By Cari Cole
Food and nutrition are fuel. When you feed your body the right nutrition and foods, your voice feels effortless. When you feed it the wrong foods, your voice peters out.
One of my artists who is on The Voice this season shot me an email last week asking about what is the right food to eat prior to performance. I wanted to share it with you, my tribe, so you could get the benefits of fueling your performances the right way.
Early on in my training as a singer, I was fascinated by the impact of food and nutrition on our bodies and consequently on our voices. The voice being an instrument housed in our body – what we feed it makes or breaks how our voice performs.
Here are my Top 9 Vocal Super Foods:
1. Fresh REAL food is superior to packaged or processed food.
If it didn’t grow from the ground, don’t eat it (or limit your consumption.) Veggies & fruits have more “energy” because they are “living” foods – singers need energy and oxygen in their blood (which real foods give us). Leafy greens, in particular, are energy givers: wheatgrass, watercress, kale, arugula, spinach (raw not cooked), romaine, mixed greens, broccoli rabe, escarole, etc.
2. Foods with high water content are hydrating.
Hydration from plants is an additional source that adds nutrition, too (8-10 oz. of water, too!). Celery is great for nerves (try a celery or carrot juice the day of – or sprinkle some on your salad.) Bok choy is actually a real super-food. And watermelon and melon of any kind is super hydrating for your voice. (I throw some pieces in my water for extra hydration.)
3. Salads are the main dish.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman (my nutritionist) says “make salads your main dish.” I squeeze a little lime or lemon & olive oil or use just a little balsamic. Top with avocado – great for lubrication.
4. Olive oil.
Speaking of olive oil, some people swear by it for a little extra lubrication (but use sparingly).
5. Green juice!
SHAZAAM! My favorite juice is celery (remember, great for nerves), cucumber, cilantro, sunflower sprouts, pea shoots + parsley with a smidge of ginger and garlic. Try adding more leafy greens too (watercress, kale, arugula, spinach raw not cooked, bok choy).
6. Strawberries are great for the larynx.
Notice how it’s shaped like the thyroid cartilage 😉 – love that. Google it – you’ll find some awesome articles about it.
7. Broth soups hydrate.
Miso, garlic soup, veggie soups (but no tomato or cream base – causes reflux).
These are good sources of protein. Stay away from ketchup (too much sugar) and sugar in general – depletes energy.
9. Carbs the night before a performance gives energy.
Sweet potatoes are better than rice or pasta, which turns into sugar.
What foods do YOU find helpful for your voice (actual foods not remedies)? Comment below! Happy Healthy Singing!!