6 Food Categories That Will Derail Your Singing Voice For Today's Performance - Roger Love

6 Food Categories That Will Derail Your Singing Voice For Today’s Performance

By June 1, 2016Home, Singing

Summary

Outstanding athletes insist that the food that goes into your body determines the performance that comes out. As a celebrity voice coach, I teach my clients that the same insight applies to their voice whether they’re singing in the shower or accepting an Oscar.

My goal is not to make your taste buds a slave to your larynx. Instead, I want to share my expertise so that you are aware and can focus on getting your ideal outcome, not finding the perfect moment to clear your throat or lunge for the water glass onstage. The more you actively reduce intake from these six categories, the better your voice will perform when you need it most.

To help you perform at your vocal optimum, here are the six food categories I advise my clients to steer clear of 12 to 24 hours before their big moment. (Watch the video for full explanation of why to avoid each category.)

  1. The Bitter Bombs:  Contrary to common belief, hot lemon tea does not soothe your voice. Rather, the citrus makes you salivate more. While this extra salivation doesn’t necessarily thicken the phlegm on your vocal cords, it does bother a great deal of my clients and forces them to clear their throat more frequently.
  2. The Dehydration Demons: While caffeine may give you the energy boost you need to get up and work hard on your big day, the dehydration it induces can be a doozy for your vocal cords. Remember that in order to perform properly, your vocal cords have to be well hydrated.
  3. The Cow Club: Scientific research linking dairy consumption to increased phlegm production is inconclusive. However drinking milk does create a thickening of saliva that can coat the throat and create a phlegm-like sensation. My goal is for clients to be as comfortable, confident and prepared as possible for their every communication event. From that perspective, whether milk creates phlegm or just makes it feel like it, if you’re clearing your throat or distracted by discomfort, it’s not worth the mid-morning milkshake. Instead, save the shake for a post-performance celebration.
  4. The Booze Bombs: While technically a subcategory of the Dehydration Demons, I’m asked this question so often that it’s garnered a grouping of its own. Many students justify that alcohol makes them feel calm and gives them the liquid courage they need to perform. Unfortunately in order to process that alcohol, your liver slurps up any available water—even if it has to steal it from other organs—just to get the job done. Which organs loose out to the liver? That’s right, your vocal cords.
  5. The Red Zone: Red meat and other difficult-to-digest foods draw blood away from your other organs to support processing in your stomach. This blood is key to ensuring adequate water and nutrient delivery to your vocal cords.
  6. The Candy Crushers: Many scientists attest that high-sugar drinks like soda do not have a significant affect on your vocal performance. According to this argument, the acid level in your stomach is so high that soda has no tangible negative effect. But in my thirty-plus years of voice coaching, I’ve personally observed how drinking sodas led to substantial increases in mucus production for my clients. If you can stay away from excess sugar the day of a show, your vocal cords will thank you.

Did you like this episode? (Then hit LIKE, here!)

Please spread the “Love” by sharing this with your friends. Remember, I’m working to save the world one voice at a time, starting with yours. You’re my family now, and we need to work together to extend our mission and reach. The more you share, the more I can share with you, and we can actually help people globally find their voices and change their lives for the better.

Ready for your best life? Find your singing solutions here.

TRANSCRIPT

Outstanding athletes insist that the food that goes into your body determines the performance that comes out. As a celebrity voice coach, I teach my clients that the same insight applies to their voice whether they’re singing in the shower or accepting an Oscar. To help you perform at your vocal optimum, here are the six food categories I advise my clients to steer clear of 12 to 24 hours before their big moment.

Number One: The Bitter Bombs

Contrary to common belief, hot lemon tea does not soothe your voice. Rather, the citrus makes you salivate more. While this extra salivation doesn’t necessarily thicken the phlegm on your vocal cords, it does bother a great deal of my clients and forces them to clear their throat more frequently.

When you’re constantly clearing your throat, you can appear nervous or unprofessional. These are not the positive, inspiring impressions we want you to project from the spotlight. For the Big Day, skip lemonade, orange juice, grapefruit juice and any other high citrus shakes that might creep into your cup.

Number Two: The Dehydration Demons

While caffeine may give you the energy boost you need to get up and work hard on your big day, the dehydration it induces can be a doozy for your vocal cords. Remember that in order to perform properly, your vocal cords have to be well hydrated.

Common caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee filch fundamental fluids from your system.

In addition, when caffeine speeds up your metabolism, it stimulates mucus-producing cells to work harder, faster and produce higher-than-optimal levels of thick phlegm that hamper your vocal performance. To make matters worse, the faster metabolism requires more water, returning you quickly back to a state of dehydration.

Since the vocal cords are not your body’s first priority for hydration—unlike your brain and kidneys—you’ll need to drink extra water to ensure your vocal cords are healthy. Remember that you can’t directly hydrate your vocal cords through simply drinking a glass of H20. Water must be absorbed into your bloodstream before being delivered to needy organs. That means swigging a Dixie cup of Cool-Aid as you saunter up will not fuel your vocal cords in time to present. A better approach is to drink a half-gallon of water the day before the big event and as much as you can comfortably swallow that morning.

Number Three: The Cow Club

Scientific research linking dairy consumption to increased phlegm production is inconclusive. However drinking milk does create a thickening of saliva that can coat the throat and create a phlegm-like sensation. My goal is for clients to be as comfortable, confident and prepared as possible for their every communication event. From that perspective, whether milk creates phlegm or just makes it feel like it, if you’re clearing your throat or distracted by discomfort, it’s not worth the mid-morning milkshake. Instead, save the shake for a post-performance celebration.

Number Four: The Booze Bombs

While technically a subcategory of the Dehydration Demons, I’m asked this question so often that it’s garnered a grouping of its own. Many students justify that alcohol makes them feel calm and gives them the liquid courage they need to perform. Unfortunately in order to process that alcohol, your liver slurps up any available water—even if it has to steal it from other organs—just to get the job done. Which organs loose out to the liver? That’s right, your vocal cords.

With every bottle of booze, you’re shorting your vocal cords of the nutrients they need to perform at their optimum. 

Do you need to deadbolt your wine cellar for a month before your next performance? No. A more moderate approach would be to skip the glass of wine or bottle of beer with dinner before an eight PM event.

I can hear the excuses bubbling up, so I’ll give you an additional option to find a win-win between your drinking preferences and performance needs. If you choose to drink 15 hours or less before a show, chase each serving of alcohol with three to four glasses of water. It may seem like a lot of liquids but your body needs to be hydrated.

If you only remember one line of advice about alcohol and vocal performance, let it be this: If you’re going to drink, maintain moderation, hydration, mastication (chewing, i.e. eating) and duration (that is, give your body time to recover.)

Number Five: The Red Zone

Red meat and other difficult-to-digest foods draw blood away from your other organs to support processing in your stomach. This blood is key to ensuring adequate water and nutrient delivery to your vocal cords.

Although I maintain a vegan diet, I don’t expect my students to adopt one as well. If you’ve got a big performance to give today, just step back from the double-patty hamburger at lunch.

Number Six: The Candy Crushers

Many scientists attest that high-sugar drinks like soda do not have a significant affect on your vocal performance. According to this argument, the acid level in your stomach is so high that soda has no tangible negative effect. But in my thirty-plus years of voice coaching, I’ve personally observed how drinking sodas led to substantial increases in mucus production for my clients. If you can stay away from excess sugar the day of a show, your vocal cords will thank you.

Having read all six categories, you may be asking, “Roger, do you tell your clients to starve before they present?”

Of course not! That would only drain their energy and I want them to be alive and sparkling in the limelight. Veggies, water, fish, berries, soy products, water, rice, melons (did I say water?), and many more categories all fit the bill without breaking your vocal cords’ budget.

What about the non-fish, no-carb, daily-drinker, allergic-to-fruits and -veggies clients? Well, I would politely refer them to a great dietician and give them some wiggle room. For example, a single cup of coffee the morning of won’t turn you into a mime and a piece of bacon can be balanced with a cup of non-citrus fruit and granola doused in soymilk.

My goal is not to make your taste buds a slave to your larynx. Instead, I want to share my expertise so that you are aware and can focus on getting your ideal outcome, not finding the perfect moment to clear your throat or lunge for the water glass onstage. The more you actively reduce intake from these six categories, the better your voice will perform when you need it most.

For more insight on how to protect, enhance and perfect your voice for every stage in your life, click here.

If this sounds like you, a great voice can be your solution. Start your effective, fun and impactful voice coaching right now!

Up Next