As soon as we understand that proper singing happens with our whole body, there’s no way out taking a closer look at our menu. We have to make sure that we feel vital and energetic and support a great shape through our nutrition.
Especially before a live performance, where we want to be able to pull out our best, it can be crucial what, when and how much we eat.In this article I will share some ideas on good foods for your singing voice and what to eat offstage to excel on stage.
I’m not sure, if everyone knows about this. It’s a matter of fact that the proper pH balance is super important, if not essential, to our body.
Unfortunately, most of us are too acidic (pH 0-7). You can test yourself by peeing on a pH indicator strip.
Chronic acidosis can result in overweight, bad skin, headaches, frequent colds, joint pain, low energy, exhaustion or digestive issues.
Even, if you don’t suffer from one or more of this long-term symptoms yet, consuming acid foods will affect your body condition straight away. I’m sure you agree, that it’s hard to put on a thrilling show when you’re feeling tired and bloated.
Let’s just make it a rule to grab for basic food, that will please your body and brain and keeps you harmonized.
So, next time you’re in the supermarket or having dinner outside, make sure to look for……
– Anything naturally green (e.g. beet greens, spinach, celery, apple)
– Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpea)
– Tubers (carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
– Spices like cinnamon, ginger or mustard
There is common agreement on the health benefits of fatty fish. Not only is fish a rich source for proteins, but also does it contain valuable fatty acids.
The Health benefits of fatty acids are broad:
– Heart promotion
– Brain protection
– Fight depression
– Relieve inflammation
While fat nowadays has a relatively bad reputation, you have to see the two sides of the coin. To put it simple
– Good: Unsaturated fatty acids, which can be found in fish, avocado, nuts or olive oil.
– Bad: Trans-fat (saturated), which can be found in processed foods (chips, fast food or frozen pizza)
But why is the healthy fatty fish especially good for singing? Fat is an energy carrier. And that’s what we need for a breathtaking live show.
Unlike after a bag of chips which causes some feeling of nausea, perfectly grilled salmon will energize and promote your whole body.Some great examples for fatty fish are salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring.
Protein is a substantial building material of the human body (e.g. muscles, skin and organs). Therefore, it is highly important to ensure sufficient daily protein intake.
Besides its constructive and re-constructive functions, a high-protein diet also shows further beneficial effects like better sleep and blood pressure decrease.
When I get hungry, but I know that I have some agenda ahead, like singing or sports, I just eat a mediocre portion of cotton cheese with an avocado. That totally fills me up without knocking me down energetically.
Some high-protein foods I regularly put on my menu:
– Omelet (love it for breakfast, delicious when it’s served with spinach)
– Cotton cheese (yummy combined with an avocado)
– Lean chicken or turkey (there are also fantastic veggie products available)
– Sea Food
Mild & Light Food
It’s pretty obvious, why light meals are on my list of recommendations. When you eat heavy, high calorie food your body desperately starts fighting to digest the stone in your stomach. And that means work. And work means lost energy for you.
As a rule of thumb, choose light, low carb foods like vegetables, fruits or salad. Avoid heavy pasta meals, cheese, red meat, cream and sweets.
Spicy food should also be eliminated from your menu. Although increased blood circulation seems to be a smart idea to warm up your throat, the downsides of spicy food outweighs desired effects.
What happens if you bite into a chili peppercorn? You’ll start sweating, your tongue and throat burn and your stomach is rumbling.
Eventually, your body will be dehydrated which means your throat turns dry and that’s the worst thing that could happen to a singer.I know, I’m talking about extremes, but that’s what happens with spicy food.
Overall, your body is imbalanced and we don’t want that before a gig.
The human body is composed of around 60% water. So it’s highly important for multiple functions to keep a proper balance.
Bear in mind that not only through sweating, but also by the intake of certain substances like salt, sugar or caffeine, we lose water.
It’s not hard to see, that the best idea is to replace a loss of water with …. right, water!
Trash your soda cans and save the wine for after-show celebrations.
It’s time for one of the best things mother earth has provided for us.
Expert tip: Put some sliced orange, lime or cucumber in a carafe and fill it up with water. This way, you will alkalize the naturally pH neutral water and make it even healthier.
Avoid drinking alcohol. If you are used to taming your stage fright with some booze, read my article Overcome Stage Fright When Singing. When it comes to coffee, I’m more laid-back. A recent study showed, that up to 8 cups of coffee per day are considered to beneficial for your health.
Eating and drinking properly is certainly an important part, when it comes to your vocal performance.
Especially on the “big day”, you should watch your menu and take care of your body.
Assessing your meals against healthy fats, alkalinity, protein content, mildness/heaviness will make a major impact on your body condition as well as on your vocal performance. Remember, the better and more balanced you feel, the better and easier your singing will be.
I’ll leave you with my special Felix’ gig-day-menu
Breakfast: Espresso, Spinach-Omelet (3 eggs),
Lunch: Grilled salmon with zucchini and sweet potatoes
Afternoon (not later than 2h before the show): Cottage cheese with avocado
Drinks: Water with orange slices throughout the day (2-3 liter)
Enjoy your meal!