I am world-renowned glass shattering vocal coach and author of Raise Your Voice Jaime Vendera. You might’ve seen me blowing up glasses with my voice on shows like MythBusters, Good Morning America or Time Warp. Want to know my secret for a powerful life lasting voice? It can be broken down into 3 simple points:
#1-Correct Vocal Technique
#2-Lots of practice
In order for me to shout, teach or sing for hours on end, I have to practice using correct technique but I also need TONS OF WATER…EVERY DAY! I personally drink at least a gallon of water a day. Why? Because in order for my vocal cords to vibrate throughout my 6-octave 120-decibel range requires lots of lubrication. You see, the vocal cords need to be constantly lubricated to vibrate effortlessly for singing and speaking and the only true means is by water. Water is oil for the voice. Whether you are a singer, speaker, schoolteacher, auctioneer, etc…we all need water for the voice. If you use your voice for anything in your daily routine, whether for answering phones, giving presentations, singing in choir or just to talk with your friends, you have to have water to keep the throat from drying out or becoming hoarse.
Now here’s the catch, just because you are drinking water doesn’t mean your voice is getting the water it needs. You may be peeing half a gallon out instead of absorbing it into your cell. So what I did is research the net to find a better means of drinking water; a way to get the most out of every ounce of water I drink. I found it in X20. X20 for me is pure gold! I am no scientist but from my understanding, X20 has a way of making water molecules more easily absorbed by your bodies cells. It literally makes your water “wetter”, so I dubbed X20 “Singer’s Water”. By adding X20 to your water and turning it into Singer’s Water, you become hydrated much quicker, thus getting more water to the voice faster!!!
But there is even a better reason to take X20. The combination of minerals and electrolytes in X20 act together to boost your pH level and help to promote a stronger immune system. This might just help you beat that dreaded “sore throat syndrome” so many singers and speakers seem to get. Should you believe me??? Well picture this…I was performing my glass-shattering act in January of 2007 for a Japanese television show. I had been in bed sick for 6 days. The day I had to film the show I had a 102-degree temperature and barely was able to shatter the wineglass. I started on X20 a few weeks later. As of this writing, it has been 15 months since I have had a cold! That is NO LIE! I know I owe it to my Singers Water.
So if you depend on your voice, you might want to depend on XOOMA as well. Start taking X20 and turn your water into Singers water. As a fee gift from me, you can download my entire chapter on Hydration from my book RAISE YOUR VOICE HERE Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by www.thevoiceconnection.com and tell me about your Xooma “Singer’s Water” experience.
Water is the liquid of a singer’s soul. It is one of many essentials for a healthy voice and body. It is water that does the body good. If we compare our bodies to an automobile, then water is our oil. It is an absolute must for anyone with a serious devotion to improving the voice. Without water, the sound of your voice will lack the beautiful quality all singers strive for.
It should be duly noted that when you drink beverages that contain sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and other unnatural substances such as sweeteners and even milk, you are turning your engine oil into sludge! Typically, the vocal cords are coated with a thin, clear and watery mucous that helps maintain the elasticity of the cords while continually lubricating them as you speak and sing. When the cords are dehydrated, the mucous turns yellow and becomes thick and sludge-like and limits their elasticity and ability to vibrate freely.
With the demands of singing, one must keep one’s voice well lubricated at all times. The vocal cords must be constantly lubricated to maintain their elasticity. Only water can provide this lubrication—not soda, tea, coffee, or alcohol—only plain, fresh water will work. Natural juices help to hydrate the voice and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. However, the body considers juice a food to be digested and takes a considerably longer time to hydrate the voice. Certain vocal sprays are good for vocal health support, but again, water is the key.
Water is the only liquid that is not processed as a food. When you drink water, it is not digested. It passes directly into your bloodstream and is distributed throughout the entire body, concentrating on the places it is most needed. It takes approximately twenty minutes before your vocal cords receive any hydration from a drink of water. Even after the cords receive lubrication, the water can evaporate quickly if you are singing.
If you are doing a lot of singing, the air pressure between the cords can quickly dry them out, especially from singing in a typical falsetto. So what do you do?
You drink lots and lots of water. Drink water first thing in the morning, drink water with meals, drink water at night before going to bed…Drink water! I can’t say it enough. Drink water! If you consume alcohol or caffeine products, be aware that caffeine is a diuretic and alcohol is a dehydrator; they are both going to dry out your throat. I’m not telling you that you have to give up your vices. I was the world’s worst caffeine junkie (and I still slip up every now and then). Just make sure that you drink plenty of water to counteract dehydration.
I drink approximately a gallon of water a day. I know that’s a lot, but I used to drink more. A good rule of thumb is half an ounce of water per every pound of body weight per day. If you weigh 150 pounds you should drink at least seventy-five ounces of water a day if not more. I know that sounds like a lot, but that’s actually less than four twenty-ounce bottles of soda. (I weigh around 180 pounds, but I really like my water). So check your weight and adjust accordingly.
Tony Harnell, international superstar and former lead singer of the rock group TNT, couldn’t emphasize enough to me about the importance of drinking water. Here’s what he had to say about the importance of drinking water:
“What you’re reallytrying to do is moisturize the voice—as much moisture as possible. I recommend more than anything, drinkingtons of water, and I mean from the time you wake up until the show at night. You will pee a lot, but who cares. The more hydrated you are, the better. Someone once said to me, ‘clear pee—clear voice.’ That makes sense.”
This doesn’t mean to drink it all at once. You have all day, so spread it out. I usually wake up and drink a bottle of water to get my day started, and then I sip on bottles of water throughout the entire day. I drink water with all my meals even if I break down and cheat by drinking a soda. Water aids the stomach with the digestion process. I always drink at least eight to ten ounces of water before I go to bed. I know this means more nighttime trips to the bathroom, but your body will thank you for it. You may also want to purchase a warm air humidifier for your room. This will humidify the air and help keep your voice moisturized while you sleep.
I personally run a Venta Sonic- VS207 humidifier every night on my room. (Tony turned me onto this.) It keeps a nice level of humidity and cleans the water with ionic silver and a filter. This assures that I am not breathing tons of bacteria, while keeping my lungs and cords moist throughout the night.
Water aids the elimination process; helping to flush the kidneys, thus flushing out more toxins, so don’t be surprised if you generally feel better. I think it is important to note here that drinking a lot of water doesn’t always mean that you are hydrating the body. You need a way to make the most out of your water intake. The answer is in the next tip:
Useful Tip: Getting the Most out of your Water
Water is life. It is the main ingredient in almost every tissue in the body. It is especially essential for singers to help keep the voice and vocal apparatus properly lubricated. The daily requirement of water – if you aren’t exercising – is 64 oz. or 8 tall glasses. For a performer, especially during touring season, that number goes up appreciably.
Sometimes, though, we drink so much water – we can feel it swishing around in our stomachs. There are a couple simple ways to increase your water absorption into cells – thereby increasing hydration levels.
One way is to insure proper electrolyte balance. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium and sodium, which hold an electric charge. Basically, an electrolyte is a material that dissolves in water to give the water an electric current, which allows the solution to pass through cell walls. Electrolytes are commonly found in sports drinks to help athletes with quicker re-hydration. Unfortunately, sport drinks contain an incredible amount of sugar. So, look for waters with electrolytes, such as Smart Water .
Another trick is to make a sole (pronounced sol-ay) from rock salts. All salts are not created equal – so please don’t do this with traditional table salt – which can contain residues of some of the chemicals used to extract it.
My favorite salt for sole is a pink salt from the Himalayas known as "white gold." It is hand-mined so there are no chemical residues in the salt. Together with pure spring water, Himalayan Crystal Salt offers all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements in your body -- the very same elements originally found existing in the "primal sea."
Here’s how you create your sole. You put one layer of the large salt rocks in a wide mouth, glass bottle or jar. Fill the jar with water and let it sit for 24 hours. The water will absorb as much salt as it can and then stop (so you don't have to remove the crystals). Take a teaspoon of the sole and mix it in 8 oz. of water upon rising. When the water level drops in your sole solution jar to a 1/4 of a jar left, fill the jar back up with more water.
Some benefits of these minerals that are particularly of interest to performers include:
1. Regulating the water content throughout your body. 2. Supporting respiratory health. 3. Promoting sinus health. 4. Regulating your sleep -- it naturally promotes sleep. 5. It can help lower the craving for addiction. 6. Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells. 7. Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
2007 Ocea. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Ocea is one of the most sought-after bodywork therapists and healers in the entertainment industry. She has been on and off the road with national recording artists for 11+ years and has worked backstage on talent and production crews at most of the entertainment award shows. Ocea is the President/Founder of Travel Wellness, Inc. with natural solutions for touring, performing and travel wellness.
Useful Tip: Xtreme Water
Ocea presents a great thought because pure hydration is a must if you want to maintain a healthy voice. Besides applying Ocea’s tip, I also personally follow another type of regimen to make the most out of my water. I am being fully hydrated from all the water I drink and I am ready to share my “secret” for making water wetter with YOU!
Xtreme X2O, a product from Xooma Worldwide, is an all-natural, organic mineral complex derived from a pristine ocean source found near Okinawan Islands. Harvested in its natural form, Xooma Worldwide uses a patented processing method to ensure the highest level of purity and safety before packaging this powerful product into individual, ready-to-use “sachets.” These sachets contain ionic silver, coral calcium, magnesium, electrolytes and over seventy other trace minerals. X2O sachets actually make water "wetter" by lowering the surface tension of water molecules. This dramatically increases your water's ability to hydrate a singer’s body at the cellular level.
So why is Xtreme X2O important for a singer? Because singing is demanding, requiring a person to be in perfect health. Not only will this product meet your water requirements, but it is formulated to boost the immune system and improve health.
By adding Xtreme X2O to your water, you begin to hydrate your body at the cellular level, provide the vital minerals and electrolytes your body needs daily and give yourself a health-promoting alkalinity boost to counteract the acidic damage caused by a performer’s fast-paced lifestyle.
Your body becomes more acidic from consuming too many sodas for example. When this happens, your body’s pH balance will move towards being more acidic. An acidic environment allows bacteria and viruses to spread and survive.
So in order to maintain a healthy pHbalance, a singer’s body must have an abundant supply of ionic minerals - especially calcium Xtreme X2O makes your water cleaner and fresher, but it doesn’t provide any additional flavor. So, yourtransformed water (using Xtreme X2O) always tastes clean and fresh, but it still tastes like…water.
Many people prefer the taste of flavored water, sports drinks or energy drinks opposed to plain water, but the problem with all of these beverages is that they are all loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and chemical preservatives. These beverages do not take the place of water and do not offer any health benefits. So, faced with the reality that a large population of people around the world (especially children & teens) would only drink more water if it “tasted good,” Xooma Worldwide had set out to create the worlds first 100% natural water flavoring product called X2O Blast. By doing this, Xooma has not only given people an easy and enjoyable way to drink more water but they have also made it easy for people to enjoy the numerous health benefits of – Xtreme X2O.
X2O BLAST allows you to choose your own flavor strength and transform plain water with a “blast” of flavor while providing incredible antioxidant protection for your body. This 100% natural, zero calorie beverage allows you to enjoy the health benefits of drinking water by simply making your water taste great. It has no glycemic value so it won’t raise blood sugar levels or trigger fat storage in the body, which is very important if you are diabetic or watching your weight. X2O Blast is an excellent source of antioxidants with 110% of the RDA of vitamin C. Vitamin C, as you’ll learn in the Vocal Health section, is extremely important for vocal health. Best of all, you can dramatically increase the health benefits of your water by adding an Xtreme X2O sachet with your X2O BLAST.
By combining X2O and X2O Blast, you are Hydrating, Mineralizing & Revitalizing your body! Do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. I actually love X2O so much that I opened my own website through Xooma. You can purchase and learn about Xooma products through my website at www.xoomaworldwide.com/jaimevendera.
While singing or exercising, you should drink water at room temperature. Drinking cold water or ice water can shock the vocal cords, causing the vocal cords to contract. Working out your voice is like working out on a treadmill. When your muscles are warmed up, your heart is pumping, and your body temperature is rising.
If someone threw cold water on you while you were working on the treadmill, your whole body would tense up. The same is true with the vocal cords; it’s just not as noticeable. Cold water prevents the vocal cords from zipping properly, thus shrinking your range. Room temperature water keeps the cords pliable, aiding the zipping process.
Now I’d like to mention several ways to hydrate the voice: you can breathe in through your nose, breathe steam, inhale mist, or gargle water.
BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE
Although it might not seem that important, breathing in through your nose will make a difference when it comes to keeping the vocal cords moist, especially during nights when you perform and you feel a little dry. This is how I breathe every morning when I am doing my cardio routine. When you breathe in through your mouth, you are basically breathing in dry air.
The sinus passages moisten the air before it is inhaled into the lungs and helps to prevent from drying out the vocal cords. So if possible, breathe in through your nose when you sing! I know this isn’t always possible or probable but I personally recommend it. I mostly use the micro breath, but I will sneak a breath in through my nose during a guitar solo. Not only will this moisten the vocal cords, but also breathing this way will ensure that you breathe correctly, filling your lungs from the bottom up.
Don’t you just love to sing in the shower? I know I do. When you’re singing in the shower, it seems as if you have no limits as a vocalist. You feel like a vocal god.
This feeling of vocal immortality is the result of three aspects:
1. There’s no one watching you, so you’ll generally feel less nervous. If you aren’t dealing with your nerves, you will be relaxed and you will sing more openly.
2. The walls of a shower will reflect the vocal vibrations, causing an echo. This natural reverberation makes your voice sound fuller and sweeter.
3. STEAM! Breathing steam does many things for your voice. The warm mist moisturizes and warms the vocal cords and helps to open up the lungs and clogged sinuses. This loosens phlegm in the lungs, sinuses, and on the vocal cords (removes that sludge). It also helps to reestablish the right oil consistency on the cords. Congestion can affect your breath control, muffle your sound, and worse, keep the vocal cords from vibrating properly.
Every time I travel and do a show, I fill up my hotel room with steam from the shower anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, just to get my cords prepared for a peak performance. I also sleep with a warm/cool mist humidifier running in my room every night to keep my voice, sinuses and lungs well hydrated. (Remember the Venta Sonic VS 207?) Sometimes I use cool mist and other times warm mist. You must figure out which works best for you. This is a practice that I highly recommend that every singer adopting for the rest of their lives.
Statements made on this page are the responsibility of the independent distributor. Xooma Worldwide makes no claim or warranty to the accuracy or authenticity of these statements.