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0753 – Hydration Oughta Be Water, But…

Season 3, Ep. 753

2023.01.23 – 0753 – Hydration Oughta Be Water, But…

Where hydration comes from

Hydration oughta be water, plain, pure and at room temperature. But if you’re struggling to drink enough try:

·        Try flavouring your water with fruit

·        Drink caffeine-free tea like chamomile, ginger, or peppermint tea

·        Eat foods that contain more water, such as cucumbers or melons

o  Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens and high fibre fruits contain good nutrients and vitamins, which help keep the voice healthy and lubricated

·        Keep a humidifier running in the place that you sleep, and also in the place where you work or are most often using your voice.


Essentially all fluids count, but it may be an idea to try and avoid:

·        Some people say dairy and chocolate affect their mucus levels, so you may want to monitor your intake and avoid them if you agree

·        Drinks from the machine: cold and fizzy or hot and caffeinated

o  Carbonated drinks will have the obvious result of causing burps and may affect breath support

o  Drinking caffeine (say in coffee) may increase your heart rate and make you more nervous you may have difficulty concentrating on the script or speak too fast. Caffeine can also speed up the production of extra-thick phlegm and that will mean you spend more time swallowing hard or coughing. A widely-held view that coffee will dehydrate you, is now thought not to be accurate, although it may affect some people in that way.

·        Alcohol can make you drowsy, slurred and contains sugar

Some medications  may also cause issues:

·        anti-histamines, decongestants and anti-depressants tend to cause dryness

·        over-the-counter local anaesthetic medication for the throat create numbness reducing our ability to know if we are damaging our voice further

More Episodes


0807 – Tension and Relaxation

Season 3, Ep. 807
2023.03.18 – 0807 – Tension and Relaxation We looked at releasing tension in the mouth, jaw, tongue and lips in the previous chapter, but as the Voice Box above shows, physical tension that can affect your voice can be in many other places. “Tension murders vibration (and) vibrations thrive in relaxation”Kristin Linklater, “Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Language” And it’s important to remember that physical tension can come from mental tension: nerves or excitement about a presentation can manifest themselves in your muscles and so affect your performance. You see how everything is interconnected? (We look at mental stress and ‘mic fright’ in the next chapter.)  Muscles in a state of undue tension can make your voice sound a little thin, strained, irritated or bored and put it up an octave. Your reading can also speed up and your mouth can dry up leading to articulation problems.  Releasing tension opens the diaphragm, which gives deeper breathing which in turn helps the voice sound more open and confident. And in a ‘self-fulfilling spiral’, when you know you sound good, you relax, you slow down, your heart rate decreases and the natural fluids returns to your mouth. And during times of dramatic or significant news, it is important for radio and TV presenters to manage their personal tension. Feeling anxious, angry, sad or depressed can make it difficult to sound comforting or calm. But that is exactly what radio presenters need to sound if they are to communicate their message effectively.