Every singer knows they need to drink water. You hardly ever see a singer without a glass or bottle of water around. However, the importance of staying hydrated and how to achieve super hydration may be misunderstood. In this article, I plan on breaking down the elements of the human body, where water goes, why your voice needs water, and why your mind and body need water to ensure a higher quality performance for any singer.
1. Why The Voice Needs Water
Your voice is produced by vocal cords or vocal folds located in your larynx. They way the sound is produced is the vocal cords vibrate around and against each other to produce the sound of your voice. The vocal cords are tissue in the body, that responds to electrical signals from your brain.
Since the vocal folds are vibrating so much and very rapidly, water acts as a lubricant and a cooling agent to keep them from becoming enflamed. When your vocal folds swell up and become enflamed, it take more effort to make them vibrate correctly. Dehydration is one of the major cause for laryngitis.
2. Where Water Goes
Your body is 80% water. You have major organs like the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and the brain that require water for survival more than your voice. Your body automatically distributes water to these organs before it delivers it to your voice. Your vocal folds are the last man on the hydration totem pole for survival. So it is important to over hydrate to ensure that your voice is properly hydrated.
3. How Dehydration Affects the Mind and Body
When you body becomes dehydrated, it shuts down. Your organs and muscles cannot work properly if you are dehydrated. Fatigue sets in, you feel pain in your body, and the body taps into emergency reserves to preserve the body’s life. This mode of tapping into to water reserves takes water from unessential organs and distributes it to the organs that need it most. This is why your voice dries out when you drink alcohol and caffeine.
When your mind is dehydrated you become irritable, tired, and you lack the mental fortitude to perform at a peak state of mind. You can’t think or focus, and all you want to do is rest. Super hydrating your body not only helps your voice, but it helps your mental attitude, and emotional state of mind. Dehydration can wear on your emotions and make you misconduct yourself in public.
4. How Do I Super Hydrate Myself?
When you wake up in the morning, drink two glasses of water within 20 minutes of waking. Keep drinking 2 glasses of water every hour, and urinate frequently. The classic saying is”to sing clear, pee clear.” If you notice your urine is dark and not clear, you are not hydrated enough. Drink enough water until your urine turns clear.
5. What Should I Avoid?
To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water, and stay away from the following:
•Drugs or illegal substances
•Prolonged direct heat or sun (anything that cause the body to sweat)
*note: if you work out regularly, and you are going to sweat, drink water throughout your workouts to maintain hydration.
At the True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.
John Kenney is a musician in Central Florida and is training to become a certified vocal instructor.