Cold Water vs. Vocal Cords

Surely you've heard that debate, for both singers and simple water enthusiasts that cold and icy water can actually be a detriment to both our body and our vocal cords. Follow us along while we dive into this debate.  A glass of cold water can be oh so refreshing, whether it’s just a hot day outside or you’re on weekend eight of your most recent tour, cold water can seem like the obvious choice, but is it really though? It turns out that cold water isn’t our best choice for the voice at all. The main issue appears to be a lack of flexibility in the voice when the muscles become too chilled when interacting with ice water, as it creates a constriction in the cords. When it comes to ice water and mucus, it actually depletes the healthy amount of coating that actually assists in the vocal cord structure. 

Turns out that room temperature water is the very best. It’s simply the least shocking to our systems and that includes all things surrounding our vocal cords. Room temperature not only hydrates your entire body and brain, but it also reduces excess mucus production as well, so we’re trending in the right direction with every effect for this type! 

Now, if cold water is pretty out of the question - how about hot water temperatures? Tea can be incredibly soothing for the singer, but perhaps it’s all that honey included? This one is up in the air, despite the fact that most people agree that we should keep our tea selection to a minimum when it comes to caffeine levels. The issue with hot water or even hot liquids in any form is that they can oftentimes cause inflammation and therefore irritation and tension, affecting many aspects of your voice, including the tone - and nobody wants to hear that! On top of that, hot liquids can also cause more mucus production, which also is a major disconnect to a healthy voice.

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Now that we know about how water can interact with our ever so precious vocal cords, how about ice? “Ice is especially bad for your voice when eaten by itself and not within a drink. However, Ice cubes are good for singers in some scenarios. If you have swollen vocal cords or have sung excessively and your tone sounds strained, ice cubes can help to ease any discomfort. Incorrect placement, forcing your voice and singing for a long time can put pressure on the vocal cords. This pressure is usually caused by swelling, and holding an ice pack to your throat can reduce this swelling so you can get back to singing again.“ Thanks to Teenstar Competition UK for informing us on that cool little tidbit that we would have never guessed!

So, next time you’re thinking of going and reaching for that refreshing cube filled cup or a steaming pot of coffee before a show sounds like the perfect boost that you need, think again. Reach for the boring, room temperature water instead. however one thing we can get particular about, is finding your very favorite brand. This is truly a hot topic as many people don’t believe that this is easily distinguishable, but sometimes a favorite brand of something that just works, especially something that we intake as often as water, is nice to consider!

One last thing we want to consider when it comes to all things water and vocal cords is being conscious of adding extra elements such as lemon or powdered flavors. This might be something to consult your doctor on, as we certainly aren’t doctors or scientists here - but it may be wise to become educated on the potential physical effects of adding extra elements to a many-times-a-day drink. The final aspect that is the most cruical is being sure to actually stay hydrated. If you aren't just in the groove, consider keeping track of your daily intake so that you'll soon be in the habit of your vocal cords and H20 health!