More and more we live in a fast-paced, hectic world of instant gratification. The tendency to grab and go when you’re on the road or on the run from rehearsal to voice lesson, requires some preventive measures.
The following are foods and beverages to avoid when you’re preparing to sing, rehearse, or perform. In fact, indulgence of these items should be limited in general to help promote good vocal health and well being.
Skip The Soda
Sodas are a definite no-no. They can cause gas, digestive discomfort, and can cause you to burp. They also often create a feeling of being bloated. This obviously will restrict your breathing as you sing.
Not So Fast Food!
Fast food, as well as heavy meals, should be avoided before you perform. Eating lightly on the day of a show or long rehearsals is preferred. The heavy meals and fast food items can readily irritate your digestive system and cause even more discomfort with lower tract issues.
Any food items you eat should be lightly salted, if necessary. Salt promotes a dry mouth and throat. Many fast food items, quick snacks, and processed foods are loaded with salt and additional sodium.
A number of beverages dehydrate your system. Coffee and non-herbal teas can leave you dehydrated. It’s recommended that you drink one glass of room temperature water-not iced-for each cup of coffee or tea consumed.
Say No To Drinking + Singing
Alcohol beverages can leave you with a dry mouth even a day after consumption. It can also cause swelling of the vocal folds. Alcohol can also distort your perception as well as numb your senses. This can cause you to sing too softly or with too much volume. It can also interfere with your timing, your pitch and ability to know when you’re off key. So remember: don’t drink and sing!
Many singers, as well as speakers, actors, and other performers will drink fresh-squeezed lemon juice to help clear their throats of mucous. The problem is that it can also irritate the lining of your throat. Orange juice can actually increase mucous secretions. So it should be avoided as well.
Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary
Dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, though comforting, can increase the secretion of mucous. Any beverages and foods with high amounts of sugar, including many alcoholic mixed drinks, can also increase the secretion of mucous. Bread items for example are starch and many have sugar added. So breads should be steered clear of on performance and heavy rehearsal days.
Hold The Spice, Spare The Folds
Spicy foods can not only cause irritation to your vocal folds, but they can also increase stomach acids causing indigestion and even acid reflux. Chocolate and coffee often have the same irritating effect on the stomach lining. Some spices can cause coughing, as can the consumption of various nuts, along with powdered sugar and various sugar glazes.
The best beverages for a day of singing are room temperature water and herbal tea. The best food items are lightly seasoned, freshly prepared not processed, and consumed in small portions.