As a voice over actor it is no secret that WATER is the magic elixir for your voice!
Drinking plenty of water (or any non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage) hydrates your body, and the moisture is good for your voice. Hydration helps to keep thin secretions flowing to lubricate your vocal cords, it works much like oil to a car engine – it protects the delicate tissues in your vocal cords.
How much water do you need to drink in a day? How do you optimise the benefits of hydrating?
Most experts recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, however the better way to determine how much water to drink is based on your weight, age, diet, activity level and body chemistry. You need one-half ounce of water per pound of body weight. Simply divide your body weight by one-half to gauge your daily water needs. About.com offers a calculator that takes into account other factors when figuring out how much to drink.
You may also weigh yourself 3 to 4 days in a row. If you lose a whole pound in a day, it means you came up short on liquids the day before. Drink a pint or about half a litre of water or juice first thing in the morning for every pound you’ve lost and adjust your daily intake until your weight is steady.
Though there may not be a specific ideal amount of water consumption, but there is an ideal water temperature. The vocal cords do not need to have the water at a certain temperature, however other parts of your body that is responsible for your sound, like the muscles and mucus in your nose, mouth and pharynx (or throat) functions better at a certain temperature.
Very cold fluids can inhibit the muscle function, while very hot fluids may cause the mucous membranes lining the throat to swell slightly and the muscles to relax too much. Drinking room temperature water has the best effect on your voice.
As we all know, acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can be debilitating for your voice. Apart from the general discomfort, it can cause hoarseness and tightness in your throat. A study shows that water may be more effective than acid-inhibiting drugs in its effect on gastric pH. And sipping water rather than glugging it down is better, as apart from lessening the stress on the heart when you drink, it mixes better with your saliva that helps keep the water pH ideal for your stomach.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty or your throat feels dry before drinking water. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably already 2 glasses below your normal water needs.
Drink water at an optimal time in order to maximise its effectiveness:
After waking up
Drink one glass of water after waking up to help activate your internal organs. The water will help remove any toxins before your first meal of the day.
Before a meal
Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.
Before a bath
Drink one glass of water before taking a bath to help lower your blood pressure.
Drink one glass of water an hour before bedtime to replenish any fluid loss that can occur during the night.
Shake that bottle of water! This may sound absurd, but by shaking your water at least 40 times before drinking will keep you hydrated longer and will reduce the problem of frequent urination. Shaking the water breaks down its molecules which then helps you absorb the water faster and stays longer in your system to keep you hydrated.
Drinking enough water is one of the easiest and best ways to keep your throat healthy. A healthy throat means an effective and sustainable recording performance every time.