Knowing what not to eat before you sing is important for any singer that wants their voice to be at its best. There is nothing worse than being all phlegmy just before you sing. The more you sing, the worse it gets. You end up clearing your throat in between lines which no one wants to hear, and you end up pushing your voice as you feel resistant in the throat to your singing. The phlegm is the resistance.
The more you clear your throat, the more you agitate your vocal folds, the more mucus they make to protect themselves and so the cycle goes on.
A list of what not to eat before you sing
- Dairy: (milk, milk based chocolate, butter, cheese, whey protein, curries with butter ghee in them, biscuits.) you will need to check the labels of food that you buy as a lot of things have dairy in them like tomato soup! If you have an intolerance to dairy like I do, even a very small slip up brings the phlegm back with a vengeance.
- Spicy food: no hot curries, Mexican food, chilli pizza, no chilli peppers.
- Bread: I find that bread will often bloat me which makes me sluggish and burp a lot! The blotting makes it hard for me to breathe while my stomach is tight as a balloon. This, in turn, makes impossible to sing well.
- Honey: The honey tends to coat my throat. This coating of honey makes me clear my throat which creates more phlegm
What you eat food diary
Remember that we are all different, so if you find that none of the foods in the list above are fixing your problem, then it would be an idea to keep a food diary. Note when you had a good gig, what you ate on that day, and then on a bad day write down the food you had before that gig. Compare the foods and see if you can pick out a potential problem food. Then cut it out of your diet for a month. If your problem goes away then bingo you have your problem food.
Oh and another little tip for you, even if you have worked out that a food is ok for you to eat do not eat loads of it before you are about to sing. A full stomach will stop the breathing muscles working correctly which in turn lead you to push your voice. All my regular gigging students agree that often before a gig they will not eat after breakfast that day. If you really need to eat then a small meal 2 hours before you go up to sing works. Personally, I am buzzing so much that I don’t even think of food.
If you found this article helpful you may like my Learn to Sing article where I cover the 5 main areas that every singer needs to know to sing well.
So there you have it What not to eat before you sing. If you have any other foods that you would like to add to this list then feel free to let me know.
This is vocal coach Dylan
Signing out Yo!