Most singers do know the importance of hydration, it not only allows you to sing better but it also affects your voice directly. The problem with hydration is that not all liquids are equal and the temperature of the liquid will have a serious impact on your voice. If you have been around some successful singers then you probably noticed that most of them stick to drinking water, and no matter how hot it is outside they drink either lukewarm or room temperature water.
Cold water affects your voice by constricting your vocal cords and by eliminating the protective layer of mucus from your vocal cords. Once you drink cold water the body will constrict the vocal cords in order to protect them from damage, and your voice will be altered once the vocal cords are constricted. Drinking too much cold water might even make you lose your voice for a couple of days.
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Cold water can have extremely destructive properties not only for the singing voice but for the general health of the throat. As a singer, you have to be especially careful what temperature water you drink, as your throat is constantly pushed to the limits while you are singing. There are some singers who can drink water with ice and not be affected by it, although from time to time these singers will still get a sore throat.
If you are a singer then your vocal health should be your main priority, if you do not have good vocal health your talent doesn’t really matter, and sooner or later you will develop some serious health issues related to your throat. This is especially problematic for beginner singers, as most people who do not sing have no problem drinking cold water, and as beginner singers were used to drinking cold water on hot summer days they will keep doing it as it feels refreshing.
If you drink cold water on a hot summer day it might feel refreshing, although this will be a massive shock to your throat, and your body’s first instinct will be to constrict your vocal cords in order to prevent them from damage. This construction takes a couple of hours to go away and for singers, this can pose a massive problem if they have a gig or an audition in the following hours. If you want to know which are the best teas for your voice then check out my recent article Best tea for singing voice ( Top 11 Teas ).
Cold water irritates the throat and voice
Most people will not have problems drinking occasionally cold water, however, singers are at a major risk of irritating their throat with cold water. While you are drinking cold water your vocal cords will constrict for protection, and the cold water will dislodge the protective layer of mucus from the vocal cords and from the throat. Once this protective layer of mucus is gone, your throat is prone to becoming infected and irritated.
You will definitely notice if your throat has been irritated, as it will hurt or even itch. If you know the feeling of an itchy throat then you know that it can make you go nuts. If your throat is irritated then it is more likely to become infected, especially if you continue to force your voice with singing, or even speaking.
Cold water inflames the tonsils which alter your voice
A lot of singers who tend to have frequent throat infections tend to remove their tonsils. The problem is that the tonsils have an extremely important job to do, which is to protect the body from infection. They might inflame once in a while if you are not careful, but the tonsils are just doing their job. One of the main reasons why your tonsils get inflamed is due to cold water, as the temperature of the water will shock the throat and this will make the tonsils work overtime to protect you from infection.
If you tend to drink a lot of cold water then you are not giving enough time for your tonsils to recuperate. This is why some people tend to have their tonsils almost constantly inflamed. The simple fix for this is to take care of your vocal health and to pay extra attention to the temperature of the water or the food which you are consuming. If you are wondering if you would sound better as a singer without tonsils then check out my recent article Can you sing better without tonsils? ( How? ).
Cold water can cause an overproduction of mucus
Once you drink cold water this will wash off most of the mucus from your throat, and this also includes the protective layer of mucus which is on your vocal cords. This mucus is extremely important as it lubricates the vocal cords and it also protects them from infection. Once this protective layer is gone your body will go into overproduction of mucus in order to compensate for the loss of this mucus.
This is why oftentimes you find yourself having a lot of mucus after you have drunk cold water. For the general public, this isn’t a big deal, but for singers, it can be a massive problem. The more mucus you have on your vocal cords the deeper your voice sounds, this is why you have a deeper voice in the morning, due to excess mucus. For more information about the morning voice and how to get rid of it check out my recent article How to get rid of morning voice? ( Fast and Easy ).
Cold water constricts the vocal cords
The first reaction of your body when you drink cold water is to constrict the vocal cords in order to protect them. This is mostly due to the temperature of the water than anything else. If your vocal cords would not constrict then you would damage them which will make them prone to infections, which as a singer is probably the last thing you would want. The more constricted your vocal cords are the worse your voice will sound as your vocal cords need some space to vibrate and to produce your voice.
This is why when you drink cold water you find that your throat tenses up, it is due to the constriction of the vocal cords. If you are conscious about your singing then you are probably practicing every day, this puts a lot of pressure on your vocal cords, and add into the mix some cold water and you might even get an infection.
Drinking cold water cools off the throat
Generally speaking, your throat has the same temperature as your body has, once you drink cold water you will temporarily lower the temperature in your throat. Once the water reaches your stomach it has the same temperature more or less as your body. This cooling effect feels extremely refreshing especially during hot summer days, but this effect can take a turn for the worse when it comes to your voice.
Most people will not have a problem drinking cold water once in a while, but if you are constantly drinking cold water then you will find that your throat starts hurting. Your throat is the first line of defense when it comes to infections, and if you are constantly lowering the temperature of your throat then your body will have a difficult time protecting you from possible infections.
Drinking cold water negates the effects of warming up your voice
This is mostly for singers, as they tend to warm up before singing. Generally speaking, this is a good practice as it will allow you to sing a lot better and without injuring yourself. If you have warmed up your voice and you drink cold water after then you will negate the effects of the warm-up. While you are warming up your throat becomes lubricated and your vocal cords are in a relaxed position.
Once you drink cold water this will constrict your vocal cords and will wash away most of the protective layer of mucus from your vocal cords, thus directly impacting how you sound.
Cold water can permanently damage your vocal cords
If you find yourself having a sore throat constantly and you still drink cold water regularly then you might even cause permanent damage to your throat and to your vocal cords. Although permanent damage to the vocal cords is fairly rare due to cold water, but in certain situations, it can still happen. Even if you can barely speak for a couple of days that still doesn’t mean that you have some permanent damage to your vocal cords, although it is a good idea to have yourself checked out by your physician.
As you can see cold water affects your voice in a lot of ways. Some people’s throat is more sensitive than others, some are affected by cold water while others have absolutely no problem with it and will call the negative effects of cold water a myth. On how cold water will affect your voice will depend on a lot of things, like your general health and how cold the water actually is.