Often when we eat, we do not think about how our food affects our voice or our singing. We may consume caffeine or spicy food which may be harmful to our voices and cause irritation as well as dry our throats!
If we sing immediately after consuming these foods, we increase our risk of damaging our vocals and causing unnecessary pain to ourselves!
Learning about the various "bad singing foods" and why they are bad for you will help us to avoid these foods and avoid potential vocal abuse or damage!
One of the major "Good Singing Foods" is actually a liquid, and it is WATER. It is extremely important for us to drink lots of plain water, in order to keep our bodies well-hydrated and to also cleanse our bodies of the toxins that may build up in our tissues and cells. This will also keep disease and infections at bay, and help us maintain a great level of personal health.
Apart from hydrating the body, water also keeps our vocal cords moist, and this is very important for a healthy voice. This is because when we are singing, our vocal cords are vibrating at an extremely fast speed. If our vocal cords are dry, they will be more prone to irritation when vibrating, and this may cause some pain and discomfort when we sing.
One useful voice care tip is for us to have a glass of lukewarm water beside us whenever we are singing or performing, or just to drink some warm water before we sing! This helps to soothe our vocal cords and our throat, and also moistens the tissues and muscles involved, reducing the risk of vocal damage.
This is what i always do whenever i have to perform, or whenever i have to take several singing classes consecutively. (In fact, I drink a lot when i'm performing!)
Water is so very very important to us singers!
Other than taking in lots of water, we should also consume a balanced diet for our meals, and take lots of whole grains, fruits as well as vegetables.
These foods contain high levels of Vitamins A, C and E - Vitamin A helps cells regenerate normally, Vitamin C helps prevent the common cold and sore throat as well as improve immune functions of the body, and Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects cell membranes and also improves immune functions of the body.
These foods also help to keep the mucus membranes in our throats healthy, so that we avoid irritation in our throats when we sing.
Another one of my favourite 'good singing foods' is Honey! My personal favourite is actually Manuka Honey, which has anti-microbial properties, meaning that bacteria will find it hard to survive and reproduce in honey. This also means that when we have a sore throat or just feel some discomfort in our voice, we can just take one spoonful of pure Manuka Honey, and let it drizzle down our throats. This will help to keep the bacteria away, and will also help our sore throats to heal faster!
Manuka Honey has yet another wonderful healing property, which is that it is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory! This means that it will help to prevent any infection from spreading, and will thus speed up the recovery of our sore throat! Many singers swear by honey being a wonderful remedy of sore throat as well as a great singing food for protecting our fragile vocals!
One great singing food that may be specific to Asian countries is a cough syrup called 'Chuanbei Pipa Gao', which translates to Fritillaria and Loquat Syrup. The loquat leaf is often used to reduce "lung heat" syndromes, or other infections for example sore throats. Fritillaria is a potent cough suppressant and can also be used to treat swollen glands and nodular swellings. When used in combination in 'Chuanbei Pipa Gao', it is very effective in alleviating cough symptoms and curing sore throats!
These are just some of the good singing foods that we can take to preserve our voices as well as to prevent unnecessary vocal damage when we sing or when we are sick or have sore throats. Of course, we have to constantly practise
great breathing habits
as well as great
vocal warmup exercises before we sing,
so that our voices will be flexible, healthy and strong!