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More than just water?

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Are there certain vitamin/mineral balances that help the body 'hold' or 'use' water better? I often read salt spoken of negatively in popular health articles saying that salt makes the body 'retain water' which can make you look fat. But in the case of singing, wouldn't having the body retain more water be a good thing? I eat a pretty healthy diet with low to moderate salt intake, should I be increasing it? Decreasing it? What about other minerals, electrolytes, or supplements? How does your diet's fat/protein/carb ratio affect how hydrated you are?

I ask because there are some days where I feel like no matter how much water I drink, my lips get very chapped and my mouth is dry. It's like the water isn't staying in my body or supplying the right area, rather it's just running right through me. I even feel like I'm getting drier sometimes as I drink more and more. Everything I hear about hydration and singing seems to come down to "Drink MORE!", but it feels like there is more to this than that because with the amount of water I drink I should be super hydrated throughout my throat and mouth but the variance from day to day tells me there might be something diet related or something else.

I have ruled out the obvious things like alcohol, caffeine, sodas, processed food, etc. I pretty much drink pure water throughout the day, occasionally with some ginger. So why am I still dry?

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I sometimes recommend diluted gatorade (etc) if folks are not happy with hydration levels.

BUT your chapped lips & dry mouth indicate that your environment is too dry. Water we drink helps the body & vocal cords over hours/days. The airway can dry out in minutes, if environment is not supporting those cells. Winter is often the worse; cold air is very dry & central heat makes it worse.

My book chapter on "air" has lots of suggestions on this... but any way you can get more humidity into your living space will make a big difference. Green plants, vaporizers, steam-room visits...The over-the-counter products from Biotene line (mouthwash & more) are specific for drymouth and useful if you think you're dry because of other medications like decongestants... saline sprays & gels in the nose can also help. Mucinex helps some people feel "lubricated" but you have to drink even more water with it, probably not ideal for your situation.

See how your mouth & voice feel after a shower & if better than before, definitely strategize in that direction.

I'll never forget the video I saw of Paul McCartney on tour: outdoor stadium gig in the summer, and front/center of the stage between all the mic stands was a little gizmo blowing gentle steam at his mouth. Smart dude.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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