Bad Singing Foods
Harm Your Singing Voice!
“Bad Singing Foods”, as the name suggests, are foods that may be harmful to our vocal health and may also cause unnecessary damage to our singing voice and our vocal cords. Taking care of our voice involves avoiding some or most of these foods and taking more of the “Good Singing Foods” that I have listed elsewhere on this website.
Some of the more obviously bad singing foods are actually very common drinks: caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
These include coffee and tea and various popular soft drinks, which usually contain high levels of caffeine that can keep us awake at night or when we are tired!
Unforunately, these drinks also cause dryness in our throats as well as in our body, and this is not good for our singing voice.
Our vocal cords are very fragile, and they need to be moist in order to avoid the vocal damage that may occur with frequent singing, since the vocal cords vibrate at a very fast rate, and dryness may cause irritation to the cords!
Alcohol also causes constriction in the blood vessels in vocal tissue, causing a reduction in vocal control.
Drinking water with lemon mixed into it will also cause dryness in our throats and should also be avoided before a performance or singing practice.
We should also try to avoid overly salty foods, because these ‘bad singing foods’ draw water out from our body and cause dryness. Heavily peppered or spicy foods should also be avoided because these cause irritation to our throat as well as our vocal cords, and may cause us to clear our throats more often, creating more discomfort in our voice!
Acid reflux (when our stomach acids flow back up towards our throat) is also a cause of throat and voice irritation, and it may be caused by taking too much spicy food, as well as eating a lot of food very late at night just before sleep.
When the food is being digested at night and we are lying down on our bed, this increases the possibility of acid reflux, and in serious cases, it could cause damage to our vocal cords directly! Acidic fruit juices also increase the chances of acid reflux and should be avoided too, especially late at night before sleep.
Many singers usually would also avoid dairy products before a performance, for example cheese, yogurt, milk, ice cream and so on, or even common fruits like bananas. These ‘bad singing foods’ create excessive mucus production and may cause singers to have too much phlegm or mucus when they are singing.
Generally, we should also try to avoid taking too many cold drinks, for health reasons as well as for overall voice care too. Cold drinks cause our throats and our voices to contract and stiffen, and this is not good for singing because we need our vocal cords and throats to be warmed up and flexible in order to be able to hit the various pitches that we sing!
Other bad singing foods include nuts and snack foods. If taken just before a performance, these foods may leave bits and pieces of remnants in the throat, and these bits of nuts or snack foods may cause excessive irritation to our throat when singing! It will also cause us to clear our throats more often, which is another cause of vocal abuse or damage!
For general health of the body, we should avoid fast foods and overly fatty foods. These may cause us to become overweight, putting more strain on our bodies and on our voice. These foods are also high in salt content and cause dryness in our body and throat.
Avoiding these bad singing foods will certainly help us to take better care of our voice, and reduce the chances of damage to our singing voices, thus increasing our vocal health! Of course, we would still need to practise great breathing support when singing, as well as do proper vocal warmups each time before we sing, so that our voices are well supported and warmed up before each vocal performance or practice! This will go a long way towards preserving our wonderful singing voices!