A vocalist’s guide to healthy vocal chords
I work with musicians to cure what ails them through holistic wellness practices and nutrition. Here, I will outline the benefits of a balanced diet as it pertains to vocal performance, and the simple changes that can be made to ensure the best performance possible!
Healthy vocal chords are moist, with the least amount of inflammation as possible. Foods and beverages that are contributors to acid, and would be ideal to steer clear of on show or rehearsal days would be alcohol, caffeine, overly salty, spicy or peppery foods. Even water with lemon can cause irritation.
Acid reflux is also a cause of vocal and throat irritation, that happens when acidic food and drinks are taken in, or eating too close to bed time. Food being digested too late at night means a higher possibility of acid reflux, which can disrupt your sleep, damage vocal chords, and be generally uncomfortable.
Dairy products, and even bananas also cause excess mucus production, which as you can imagine, is pretty uncomfortable to sing through. Cold drinks cause our throats to contract and stiffen, which is the opposite of warm, flexible vocal chords we want to hit various pitches.
Foods that reduce inflammation, such as vegetables and fruits with high water content and low sugar are ideal. Whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of still water are always a good choice.