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HYDRATION. HYDRATION. HYDRATION!!The majority of the general public is chronically dehydrated. Letís face it, water is the most boring of all beverages and doesnít have the pleasurable effects of coffee or alcohol.

But we ALL need itóand if you are a professional singer or speaker, you require it.

Dehydration, simply stated, means that your body is short on the necessary amount of water and fluids to keep you running at your best. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body's fluid is lost or not replenished.

So what does that mean for your voice?

General fatigue effects the entire body, which in turn, will effect the quality and stamina of your professional singing or speaking voice. Vocal folds work best when when their surfaces are kept moist and the mucus in the vocal system is thin.

Water is your voiceís best friend. Here are simple ways to keep yourself dehydrated, especially leading into the warm summer months.

Drink water throughout the day to ensure you are consuming an adequate amount to keep your body, and your vocal folds, hydrated. A good recommendation is 32 ounces per day as a minimum with a goal of consuming 64 ounces.

Limit caffeine. If you find that you canít live without your daily cup of coffee or tea, donít make yourself miserable. Simply replace the fluids you've lost with water. If you drink a cup of coffee in the morning or afternoon, follow it with a cup of water.

If you live in a dry climate, invest in an in-home humidifier. Aim to keep your living (or traveling) environment at 30 percent humidity or higher.

If you sleep with a fan or portable air conditioning unit, keep them pointed away from your face at night to avoid drying out your airways.

Watch what medications you are putting into your bodyóespecially during high allergy or cold and flu seasons. A large majority of over-the-counter cold and flu medications contain agents that dehydrate mucus membranes. These may alleviate some of your cold symptoms, however they can potentially dehydrate the vocal folds.

The same goes for pain relievers that contain caffeine.

Itís pretty simpleóif you are trying to keep your voice at peak condition, skip the booze. Alcoholic drinks are a major dehydrator, so if you consume any form of alcohol, replenish what you consume with equal amounts (or more) of water.
Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 11:25 AM MDT Posted by
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