Have you ever thought to yourself: “I was drinking water all day and yet my voice still isn’t 100%, what gives?” Well, did you know that it can take four to five days to be fully hydrated? Simply drinking when you’re thirsty while seeing if your urine is clear or a light-yellow works for most people, you need to be even more diligent, as hydration keeps your vocal cords lubricated and ready to rock. Here are key tips on how to make sure you stay on key Mariah Carey style.

Drink Slowly

The more slowly you drink, the more hydrated your vocal cords. It’s actually a noticeable difference in how it goes down the throat, as you’ll feel the water more dutifully wash over your larynx. It’s not only a more effective process, it’s more refreshing.

Drink Often

According to research, the easiest way to determine how much water you should be drinking is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should try to drink about 90 ounces of water per day. You can also try using drinks with electrolytes like Gatorade, although you should pour two-thirds out and mix in water.

Avoid These Drinks and Foods

Two types of drinks you should avoid are caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages, as those normally dehydrate more than they hydrate (despite being liquid, those deceptive monsters). Foods that should be avoided are salty, spicy, and foods with dairy in them. Remember that food can often be high in sodium but not be obvious culprits, so be sure to check the nutritional information.

Go for These Foods and Drinks Instead

Water is for sure the number one liquid you should be drinking, but melon water is also great. In fact, melon water can be more hydrating than even water, which is pretty cool. Yes, it is more expensive, but it’s a small price to pay to avoid sounding like the guy with the deep voice who used to do movie trailers (unless that’s what you’re going for, in which case disregard.)

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, Just Right

It’s fairly obvious, but you should definitely avoid food and drinks that could scald your throat, because that can lead to inflammation and soreness worse than the spiciest of foods. You should also avoid overly cold food or drinks, since they can tense and constrict the vocal cords. Plus, most overly cold beverages have dairy in them, and while milkshakes are amazing, they should be a very rare treat.

Stay on top of it

Imagine if someone said, “I have an amazing opportunity, and it’s tonight.” You can’t exactly say that your voice isn’t 100% and expect that opportunity to come back around any time soon. By following these tips every single day, you’ll be able to come out with “Con te partir√≤” with a Bocelli quality at a moment’s notice, not to mention having the highest quality and most comfortable practice voice.