Jacob Sartorius is the quintessential Gen-Z star: lip-sync master, musician, actor, and social media force. He was huge on TikTok before it was even called TikTok. (Now he has 24 million followers.)
But he is also a typical 19-year-old existing on social media and living life online for an audience of peers—with the not-so-typical task of navigating cyberbullying on a celebrity scale. Recently, he had to take a full year off from work to address anxiety and depression. In the course of that work he discovered Dutch guru Wim Hof, who preaches a routine of controlled breathing and cold water immersion. An online video became a daily breathing practice—and now the two have teamed up for a compelling odd-couple documentary, Breathe, which is going up on YouTube on January 12th.
Ahead of the launch, GQ caught up with the Oklahoma-born Sartorius about cold showers, his rules around social media, and the rest of his daily routine.
For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.
GQ: Tell me about your breakfast and morning routine.
Jacob Sartorius: So before I even eat anything, the first thing when I wake up in the morning is Wim Hof breathing on an empty stomach. From there, I like to take a cold shower—even before I have breakfast it's just a freezing cold shower for about two minutes. And then, a protein shake will follow right after. After that, I like to get some fresh air, journal, record music, hit the gym, communicate with friends, and then it's on to lunch and dinner.
Did your dedication to mental health change how you eat based on how it makes you feel?
Absolutely—that's something that I'm starting to do a little bit more of now, be a lot more conscious of what I'm eating and how it affects me every morning. And this is something that's become a very routine thing. Part of the program is having a liquid protein shake every morning, along with working out. That helped me so much with energy and assisting my body with nutrients. A lot of times in the morning, I'm not in the mood to eat a big meal, but drinking a protein shake really helps me with my energy. And if I don't do that, I oftentimes need to take a nap later on in the day.