A dry throat can hinder your singing and destroy your efforts, which is why many singers drink various fluids before performances to keep their throats moist. The vocal cords are present in the larynx (the airway), but drinking fluids can help avoid irritation and maintain a healthy voice.
It doesn’t mean any drink will do. Care is needed on what you drink to avoid problems during a performance. So, what are the best drinks before singing?
The ultimate drink to ingest before singing is water (room temperature), and some other beneficial drinks are; decaffeinated and herbal teas and pineapple juice.
This article will brief you on what types of drinks you can have and what drinks you should avoid ensuring you do your best, whether in a solo performance or a concert.
Drinks To Have Before Singing
When it comes to performing, whether it’s singing or any other type of performance, it’s important to be hydrated. There are certain drinks that can help improve your vocal performance. Here are three drinks to have before singing.
Room Temperature Water
Most people will raise their brows when they hear that water is the best drink before singing, but remember that it isn’t too hot or cold because it may cause an adverse effect.
Vocal cords are a lifeline of any singer. The time it takes to lubricate your vocal cords is nearly 4 hours after drinking plenty of water. So, drinking the optimum amount of 1.8-2 liters of water per day is highly recommended. To know why hydration is crucial for a good voice, click here.
Gargling with warm water with a pinch of salt can help ease a sore throat and prevent discomfort.
Herbal or Decaffeinated Tea
Teas are a great way to help in moistening your throat, and they also have a variety of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation properties. Tea without caffeine can be pretty helpful, as it soothes throat muscles and increases flexibility providing better control over your voice.
Chamomile tea is an excellent choice before you sing because it has a calming effect, which helps relieve stress.
Many singers recommend ginger tea because of its benefits. It has many antioxidants and warming properties, which help ease a sore throat, and it also helps boost the immune system.
Throat Coat Tea
Throat coat tea has the characteristics of Elm Bark and Licorice Root tea. It helps relax throat muscles (you can hit higher notes) and increase throat health by boosting the immune system.
Peppermint tea has the best anti-inflammation character and helps relieve a sore throat. It contains menthol, which can provide an energy boost and a cooling effect.
Honey and Lemon Tea
This simple recipe has been considered a remedy for a sore throat in homes since old times and provides a soothing and revitalizing effect, resulting in better singing performance.
Check out the hidden health benefits of a variety of teas here.
Pineapple Juice Without Chunks
Many singers prefer drinking pineapple juice before singing. It has natural anti-inflammatory characteristics, which help in clearing your voice. Also, It contains Vitamin C like most other fruits, so avoid eating its chunks, as it can result in a build-up of phlegm.
It is advisable to have the drink at least 2 hours before you get into singing to get the best effect out of it.
Some other notable drinks you can have before your singing sessions are:
Like fruits, vegetables are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties. The iron in some vegetables also provides enough stamina and vitality to maintain a good voice for longer singing sessions.
Almost every fruit juice, like pineapple juice, increases saliva production (throat stays moist), but try to avoid fruits with high sugar content (litchis, mangos, grapes) and find which fruit juice works for you, e.g., apple juice, orange juice, or watermelon juice.
Drinks To Avoid Before Singing
There are several drinks you need to avoid so you can give your all in your performance, and a few of them are associated with misconceptions.
Many people believe that singers turn to this beverage before a performance, as it helps to calm their nerves or make them bolder, but in reality, it is a misconception.
Alcohol impacts your performance because it causes dryness, heightens the need to urinate, causes loss of self-awareness, and increases stress.
Too Hot or Too Cold Water
Your vocal cords are folds of muscles, and muscles become stiff under cold conditions, reducing flexibility. So, drinking cold water before a performance can not only hinder the performance but also damage your vocal cords.
The same goes for hot water. It can result in increased production of phlegm and inflammation of muscles, causing a sore throat. So, your voice becomes stuffy, and you can have difficulty breathing.
Coffee or Caffeinated Drinks
Coffee or Caffeinated Drinks, in general, are diuretics and increase blood flow to the kidneys, so your body loses water quickly and can cause dehydration. Your vocal cords need lubrication to maintain smooth function, so dehydration is a big no.
According to a study, caffeine doesn’t impact singing by large, and the human body develops tolerance to it over time. Check out the impact of caffeine on singing here.
Milk or Dairy Drinks
You may often hear a doctor advising you to avoid milk or dairy products if you have a throat infection. It is because drinking milk can increase phlegm production.
Another adverse effect is acid reflux, in which acid travels upward to the food pipe, causing a burning sensation, which can also affect your vocal cords.
While there is countless research on the effects of various drinks on your voice, the main thing to keep in mind is that you are YOU. Not everyone is a stickler for rules, and not every tried and tested remedy is best. So, go for what suits you best.
Lastly, singing comes with time and effort, which also goes towards maintaining healthy vocal cords. So, keeping them moistened isn’t a one-time deal but a continuous effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Drinking 8 glasses (200 ml) for women and 10 glasses (200 ml) for men is the recommended amount to maintain proper hydration daily. Drinking a lot of water just before singing can increase the need to urinate, so gulping down a large amount is best to avoid.
The answer is no. Frequent clearing of the throat indicates you have a build-up of mucus, which results in a stuffy voice, and if not careful, you can damage your vocal cords. So, it is best to avoid frequent clearing of your throat.