Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tip of the Month: Stay Hydrated!


As we approach the colder months in the year, it's time for most of us to break out the scarves, mittens, hats and heavy jackets. The heat dial gets turned up and, if we're lucky enough, we fire up that fireplace or wood stove and enjoy it's warm glow. Unfortunately, something many of us don't remember to do is to also increase our hydration to make up for our drying atmosphere. As voiceover artists, we need to make sure we stay hydrated so the mucous cushions in the vocal cords stay lubricated. Think of it like getting an oil change for your car on a regular basis. You need to make sure the pistons are running smoothly to keep the engine at top performance!

It's very easy to remember to keep hydrated when exercising or when in a dry and hot climate, but many of us forget that just sitting in our homes, offices or studios with the heat on is drying itself. Most of us don't worry about hydration until we feel very thirsty, which is a sign that we aren't drinking until our body is starting to become dehydrated.

Why is it that so many of us can remember to water even the most delicate house plants on a regular basis, but we can't remember to keep ourselves well hydrated?! Being surrounded by beverages that don't actually help us stay hydrated certainly doesn't help. To make sure you're keeping your vocal cords in their best shape possible, stay away from caffeinated, alcoholic and/or sweetened beverages when focusing on hydration.

Water is the most obvious choice that people reach for. Is water too bland for you? If you're anything like me, you may have trouble getting in your suggested daily intake for fluids if you can't seem to get excited about it. I am definitely a big offender when it comes to gravitating towards the three things listed above that people should avoid when trying to stay hydrated (caffeine, alcohol and sweetened beverages). Do you want to know what works for me? Adding a little squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange juice to your water really helps brighten up the flavor! Herbal tea is another great way to get some flavor to your hydration regimen. Many people swear by sports beverages when they get dehydrated, but you need to really be careful about the added sugar in many of the most popular brands.

The next thing to consider is the intake quantity. There are so many different views and opinions as to how much you should actually drink. The standard last time I checked was a flat 64 ounces across the board, which always struck me as odd. I always thought this number would fluctuate based on activity level, body weight, climate and other extenuating circumstances. Turns out I wasn't alone! The International Sports-Medicine Institute has had a more specific formula in place for over 30 years. They predict that you need approximately 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So, although it doesn't take all of the factors into consideration, it certainly is more specific than one number for everyone. Very easy, you just take your body weight and split it in half and get the amount of ounces you should drink each day. Do you want something more specific that gives you a more detailed estimation? About.com offers a calculator that takes other factors into account that will help you pinpoint the correct amount even better.


Staying hydrated is probably the easiest and least expensive way to keep your throat healthy and your voice in top performing condition; not to mention it's a great healthy habit to have in general! Always keep a glass or cup nearby to encourage yourself to keep sipping throughout the day!

Written by:
Bethany Baker
Such A Voice Marketing Director

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