Voice Training Lessons- How to Sing Better With Hydrated Vocal Chords
Voice Training Lessons Teach You How to Maintain A Hydrated Voice
Voice Training Lessons- Why Vocal Hydration is Essential!
We have all heard of the importance of keeping your body hydrated. This is because an adult body can be made up of up to 65% water, it is essential to stay hydrated not only for the benefits of your voice but for your body as a whole. Your entire body is your instrument when you are a vocalist, therefore hydrating your body as a whole is important to maintaining the moisture balance in your vocal chords.
In the following voice training lesson we are going to discuss the importance of hydration for your vocal chords specifically, how vocal chords can become dehydrated, and what you can do to prevent dehydration in your vocal chords.
Voice Training Lessons- Why Stay Hydrated?
Your vocal chords are incredibly delicate pieces of tissue lodged in your vocal tract. For adult males, they may be between 17 and 25mm, while adult women house smaller vocal chords measuring between 12.5 and 17.5mm in length. Because of the small, thin nature of these lengths of tissue, hydration can be a prominent issue for those individuals who are not taking the time to be assess their vocal chords.
In order to function properly, voice training lessons teach us that vocal chords require a certain amount of moisture to function properly. This moisture is called a viscous layer. The viscous layer on the vocal chords is a very thin layer of mucous-like moisture that enable the vocal chords to move and vibrate easily and create a clear, consistent sound.
When your vocal chords become dehydrated, this often leads to an environment in the vocal tract where the vocal chords came become easily damaged. Your voice may become strained, scratchy, or hoarse. You may find yourself wheezing as your breathe in certain, extreme cases. This environment can easily lead to vocal chord damage in the form of vocal nodule and polyp formation as well as damage to the vocal tract itself.
It is very important to evaluate your hydration and be sure to hydrate properly in order to keep your vocal chords moist. Not all liquids are created equal when it comes to staying hydrated and some drinks may even increase dehydration over frequent use and exacerbate the dehydration.
The Culprits Behind Dehydration
Voice Training Lessons- Things You never Thought Were Dehydrating Your Voice!
There are many ways in which your vocal chords can become dehydrated. The most common cause is simply not drinking enough water on a daily basis. Because over half your body is made up of water, dehydration affects your body as a whole. If you are not consuming enough water, your body will begin to direct the resources it does have to the most important, life-giving processes. Your vocal chords are not on the top of that list. For example: If you are only consuming 3-4 ounces of water regularly then your body will allocate that water to the regions of your body that require it the most in order to survive. Your body does not need your vocal chords to survive so the likelihood that they will be fully hydrated is slim. On the other hand, if you ingest 10-12 ounces of water over the course of a few minutes, a few times a day, your body is able to regulate where the water goes and distribute it more evenly throughout the body.
Not all drinks are created equal in the battle against dehydration and staying properly hydrated requires a slight dance of balance. This is because some of the culprits of dehydration are also common remedies that vocalists use. One such culprit is lemon. The acid in lemon juice strips the vocal chords of mucous- the essential viscous layer required for smooth vocalization- and can cause more damage to vocal chords than good when consumed in large amounts. That is not to say that as a vocalist, you should eliminate all lemon, it is simply to say that consuming TOO MUCH lemon can be more damaging to your vocal chords than helpful.
That is also true of most herbal teas. Many herbal teas when consumed in excess can cause dehydration of the vocal chords rather than hydrating them. Many vocalists have turned to the popular tea "Throat Coat," as a remedy for dehydration, when it in fact does very little to help keep the vocal chords hydrated and can be a cause for dehydration when used too frequently.
Caffeine is also another popular cause for dehydration in your vocal chords. Caffeine strips out that moisture (throughout your body as well so be careful to consume in large amounts) and can cause your vocal chords to dry out more quickly.
Moisture is Essential!
Voice Training Lessons- How to Keep Your Vocal Chords Moist
We have talked about the importance of hydration for your vocal chords, as well as some of the causes of dehydration. Now we can discuss methods of keeping your vocal chords moist and balanced.
Voice training lessons provide many valuable tricks and techniques to help keep your vocal chords moist and balanced. The most important aspect of keeping your vocal chords moist is an obvious one: drinking plenty of water! Drinking water consistently is a great way to ensure that your voice remains moist and clear.
Avoiding highly processed foods and greasy foods is another way to ensure that your voice stays properly balanced. Avoiding the aforementioned foods that can strip your vocal chords of its essential viscous layer is another important key to keeping your voice moist so that you can most optimally perform voice training lessons.
Keeping Your Voice Hydrated- Key Component of Voice Training Lessons!
Staying hydrated is essential to healthy living and especially to maintaining a healthy singing voice. Having a hydrated voice is essential to having a clear vocalization as well as preventing against damage to your vocal chords such as vocal nodules, polyps, and scar tissue.
Staying hydrated can easily be achieved. There are a number of vocal techniques taught through voice training lessons that can help you assess our voice and be sure that you are maintaining a proper balance of moisture in your vocal chords.
Avoiding certain foods and lifestyle habits are other ways to be sure that you do not become dehydrated and as a result dehydrate your vocal chords.
You can find more information on vocal techniques to help you improve your voice and advance your vocal capabilities through voice training lessons.