Though the major heat wave in New York last week has lightened up a teensy bit, hydration is a huge issue for all singers, musicians, actors and public speakers – anyone who uses their voice for a living! No matter what the weather brings, staying hydrated is #1 to having a healthy instrument that won’t burn out. The majority of vocal issues I see could be cleared up (or at least dramatically improved!) with proper hydration.

Chronic dehydration leads to vocal fatigue, vocal loss, decreased range, inflammation, problems hitting high notes, a bumpier than usual break, vocal problems — AND — a plethora of health problems.  Digestive issues, acid reflux, increased allergy symptoms, and a reduced blood supply that often manifests in the brain as mental and emotional imbalances are all caused by dehydration. Yikes. Totally not worth it – and totally avoidable with just a little of your attention ;).

Here are my Top 6 Tips to Stay Hydrated This Summer (and all year round!)

  1. Keep a Water Bottle Handy – Jump on the wagon if you haven’t already, and get a reusable water bottle (or go for glass – blue glass if you can!) Then set the number of times you need to fill it up per day and “wha-la” you’re showering your insides and keepin’ up your hydration quota. Plus, your voice will LOVE you for it! (high notes, endurance and flexibility abounds!)
  2. Set a Reminder on Your Phone – If you really just can’t remember to drink water, set up alerts for yourself throughout the day. There’s more to technology than just instagram, you know 🙂
  3. Drink Melon Water – Not only is it super tasty, but adding chunks of melon (cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon) to hydrate your vocal cords + throat faster than regular water! It’s all science. The molecules of the melon are larger than water and they stay in the vocal tract longer and moisturize more.
  4. Always snacking? – Reach for a glass of water first. Feeling like you’re hungry when you’ve already eaten is often a sign of dehydration. We don’t even realize that what our body really wants is more water, so we grab a snack to fill ourselves up. Drink that glass of water first, then go get a healthy snack if you’re still hungry!
  5. Eat Watermelon –  Nothing rocks more in a heatwave than a slice of watermelon! And – it hydrates you fast fast fast! Try a diet of watermelon for breakfast everyday. Too much is never enough – and you won’t believe how much it keeps you hydrated.
  6. Eat lots of Salad – Did you know that veggies and fruits are foods with higher water content? (some more than others) Eating raw foods that are not cooked, like salads and fresh veggies + fruits, will increase your water content and keep you more hydrated. I ate a 100% raw food diet for 3 weeks last year and couldn’t BELIEVE how hydrated I felt. I never realized how much cooking takes all the water content out of food (and nutrients)!

It’s amazing how water helps all of your body systems operate at full capacity as well as flushes out those waste-bearing toxins. It also keeps you looking younger and feeling more energetic. If you haven’t made the water habit yet, get on it! Your body will thank you for it – and so will your voice!

What about you? Any tricks to staying hydrated that you’ve discovered? Share in the comments below!

P.S.- If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, here is a very user friendly app we recommend to help you keep track!

©2013 Cari Cole, Vocal Mag, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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