Drink Up before You Go Caroling This Season -- As Long as It's Not Alcohol

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Alcohol produces further dehydration. It also numbs a person to the cold temperature but not the effects of the cold temperature.

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If you're planning to hit the streets and sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood during the holiday season make sure to drink plenty -- of water, that is.

During cold weather, the air is cold and dry, and in turn, can dry up your voice, explains voice specialist Joseph R. Spiegel, M.D., at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia.    

"Carolers need to hydrate well before going out and while outside," said Dr. Speigel, associate professor of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

But that doesn't mean downing egg nog or any alcoholic beverages to prepare to sing "O Holy Night," he warned.

"Christmas cheer is for those enjoying the carolers and should only be enjoyed by those caroling when they are finished," Dr. Spiegel said. "Alcohol produces further dehydration. It also numbs a person to the cold temperature but not the effects of the cold temperature."

The voice is a function of air that blows up through the vocal folds. For the voice to work and sound the right way, the folds must be able to close together like two reeds on a reed instrument in order to vibrate and create the proper sounds.

Dr. Spiegel also cautions that singing outdoors, especially in groups, is difficult because you can't hear yourself well and know if you're in key. If possible, carolers should bring someone with them to stand in the audience, who can provide feedback about loudness and quality of the voices.

Editor's Note: Dr. Spiegel resides in Bala Cynwyd, PA. (19004)

Contact:                    

Jeff Baxt

Jackie Kozloski

215 995-6300

After Hours:        215 955-6060

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