It is a common recommendation to make sure you drink about half your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay adequately hydrated -says Kristie Knickerbocker.
So, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should have 60 ounces of oral hydration per day. If you weigh 150 pounds, it would be 75 ounces of water – or 9 cups.
In this case, that’s pretty close to the 8-cups per day rule. But is this 8-cup a day rule valuable?
The 8 glasses thing is a good idea in theory, but it doesn’t take into account for you being active, sweating, or the temperature outside. This is because vocal fold hydration is dependent on systemic hydration and superficial hydration. Systemic is what you consume that is dispersed throughout your body. (Think avoiding alcohol and drinking water.) Superficial is what affects the fluid lining the surface of the vocal folds. (Think humidifiers and hot showers.) This means that you will want to adjust the amount you drink based on your situation.
Can a person drink too much? We might play with deadly if the delicate electrolyte balance is tampered with by water intoxication. Water intoxication can result in confusion, disorientation, nausea or vomiting. Electrolyte imbalance results in changes to the sodium concentration in the body which can be fatal. To prevent this, make sure you are drinking only a bit more hydrating fluids than you lose through sweat and urination. Everything in moderation.
What is the best hydrating beverage you ask? There was recently an article in the New York Times on milk and other ways to stay hydrated. It discussed a study in which researchers studied how different beverages hydrated men. Results showed that orange juice, whole milk, fat-free milk and oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte all had a significantly higher hydration index than water. The study didn’t say water was bad or should be overlooked, it simply opened our eyes to the fact that things other than water can also be very good for us.
One thing that might be better about Pediatlyte or milk, is that they contain electrolytes and other nutrients like potassium and sodium. This results in the stomach emptying more slowly, so the kidneys aren’t alerted to make more urine. We also shouldn’t forget about the benefit of hydrating foods like fruits.
So stay hydrated for the best singing voice possible, but don’t overdo it.
See Kristie’s last article: Why Is A Vocal Warm-DOWN Important?
For More on Vocal Hydration Go Here
Kristie Knickerbocker, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist in Fort Worth, Texas. She provides voice, swallowing and speech therapy in her own private practice, a tempo Voice Center, LLC. She also lectures on the singing voice to area choirs and students. She also runs a mobile videostroboscopy and FEES company, Voice Diagnostix. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 3, Voice and Voice Disorders, NATS and is an active member of PAVA. Knickerbocker has developed a line of kid-friendly voice therapy materials on TPT and her website. She keeps a blog on her website at www.atempovoicecenter.com