Did you know that what you eat and drink really does affect your voice?
I am sure you have heard this at some time – but do you still take note of it?
Funnily enough I often hear people asking how to clear up their sinus’s or how to clear up the mucus so their voice sounds better – but should you try to dry your throat out?
And is it a result of eating and drinking the right things so you shouldn’t?
First of all remember that mucus is your friend – it is a thin coating that protects the nasal passages and the health of your throat and voice.
Yes too much can leave you clearing your throat which in turn muffles your voice and will eventually lead to irritated vocal chords when you over work them.
The major contributing factor to an excess of mucus is fatty foods, caffeinated beverages (coffees, teas, soft drinks) and avoiding them on days that you are on-air or in the booth is highly recommended.
My list of 7 forbidden food and drinks are:
- Chocolate (I KNOW!) The caffeine in cocoa beans will dry out the vocal chords – so never, ever eat it before recording or going on-air.
- Latte drinks – I know that some of us are addicted to them (me included) b\ut try to avoid them – or go with skim milk or alternative milk substitutes if you have to have them – the lactose ‘click’ in your voice an be heard – trust me!
- Dairy products such as cheese – cheese on anything like pizza – you can hear the difference (one jock ate pizza in the middle of his shift and I could hear his voice change on-air – argh! It was terrible!)
- Anything that is fried – anything! From hot chips to well anything – just don’t do it – your vocal chords will thank you!
- Anything creamy – such as mayonnaise, butter, cream cheese – nope avoid anything creamy!
- Baked goods – any of them – are usually high in fat – from hot pies to pastries, cakes, you name it – it will have fat in it.
- A controversial final one – especially at my workplace – but MINTS – menthol mints are verboten! Menthol will dry out your vocal chords and the mucus in your throat – Just say no!
So what is the worst thing you can eat for let’s say – lunch?
I would say a slice of pizza with a small cake and a iced coffee. Or popcorn – NO!
Okay we have covered the worst things – what is the best things?
I know one jock who swears by a warm lemon juice and water mixed with a Barocca (personally I would not add the Barocca – but they do, do breakfast so they need a pick-me up – and have one of these every day while on-air – and their voice is silky smooth – so what do I know?).
Warm water is another popular favourite to keep your throat lubricated – but if you are taking it into the studio or booth – check with your producer first as many will say no – that it needs to be kept away from all of the equipment – and rightly so!
Something else that is good for your throat is raw foods – such as apples or bananas – nuts can be okay, if you need a little snack – but look very closely at the bars with nuts and other things like seeds in them – some can contain yogurt or similar milky products – but honey ones – they are a big YES for me.
Also, and I can’t believe I still have to say this – but don’t smoke – or vape – you are doing damage to your vocal chords – which is your main source of income – why would you destroy your most essential tool? Just don’t do it!
In closing – the best thing is raw products, the worst are anything cooked in fat or with lactose in them. Remember that you do end up sounding like you have just eaten – if you have just eaten.
Keep your vocal chords warmed up and don’t eat Menthol Mints!