It's summer and it's hot! Many of you wonderful singers are performing outdoors, sometimes under the blaring sun and in the crushing heat of the afternoon sky. Even warm summer nights can be taxing on the voice. Since your vocal cords are at once your best asset and the most fragile music instrument, staying hydrated will help you sing better by maintaining a clear tone, avoiding vocal fatigue, staying cool and singing your heart out.
What is your "go to" drink during a performance?
A big bottle of juice?
Do you crave coffee for a little caffeine boost?
Do you rely on a shot of Redbull for stamina?
Are you a Coca Cola sugar addict?
Is the bar owner rewarding your performance with free cold beers?
Have you ever accepted a glass of wine or other spirits from a sympathizing fan?
If so, I need to stop you right there because all of these drinks will actually dehydrate you and make you sing like a duck. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit. But this is actually not too far fetched from the truth when you think of how these drinks are actually dehydrating as opposed to hydrating, and how sugar, caffeine and alcohol affect your behaviour. You could potentially lose complete control of your voice. Scary, right?!
Why bother with all that crap when you could just have a big glass of water instead?
The suggested recommended amount of water to drink daily is about 2 to 4 litres. It can be a little boring to drink so much of the same beverage all day. And I admit that the simplicity of water may not be as exciting as a cold beer on show day. But singing is serious business. If you want to sing the part, drink the part.
Spice up the taste of your water with other highly nutritive foods to enhance the taste of your water as an incentive to drink more of it. And what if what you added to your water helped you manage your nerves better, increase your confidence, prevented damage to your vocal cords and made you sing like a bird?
Yes. Vitaminize your water to do just that.
Here are 6 refreshing ways to enhance your water:
1) Cucumber Water
Add a thinly sliced cucumber to your water for an added subtle but refreshing flavour. Cucumbers are a great source of antioxidants. Its high potassium content reduces blood pressure and therefore alleviates stress. Vitamin A encourages a healthy skin. Both are a great boost for confidence which is of course at the foundation of your positive singing mindset.
2) Lemon Water
Strengthen your immune system with lemon thanks to its high levels of vitamin C. Squeeze out a few drops of lemon juice in your water or simply let some lemon wedges sink at the bottom of your bottle of water. Allergy and asthma sufferers, this is for you: a lemon's natural antibacterial and antiviral properties as well as high antioxidants prevent infections, soothe the throat, relaxes the lungs and thins mucous. Moreover, drinking lemon water eases digestion. This will make a huge difference in your performance especially if you tend to suffer from heartburn, bloating or constipation! Did you know that lemon awakens the senses and energizes the body? Who needs caffeine when you can have lemon?!
3) Pineapple water
Create this juicy water with the left overs of a freshly sliced pineapple instead of getting rid of them right away. Throw out the skin but save the core and other unwanted cuts. Cover the pineapple's unwanted flesh with water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain the water using a strainer. You can drink it hot (yes, even on a hot day; Chinese people say cold water will kill you!) or let it cool in the fridge first. Et voila! You've got a nutritious drink packed with vitamin C and manganese. It tastes sweet while still being fairly low in sugar. A great alternative to juice and soda. Your immune and digestive systems will thank you!
4) Cedar Water
You will love the calming and revitalizing yet surprisingly sweet taste of cedar water. Because cedar tea is a sacred Indigenous medicine tradition, it is important to follow certain spiritual rites when preparing it to show your respect to nature and the Indigenous culture. First, always ask permission from the tree before picking a few sprigs. About four is enough. You may also take them from the ground if they are still green. Say a few words of gratitude. When you are ready to get started, begin by rinsing your cedar thoroughly under running water. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water and your cedar to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes until the water turns golden brown. Use a strainer to separate the water from the sprigs. If you don't mind tea in hot weather, you can drink it as is or let it cool down in the fridge for a few hours to enjoy later! Like many suggestions on this list, cedar water relieves respiratory illnesses because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. What an inspiring way to stay connected to the land and its beautiful people.
5) Bay Leaf Water
Experienced first hand the soothing qualities of bay leaf water! The active ingredient linalool is responsible for alleviating anxiety. Do you experience performance anxiety? Knowing that mindset and relaxation are so important for singing, drinking bay leaf can certainly assist you in maintaining your composure during stressful times. Guess what? Because of its anti-fungal properties, this one too relieves respiratory conditions! Follow the same strategy described earlier to prepare this drink like a tea first and cool down later before consuming. Basically, boil your water with bay leafs in it, reduce heat to medium, let it simmer and you're done! You also have the choice of drinking this one hot or cold. Yummie!
6) Ginger Water
Ginger has so many natural healing properties that I don't even know where to start but I'll keep it short! From relieving nausea to opening up your lungs by alleviating allergy symptoms... Many of its benefits to singers are similar to what I've already talked about in this blog but something that makes ginger stand out is the role of choline in the brain neurotransmitters. Choline is essential in increasing your metabolism, overall muscle function and state of mind. I'd say these are pretty crucial if you aspire to be at the top of your game this summer, what do you think?!
Benefit from the bonus anti-oxidants, anti-viral, anti-bacterial anti-fungal characteristics of vitamin water that reduce body inflammation as it presents itself in multiple forms including allergies, muscle stiffness, digestive issues, etc... The vitamin water on this page may even promote heart health and prevent cancer and diabetes. Remember, your body is home to your instrument. Take good care of it.
It's clear. You need optimal physical health to fully deliver songs at the highest of your capabilities but first and foremost, singing lessons and correct technique develop the skills you need to blow your audience's mind with impeccable singing, high energy, charisma and the ability to express the intricacies of your heart's delight. That is why, as your singing teacher and a vocal coach of over 20 years of experience, serving you at the highest level is my priority. I want to give every singer what he or she needs to be successful.
I would love to hear about where you are at with your singing and what you need to overcome anything that is holding you back. Let's keep you on track towards making your dreams come true.
Watch my FREE masterclass to find out the 5 shifts my clients make to sing higher, louder and perform at their best: