There are some bad drinks for singers, that you should steer clear of, especially right before singing.
Leaning how these drinks affect your voice is an easy way to improve your singing.
You might have experienced acid reflux or felt like your voice wasn’t agile. This could have something to do with what you drink before singing.
I wanted to share these drinks with you, so you know what to stay away from, especially on the day of a performance. Let’s go!
Bad Singer’s Drink #1: Any Cold Drink!
If you have not heard about this before, I am so happy that you get to know about it now. No matter the liquid you consume, if the temperature is low, it can really cause havoc on your voice.
Why are cold drinks bad for singers?
Well here is the physical explanation. A cooling down of the muscles affects their agility. Have you ever tried being outside in the cold, with your fingers freezing, and they just feel like they don’t work properly?
Maybe you have to unscrew a bottle cab, or fiddle with your bike lock, and your fingers just don’t move as fast as they normally do? Well, I grew up in the cold of Denmark, so that is something that I have tried many times 🙂
The same thing happens to your voice, and since your vocal folds are made of muscle that stretch and relax to create different pitches, you can see how this is so important to be aware of as a singer.
It’s always my fear that I forget my own water bottle at a gig and get chilled water from the bar. If that happens to you, you can try to heat it up in your mouth first, but it is really best to just drink room temperature water that you brought yourself.
You might even have heard singers before, being very particular about their water temperature. Now you know why.
It is no joke, water temperature really matters for singers.
Bad Singer’s Drink #2: Drinks with High Acidity
Acidic drinks such as soda, coffee, citrus juices, and even sports drinks like Gatorade, can trigger what is called acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux happens when acid from your stomach travels up through your oesophagus. Here, it can irritate your throat, and it can make your vocal folds swell, which in turn makes them less agile.
Imagine that you are playing the guitar with swollen fingers, that would make it really hard to play precisely and hit the right notes right?
It the same thing with swollen vocal folds. It makes it harder to stay on pitch and to get good phonation in your vocal folds.
Instead of drinks with acidity, try just drinking water on the day of your performance. Not only does it not give your acid reflux, but it also hydrates your voice from within. This makes it extra nice and agile.
Bad Singer’s Drink #3: Milk Based Drinks
Not only can milk based drinks also cause acid reflux. Many, many singers also experience, that milk affects their mucus production.
Singers describe that drinking milked based drinks makes them feel like there is a thick coat of mucus in their throat. It also makes most people feel like they have a lot of phlegm.
Having this feeling when singing is uncomfortable. The problem with this is, that it makes us cough to try and get rid of all the mucus.
Coughing is bad for the vocal folds because it makes them swell, and now we have the same problem as described above with the acid reflux.
It’s not good to sing with a swollen voice. I have meet some singers that say they are not affected by dairy consumption, and maybe you are one of the lucky ones too. I hope you are, but if not, just watch out for it. Opt out of milk based drinks, at least on the day of your performance. Then you can have a milkshake afterwards 🙂
Bad Singer’s Drink #4: Caffeinated Drinks
Caffeine, which is found in coffee, teas like green tea and black tea, as well as cola, has a dehydrating effect on your voice.
How are dehydrating drinks bad for your voice?
Even though dehydrating drinks are liquid they basically pull water out of your cells. This is also why you need to pee more when drinking caffeinated drinks. It basically pulls water out of your body and runs right through you without leaving moisture behind to hydrate you.
If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you know I’m all about staying hydrated. Hydrating your body, hydrates your voice from within and makes it agile so it can stretch and relax to make all sorts of pretty sounds.
Now, I love coffee and green tea but I don’t drink it before a performance. Instead, I opt for non-acidic herbal teas with a spoonful of honey. One of my little rituals 😉
Bad Singer’s Drink #5: Alcoholic Beverages
Gosh I feel like I am being a party killer, telling you not to drink coffee OR alcohol. However, like coffee alcohol also dehydrates you.
Another downside of alcoholic beverages are that they are usually chilled which we talked about above already.
Lastly, many alcoholic drinks are carbonated. This might sound funny, but it really is not fun trying to belt out a long note while trying not to burp. Trust me, not worth it.
Now, for the performing singers, I know this can be a hard one. Many of our gigs are at establishments where they serve alcohol and often we get offered free drinks as musicians.
I even have the experience that it is a great crowd pleaser if you raise your glass and cheer the crowd. It is nice to feel like you are having a drink together.
So what do you do?
I usually will bring a beverage up on stage, if I am playing a dive bar sort of setting, and cheers the locals, but I only take a few sips. If someone asks, you can always say that you are looking forward to having a drink with them after the set. This is a great way to build your fanbase if you are just starting out as well.
So these were some of the main beverages that can really wreak havoc on your beautiful singing voice. 1. Cold drinks, 2. Drinks with acidity, 3. Milk based drinks, 4. Caffeinated drinks, and 5. Alcoholic beverages.
Good Drinks for singers: Room Temperature Water
That there is one drink you can never go wrong with: Room temperature water!
Room temperatur water does not affect the agility of the muscles in your voice. Water also hydrates you from within and it is not high in acidity which diminishes the risk of acid reflux. As a singer, always cary a bottle of water… and a scarf 😉
Lastly, don’t freak out if you have a performance and you by mistake consumed one of the drinks mentioned in this post. Drink some room temperature water to counter it, and delude it in your system. Then go up there and sing your but off!
Related: 5 Daily Habits for a Healthy Voice
So my beautiful singers, thanks for geeking out with me today. As always, if you haven’t already done it, I Invite you to subscribe to my blog so that we can continue to geek out on your voice to create the sound that you want.
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