Hydration is important for the overall well-being of an individual. This is especially true for singers. Good hydration with softened water will not only help the body to function well but can also contribute to ensuring a good voice.
Hydration for the Vocal Mechanism
Singers and other people that use their voice professionally must take their vocal cords because excessive use can damage them. Vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are layers of the mucous membrane. When the vocal cords vibrate together, they create voice.
Whether you are speaking or singing, the oscillation of your vocal cords is what creates the sound. Mucus protects your vocal cord. However, dehydration can reduce mucus and this can greatly impact your voice. Even slight dehydration will make your vocal tissues dry, which can later cause injury.
When your vocal cords are well hydrated, it will be easier to create sound and you won’t succumb to injury. It also gives better vocal stability and a much wider pitch range.
What Time is Best to Hydrate?
There is a need to keep yourself hydrated all the time. Simply taking water before a show is not enough as the hours of dehydration can strain your vocal cords. To keep your organs and throat hydrated, you must keep drinking water all day. Staying hydrated will keep your mouth and throat lubricated, which makes speaking and vocalization easier.
When you keep yourself hydrated, you will most likely have a better voice quality. According to experts, drinking 8 to 10 glasses (8 oz) of water a day ensures hydration.
Vocal Dehydration Signs
As a vocalist, it helps to know when you are dehydrated so you can take the necessary steps. Some signs of dehydration include:
- Itchy and dry throat
- Dark color urine
- Making more effort to speak
- Excessive thirst
Many factors can cause loss of body fluids and dehydration. They include:
- Intake of alcohol and caffeine, which are both diuretics.
- Heater and Air conditioning can dry secretions. Using humidifiers instead may prove to be helpful.
- Dry climates (e.g., winter and summer months)
- Taking decongestants and antihistamines can make the vocal cords dry.
- Sugary, carbonated, or milky beverages can thicken mucus secretions.
How to Maintain Enough Water Intake
Here are some tips on how to ensure that you take in enough water to keep your vocals right for the next concert.
Always Have a Bottle of Water Nearby
Make it a habit to have a bottle or a glass of water with you all the time. This helps to ensure that you reach the daily water requirement of 1.5 to 2 liters. Other alternative sources are juices, coffee, tea, soups, and fruits.
Moreover, extra water consumption is needed during hot seasons and if you’re highly active. However, you should take the necessary precautions if you are suffering from health disorders like kidney diseases. In this case, it is highly recommended to use water softeners to eliminate calcium and magnesium deposits that could cause kidney stones and blockage.
Limit Your Intake of Caffeine, Alcohol, and Carbonated Drinks
Try to limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as these drinks eliminate water from the body. Additionally, limiting the consumption of highly acidic drinks such as soft drinks and carbonated drinks is necessary since they can contribute to acid reflux.
The habit of staying hydrated will seem like no effort, especially once you experience its benefits for your vocal health. If you want to have an optimal voice, make sure that you keep your vocal mechanism hydrated always.