Are you ready for Vocal Secret Weapon #1? Imaginary drumroll, please...
Vocal Secret Weapon #1: Room Temperature Water
Ok, so maybe it's not such a secret. In fact, it seems kind of obvious that any person in general should be consuming a lot of water (I believe the recommendation is eight 8 oz. glasses a day, but who really does that, I'd love to know). But, this simple and free gift to us is often one that gets overlooked when we're looking for other more complex ways to strengthen our voices. Sometimes, it can be as easy as drinking a nice, lukewarm glass of water!
Notice I said lukewarm water as opposed to cold water. Why should singers be drinking lukewarm water? Lukewarm, room temperature water is a closer temperature to your body than cool, just-out-of-the-fridge water. Therefore, when it hits your throat, it will not shock the vocal cords the way that cold water will. It's totally ok to consume cold water, but your best bet before a performance is to keep it room temperature. This is the optimal way to lubricate your vocal cords and gently clear out any excess mucus.
Many singers I know will drink hot teas or use natural herbal sprays intended to clear out the throat before singing, but why not take advantage of the body's natural cleanser, water? There is nothing wrong with these other products, but in my experience, water has always helped me the most.
There are so many benefits to drinking a large amount of water each day, and one of the most recent benefits I just found out about is that water can actually increase your energy. In Joyce Meyer's book, Look Great, Feel Great (copyright 2006), she states that many times the middle of the day slump that many people experience is actually caused by a thirst for water instead of what we interpret to be tiredness! I often fight the urge to take a nap at 3 pm during the weekday and absolutely will fall asleep if I allow myself to even sit on the couch!
I don't know about you, but the chance of increasing my energy level and improving my singing makes me want to pour a glass of the good stuff right now! I hope you'll go to the kitchen after reading this and get your own glass of room temperature water. Then we'll have an imaginary toast to a better singing voice as a result! Drink up.