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Monday, May 16, 2016

20 Tiny Changes: #3 = HYDRATE

Yes, HYDRATE. I know you've heard it a million times, but it bears repeating.

Drink water, preferably more than you think you need. I know the studies are confusing: one day you hear that you need 64 ounces per day, the next day the news is plastered with some new research that says you don't need that much, coffee counts as water, blah blah blah.

Nonsense. You need water, and more of it, than anyone else. You're singers, and your vocal folds are mucus membranes that require HYDRATION to function properly. Is it possible to over-hydrate? I suppose. But I have yet to meet a physician who says that s/he has ever seen it happen. It's very unlikely and unusual. Much more common are patients who are slightly dehydrated. Here's a great article on the benefits of drinking enough water.

There are a ton of apps you can get for your phone that will remind you to drink: iHydrate, WaterMinder, WaterLogged, etc. You can also do it through MyFitnessPal or your FitBit, which also monitor calorie intake.  Many apps allow you to enter your weight, so it more accurately calculates how much water you really need throughout the day. I use these because I get busy and forget otherwise. Nothing wrong with a little reminder now and then!

Aim to have about 64 ounces per day. When in doubt, have a glass of water instead of a cup of coffee or a soda. It's just better for you. If you find water boring, add slices of cucumber, lemon, or strawberries to add flavor. But really, boring won't kill anyone.

I once read that Queen Elizabeth never passed up an opportunity to use either a water fountain or the restroom. If it's good enough for the Queen of England, it's good enough for the rest of us. And she's 90+ years old, so maybe that helped her longevity, too.

Lastly, many of us eat when we're actually thirsty. So before you reach for food when you think you're hungry, have a big glass of water and see how you feel after 10 minutes.

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