Healthy Eating

Your vocal cords are fragile and delicate layers of tissue, which vibrate at a very fast rate when singing, so it’s important that we maintain a healthy environment for them to work in! As we’ve already addressed HYDRATION we know that keeping them moist will prevent them from drying out and causing irritation.

Now we know a little about hydration, let’s talk about eating the right stuff! Singers and people relying on their voices can enhance their performance with a healthy diet and by avoiding certain foods, which can be harmful to vocal health.

As an active touring singer, I can tell you that eating healthy and even finding the time to eat can be a real CHALLENGE but with the right attitude and knowledge, we can OVERCOME this obstacle – Get excited about eating healthy and the benefits your voice and body will reap.

I generally make sure I get a good breakfast, avoiding fatty or fried foods but with plenty of fruit and whole grain and a keen eye on how much dairy might sneak in! Too much dairy can thicken the mucus layers in your throat and on your vocal cords, which will inhibit singing so keep it to a minimum, especially in preparation for a day of singing. A little, in my experience is fine.

I then tend to have light snack and a larger meal in the late afternoon / early  evening, making sure I leave at least 3 hours before a show without eating; this is to stop BLOATING, HEARTBURN, ACID REFLUX, VOMITING and also to make sure my throat is cleansed of any food deposits that might cause me to choke or cough later on during a performance.

In general, whatever your eating habits and dietary requirements, make sure to have a high protein intake whether that’s in supplement form or a main meal. This is to support your vocal muscle growth and repair but whatever dish you have, the plainer the better i.e. no thick/fatty sauces or toppings. In particular, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit are all great sources of VITAMINS A, C and E, which help to keep the mucus membranes healthy.

Learn to be strict with yourself and remember that when you step on stage you should be performing at your very best! ALCOHOL reduces vocal control by causing constriction of the blood vessels in the vocal tissue.

Don’t alter the TEMPERATURE of your throat too much, cold drinks will contract the muscles in your throat. Avoid excessive caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks, which as well as: salty, spicy, fast and fatty foods, which will dry out the tissues in your throat; inhibiting the singing voice.

DAIRY such as cheese, milk, yoghurt, ice cream, some fruits like bananas and any food with a general thick/sticky consistency can cause excess mucus. With any advice on diet, all I say is that these are guidelines and not hard and fast rules as much I would like to say this is sound advice we have to remember that every person and every voice is completely different so try things out and assess the results.

Listen to your voice, if it’s unhappy one day then consider what you did the day before. Likewise, if you have a good day make a note of your habits!