Our vocal cords are delicate membranes, which are coated with a protective mucosal lining that protects them from the natural friction which occurs when we speak or sing.
This mucus coating can easily become imbalanced, for example when we get a cough or cold, we may produce more mucus or when talking or singing a lot, the mucus lining dries up. Too much friction on our vocal cords could possibly cause unhealthy swelling. Swollen cords do no vibrate as freely as healthy cords and could potentially lead to more serious damage such as nodules.
We need to keep out cords as hydrated as possible. When we drink, the liquid does not wash directly over our vocal cords. Our bodies are designed to have a flap of skin which covers our windpipe to prevent food and liquid from entering our lungs. Our vocal cords are situated just under this flap, at the top of our windpipe in our Adam’s apple (Larynx).
To effectively hydrate our vocal cords, we need to drink lots of water. This water is absorbed by our stomachs and distributed around our bodies, to where it is needed. It could take around 30 minutes or more for water to reach our larynx and benefiting the voice, so don’t just drink the moment before you sing. Make sure you have drunk enough at least 30 minutes before you sing.
How do you know if you are hydrated enough. The best way to find out if you are hydrated sufficiently or not is by the colour of your urine. Our bodies use water to flush out toxins and waste products. The lighter and clearer it is the more hydrated you are. The darker, and less frequent you pass urine, the less hydrated you are.
Don’t go overboard and drink gallons of water in one sitting as it will just make you ill, but frequent sips of water over the day will keep you hydration levels up.
Something to point out here, but make sure you empty your bladder before you start singing. There’s nothing worse than being on stage, and you need to pee. That 30 minute set of songs, will seem like an eternity, and you will be jigging about doing a very funny dance until you can get off stage.
The Importance Of Drinking Water When Singing