Things Vocalists Should and Shouldn’t Eat (Before Performing)

vocal techniques

Singing utlilizes contractions and muscle movements in the mouth, voice box, and diaphragm in a highly controlled way. The movements are on a smaller scale than if you were doing push-ups or running, but you still have to take care of your mind and body in order to sing properly.

We all know that our body requires fuel — that is, food — to function. But which foods and beverages can harm your vocal cords and which ones can help you sing? Here’s some quick tips on food and beverages you should and should not eat before singing.

What you SHOULD eat and drink

Mixing honey in tea or water will soothe your throat

Consuming these foods a few hours before your show will help you relax and give your best. A balanced meal with little extra carbs will help you boost your energy levels. Other than that, here are a few more things you should eat:

Water — Staying hydrated is crucial for singers to keep their voice lubricated. Even though it might be tempting to consume ice cold water but it constricts your vocal cords. Opt for water that’s on room temperature instead.

Decaf teas with liquorice root — It’s proven that it helps improve your voice and gives you more flexibility. Liquorice root is known to form a protective layer over your tissues in the throat preventing irritation in your mucus membranes.

Honey — Mixing a small teaspoon of honey in your tea or water will soothe your throat in a jiffy due to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

Peanut Butter — Pair it up with bread and you’ll have the energy and protein to survive a long night of singing (and dancing!) the protein keeps you full and carbs present in bread give you the energy to keep performing.

Nuts — Known to provide instant energy, they’re every singer’s go-to snack. They’re a nutrition powerhouse. For instance, let’s talk about almonds — they’re full of healthy nutrients, healthy fats, carbs and protein.

Nuts are a singer’s go-to snack

Vitamin A — Foods rich in Vitamin A help your mucus membrane remain healthy. Increasing your intake of meat, eggs and leafy greens is a good idea.

Fish and Chicken — They save your vocal cords from being overwhelmed with oils and fats. Consuming a moderate amount of oils and fats helps fight vocal strain and keeps the dry throated at bay.

Fresh fruits — Opt for whole fruits rather than juices as they contain more nutritional value. your voice will stay lubricated and your body will stay hydrated.

What you SHOUDLN’T eat or drink

It may calm your nerves, but consuming alcohol will also dry out your throat.

Consuming these foods can hinder your performance. Avoid these foods at least four hours before your session:

Alcohol/Soda — While it feels good to calm your jittery nerves, consuming soda and alcohol will dry out your throat. Consuming soda makes you gassy and consuming alcohol will give you the high you don’t need before the show. Avoid soda and alcohol before the show to avoid throwing up on stage.

Dairy products — Consuming butter, cheese, yogurt or milk before your performance isn’t a great idea. An acid reflux caused by it might burn your oesophagus and worse, your vocal cords.

Caffeine — It leaves you dehydrated and makes you want to urinate more often.


The Takeaway

It’s important to take care of your health as a singer. Ensure that you include healthy foods that’ll improve your voice.

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook. Feel free to contact her regarding a food guest post.

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