IT’S WINTER. THAT MEANS LOTS OF SINGING AND DRYER AIR
ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES all singers face is recognizing how dehydrating singing is even in the best of times. Every time we exhale we are losing moisture. In fact, when a singer like Chris Tomlin does a full concert he’s apt to lose a gallon or more of water in one night just through the breath. Add to that normal perspiration and evaporation through the skin and you need some serious hydration just to stay even. In winter, the air inside and outside is dryer it makes it even worse.
THE REAL DANGER is the control you can lose and the damage you can cause if the vocal folds (vocal cords) don’t have the right lubrication as they articulate thousands of times during a phrase.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP maintain the needed moisture include:
- Keep your body hydrated, drinking a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day. If you weigh 160 pounds that means 80 ounces of water. If you weigh 500 pounds you ate too much on Thanksgiving day :-).
- If you’re physically active playing sports, shoveling snow or whatever you’ll need additional water just to stay even.
- If you’re singing, or even doing a lot of speaking you need to anticipate those times by starting to super-hydrate several days before. Drink, drink, drink and make it mostly water or juices, not caffienated drinks.
- In addition to keeping your system hydrated there are times to consider some topical moisture in the nose and throat area. This can be accomplished with a Vick’s Personal Steam Inhaler. It’s made by Kaz and sold at Target, Walmart etc ($25-30) or Entertainer’s Secret Throat Spray (vocalcoach.com/store $6.95 ea). The steam inhaler also helps is you’ve over-used the voice a bit. The Entertainer’s Secret is a great, topical moisturizer that will keep the nasal passages, sinuses and upper throat moist even in a dry setting.