Hydration: It's Kind of a Big Deal
I talk a lot about hydration, and why not? It's kind of a big deal for singers and speakers. Read on to find out why, and I'm pretty sure you'll be reaching for your glass or water bottle.
The vocal folds have multiple layers, and being well hydrated helps in two different ways.
Think of the surface of the vocal folds like a layer of Saran wrap, and another layer within the vocal folds as an air mattress (stay with me here).
The Saran wrap layer (the cover) glides easily and efficiently when the body is hydrated, supporting efficient vibration of the vocal folds. The air mattress layer can either be plumped up or deflated. When hydrated, it plumps up absorbing impact.
It only takes a couple hours to hydrate the cover, but the deeper (air mattress) layer can take more than 24 hours to plump up!
No one likes a flat air mattress, so hydrating consistently is the key.
How much water is enough? The body is 50% water when well hydrated, so find the amount that is right for you.
Here is a simple way to calculate a good water goal for healthy adults:
Take your weight and divide by 2, then drink that many ounces
Example: 100 lbs / 2 = 50 → 50 ounces is the goal
Hydration is like a bank account
Replace what is "spent" through physical activity or dehydrating beverages.
Both caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating, so plan to enjoy a glass of water with your latte or happy hour.
Not a plain water fan? That's TOTALLY ok! No, really. Reach for herbal teas, fruit-essence sparklers, or make your own spa water with cucumbers or lime + mint. Hungry? You can make smart hydration choices there too with high water content foods like: watermelon, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, celery, green pepper, strawberries, radishes and grapefruit. Now you can drink AND eat your way to optimal hydration and good vocal health.
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