Let’s Spill The Tea
As hinted at in last’s week’s post, there are some VO rules that are timeless. Staying Hydrated is probably one of the top, basic concepts.
Now, Daily Disclaimer Dosage – Water is King. Straight H20 is the best option for you. Not juices, not sodas, definitely not energy drinks – Water. And if you can’t stomach the taste (I don’t care what people say, water definitely has a taste!) flavored water is acceptable.
I am not arguing this statement. Water is the Best Drinking Fluid. End of Story.
But what really “grinds my gears” is not when people simply say things that we’ve just accepted as fact; I’m guilty of this myself. It’s the attitude behind what they say. It’s not just that “water is best”, it’s “I am superior because I drink water and you are literal mud for not cutting literally every other fluid out of your daily lifestyle.” Now – do all experts / coaches / public figures say it like this? No. Of course not.
But some do.
And I’m here to do some mythbusting!
MYTH # 1: MILK CAUSES MUCUS
We’ve all heard it. Avoid dairy AT ALL COSTS else your throat will fill with nasty phlegm.
TRUTH: “There is NO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH showing that milk produces mucus in the airways or the throat”(1).
While some doctors believe that milk thickens saliva, “it does not cause the body to produce more mucus or phlegm”(2). In fact, “frozen dairy products can soothe a sore throat”(3).
I know, I know – Scandal! But the truth is, actual studies have been conducted and there has been no documentation to prove this myth (4), only rampart rumors that affects us mentally, like a twisted placebo effect.
And before you get all ‘sciency’ on me, casein – the protein contained in milk that increases mucus secretion – occurs in the digestive tract, not the respiratory system. (5)
Granted, milk does mix and create a thickening sensation of our saliva (5) which can potentially have adverse affects when recording voice over, such as prominent mouth noise. Which is most likely where this little tip originated – “don’t drink milk, your mouth will sound sticky.”
Am I condoning that you drink a glass of milk before entering the studio? Of course not -Again, see my disclaimer. However, semantics are important. Studies have shown that milk is actually better than water when re-hydrating after a workout. But, if we’re told to avoid dairy consumption all together for fear of increased mucus, we could be missing out on a health benefit. This is why getting the facts is important.
MYTH #2: DIURETIC DRINKS CAUSE DEHYDRATION
You might not have heard this one phrased this way but you probably have heard that you’re not supposed to drink coffee (and other delicious beverages) before entering the studio.
There are probably a few reasons for this, one of which being myth #1 as most people probably don’t drink coffee black. Side note – sugar is also not great for the whole ‘mucus’ situation. (Ironic that sucking on hard candy is often suggested as a temporary fix for a dehydrated mouth but in their defense, they do usually follow it up with switching to sugar free to be ‘calorie conscious’).
The main reason this is stated is due to the belief that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you.
TRUTH: “[T]hey may cause the need to urinate [but] they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration.”(6)
Now again, am I suggesting that you should forgo life-saving water for some worm dirt? No. My point is to merely illuminate a misconception.
First question is – what is a diuretic? Well, according to Google Dictionary, it is an adjective (chiefly of drugs) causing increased passing of urine. The medications are often called ‘water pills’ and they ‘help rid your body of salt (sodium) and water.’ (7) Thus, dehydration is a possible side effect of diuretics because “dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in…. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.” (8)
Correlation does not Imply Causation.
Yes, caffeine is a diuretic. Frequent urination without sufficient water consumption can cause dehydration. This does not mean that caffeine causes dehydration. Insufficient intake of fluids causes dehydration.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information houses an interesting review by Maughan RJ and Griffin J that even goes so far as to say:
“Doses of caffeine equivalent to the amount normally found in standard servings of tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks appear to have no diuretic action…. CONCLUSION: The most ecologically valid of the published studies offers no support for the suggestion that consumption of caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle leads to fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested or is associated with poor hydration status. Therefore, there would appear to be no clear basis for refraining from caffeine containing drinks in situations where fluid balance might be compromised.” (9)
In other words, a cup of Joe in the morning is not going to throw your entire system off kilter. That’s the only point I’m trying to make.
Want more fun quotes from other people way smarter than me? Okay!
This myth originated from a study conducted in 1928. “It involved just three people, and only revealed that when these people abstained from caffeine for more than 60 days, all it took was about a half cup of coffee to increase urination.” (10). I encourage you to read this entire article by Alexa Erickson; it’s a fun read and she even found a study that proved your favorite caffeinated drink still does it’s job of hydrating you. It is still ‘flavored bean water’, after all.
So, in Summary:
Drink water, kids. It’s good for you and there’s no work-around; water is hands-down the best option. But don’t freak out that you can’t enter your booth for that last-minute audition that just popped in because you had an afternoon cup of tea. It’s not like waiting 30 minutes after you eat before swimming…. wait, yes it is, because that’s just a myth, too!
I hope enjoyed this blog post. It’s a little different than my usual style but it’s something that pops in my head every now and again and I couldn’t help but indulge a little! This was all meant in good fun; no offense intended to all those sticklers out there. I just can’t help but smirk when someone says one of these myths with such conviction, they insult you for not already adhering to it.
What other topics would you like me to research?
INCORRECTLY CITED WORKS BUT AT LEAST I TRIED: All websites visited on 2/22/2019 (1), (2) – https://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Milk-Myth-Busters/Article-Viewer/Article/29/Milk-Myth-Drinking-Milk-Causes-Mucus