,

    Quick question. Is there a “dry” cold shower hack? Except for cryotherapy cold chambers?


    1. Yes, simply being cold, shivering.. whether it's in your house via AC or outside. Or you could try one of these fat-burning vests:

  3. Ryan Strous says:

    Hey Ben – love your work! In reference to waiting 3 hours post a strength workout, would the same logic apply to an endurance workout? I am also a BJJ practitioner and absolutely have to shower immediately after training (BJJ is pretty gross ) and always end cold.. Would you still wait 3 hours for a cardio WOD or hard BJJ session .. or is blunting hypertrophy in specific reference to strength training?

    1. Kellar Carnes says:

      Please anwser Ryan strouds Ben!! Much needed!

  4. Dustin says:

    Hey man! Quick question… So I’m in Chicago. Been doing the cold shower daily, and now that our pipes are basically freezing, I’m finding that the cold water over my head gives me some wicked brain freeze. It’s quite intense. Like getting hit in the head with a hammer.

    During early winter I didn’t get that effect at all… Should I supplement a little warm to that, or should I just stop being such a wuss. Thanks for all your help!

  5. Alex Karroum says:

    Ben, love your podcast and content. My current morning routine is to workout for 30-40min, sauna for 10-15min and cold shower for 5-10min. Any thoughts on this routine? Also, is it OK to finish with 1-2min of hot shower post cold shower in the winter months…?

    1. Looks good, but I would skip the hot shower afterwards.

  6. Glen says:

    Hi Ben, you recently mentioned on The Art of Charm Podcast that you recommend not just one (morning) cold shower per day, but two – one at night as well (in the context of increasing metabolism for fat burning), but I remember being told by folks like you or Dave Asprey that a HOT shower at night (for men especially) is better for sleep, not cold.

    In light of this, what would you recommend now in 2017 – is the hot shower recommendation now old info and turns out a cold at night is best after all?

    1. If the cold shower tends to stress you out (it does not for me)… yes, a warm shower or a warm bath would be better. The best thing to do would be to test your heart rate variability after the cold shower and also after the hot shower and see what happens to your nervous system.

  7. William Lim says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve been doing exclusively showering cold for a year and love it. I know you’re not for throwing the baby with the bath water, so is there any merit to a warm or hot shower?

    Also, I didn’t realize that cold showers could hamper muscle growth after strength training. I’m a “hard gainer.” Could I mitigate these effects by going to the sauna after strength training, before doing a cold shower?

    1. Yes, that heat can help with vasoconstriction, so you get a pumping action of the blood vessels. There is also a blood boosting effect of going to the sauna after an exercise session. Alternatively you could just wait until several hours after your strength training session to do a cold shower.

      1. William says:

        How about taking a cold shower before (say 30 mins) strength training? Do you think there would be any effect on muscle growth?

        1. Yes, pre-cooling can actually ENHANCE your ability to be able to work at a higher rating of perceived exertion after the cooling.

  8. Louis says:

    I’ll get involved with this.

    I’ll do it (providing I remember), and will stick a couple of donations in people’s pots who have set up a page.

    Separate topic, (without being too graphic) how did the non-m*****bation task go? I remember you talking about it on 1 of the podcasts but on reflection, what are your thoughts?

  9. Erich says:

    If I shower multiple times a day, should every shower be cold? I took a cold shower yesterday and today but am wondering if the shower I take after my workouts later in the day should be icy treat as well. Thanks!

    1. Yes, if you want to decrease core temp. But I wait after big strength workouts as it can blunt hypertrophy, so wait a few hours…

  10. Josh says:

    what percentage of the $29 goes toward the foundation?

    financial frugality has me leaning more toward the inner circle and rolling solo on the challenge.

    either way, i get a lot out of the podcast and blog and will be sure to show my support in teh near future, thanks for everything team BGF.

    1. It all does – except the platform we are using Crowdrise takes like a 3% fee or something

  11. Catherine says:

    So- can you finish with a cold shower (get clean in a hot shower then change the temp for 5 minutes)? Or does it all have to be cold?

    1. Stay cold. You get far more benefits when you force your body to heat itself.

  12. Chuck says:

    Hey Ben!

    How much benefit does just a shorter cold shower give? I usually take a 1-3 cold shower every day; am I still incurring the benefits?


    1. If you can get yourself to a slight shiver, way more benefits, check this out:…

  13. Damien says:

    I’m not sure I get it… who’s giving the money to the Brain Trauma Foundation ?

    1. We all are! The $29 registration fee goes directly to the Brain Trauma Foundation.

  14. Martin says:

    While many are promoting versions of CT, I feel like there isn’t much in the way of studies showing the benefits of cold thermogenisis as cited, that I have found at least. Are you aware of any significant ones providing some of the benefits you mention?

    I know Wim Hoff has been tested for some things in a clinincal setting, but don’t feel one can draw a ‘cold in general is good’ type conclusion from that.

    I’m aware of one that seemed to show negative effects, at least for strength training (below). I hit the infrared sauna after every endurance or strength workout and I was taking a cold shower after the sauna session. I stopped however after learning of this study below:

    Post-exercise cold water immersion attenuates acute anabolic signalling and long-term adaptations in muscle to strength training…

    For me building muscle is one of the hardest things to accomplish so I’m not keen to do anything that might hamper it.

    thanks for everything you do Ben!

    1. that's why you don't do it right after a strength session!

      1. Taylor Wilkins says:

        Hey Ben, what about a cold shower after a HIIT session? Something like hill sprints? My legs are usually dead like I did squats so I’m worried it’s too much like strength training. Thanks, love your podcast.

    2. Kevin says:

      Hi Ben,

      I weight train at 5:00am with the goal of gaining size. Should I save the “cold” shower for the evening before bed? How long should you wait after a training session so you don’t affect hypertraphy?

      1. A couple of hours is fine!

  15. Terrence says:

    This is perfect. I have been preaching on my own podcast (the 2+2 Poker Cast) about the benefits of cold showers for weeks, and it’s inspired a discussion on our own forum. Glad to have this opportunity, and what a fantastic cause!

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