– You’re passionate about your singing! You practice diligently, you always prepare your voice with a well-disciplined warm-up, and you pace your vocals
with good periods of rest. But have you taken a moment
to consider your diet? How does your diet affect your voice? We better find out. – [Announcer] Sound check. Check one, check two. (mellow music) G’day everyone. Welcome to another Voice Essentials video. My name is Dr Dan, and
I’m an Australian based singing voice specialist. It’s my lofty aim in
life to help you realize the full potential of your singing voice. So, if you want to get the
most out of your vocals, then take a moment to
subscribe to the channel. As vocal athletes, we need to consider every aspect of our existence
and how our everyday habits might be impacting the
condition of our voice. Our emotional state, the amount
of sleep we do or don’t get, and the physical health of our body all contribute to the capacity and capability of our instrument. The voice. So, it stands to reason
that our diet would have a significant effect on
how our voice behaves. Garbage in, garbage out, right! And the opposite is also true. Goodness in, goodness out. So, today we’re going to look
at those foods and fluids that singers need to consider limiting or avoiding altogether, as well as some of the foods and fluids that are beneficial to
the instrument as a whole. (wooshing) Before proceeding, it’s
important for me to state that I am not a nutritionist,
nor am I a medical doctor, so the advice I am about to
offer, while well researched, is general in nature and should be applied to your specific person as such, general. As always, your particular
health concerns should always be directed to your family physician. With that all being said, let’s
firstly tackle the big one. Dairy. Singer’s often ask me, is it safe to drink milk before singing. Well, there is little to no
research evidence to suggest that dairy products have a
negative impact on the voice. This being said, I know that personally, a milk-based product like a
smoothie or flavoured milkshake will leave me with a sensation of thickness through the throat, so I join with Leda Scearce in advising, What is certainly not advisable, is to cut dairy out of
your diet altogether. The US Department of
Agriculture recommends that Personally, I get a good
portion of my dairy intake from my two-double shot flat
white coffees every day. But Dr Dan, isn’t caffeine a big no-no? Well yes, and no. You see caffeine used to be on the list as highly dehydrating. Now, again due to recent research, coffee lovers across the
globe can rejoice because, But before you go on a caffeine bender, there is a caution that comes
from our new-found freedom. Caffeinated drinks such as
coffee are highly acidic, so they can heighten the
risk and severity of reflux. I’ve got another video
dedicated to the discussion of reflux and its impact on the voice, which I’ll leave a link to
below, but suffice to say, reflux, if left unmanaged can lead to significant issues for the singer. So that brings me to the word moderation. (wooshing) Much of what we have discussed thus far and are yet to cover, is governed by the age-old
wisdom of moderation. (wooshing) Not too little and not too much. Take for example the
consumption of alcohol. It’s not for me to tell
you to give up the booze. But I do need to encourage
you towards moderation. Alcohol is the double whammy. It is both highly acidic
and classed as a diuretic. And it’s for both of these reasons that I always advise singers to
avoid alcohol consumption twenty-four hours before any performance. And Christina Shewell,
in her book Voice Work, heightens my instruction writing, It may have become
apparent to you by now that one of our aims as singers
is to keep the body hydrated. I’ve said it many times on this channel. Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day, sipping your H2O quota
over your waking hours. Now, water not only helps
to lubricate the vocal folds and replenish the mucosal
lining of the vocal tract through the bloodstram. It also helps to transport your body’s much-needed nutrients
through the bloodstream. And this brings us to the question of, so what should I be eating to get the most out of my voice? Well, Nasser and Dardarian write that You see, we all have diverse dietary needs because our energy output levels, combined with our individual
metabolic rates, are different. A person with a sedentary desk
job that requires virtually no movement during work
hours, for example, will need a vastly different
daily nutrient menu to someone working a trade where physical movement
is an ever constant. So, in short, the application
of our aforementioned rule of moderation needs to be applied to your personal circumstance. (wooshing) In general, we all need a combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein. These macronutrients,
when balanced correctly contribute to a healthy body. Now before we close, I just
want to draw your attention to this fantastic list of
Performance Day Meal Planning. Adapted from the US
Department of Agriculture MyPlate Daily Checklist,
Nasser and Dardarian have put together a fabulous meal guide for optimal performance output. Notice how the meal plan doesn’t overindulge in any one food group. I’ll be keen to hear how you go when applying this meal plan to your next pre-performance disciplines. Nasser and Dardarian qualify
the performance meal plan stating that, They go on to instruct
that any meal, main meal consumed before a performance
should be ingested three to four hours before singing, to allow time for the
stomach to empty its contents into the small intestines. I hope that is all helpful as
you seek to improve your diet for the betterment of your voice. As we close, I keenly
invite your feedback about today’s topic in the
comments section below, but given the nature of the subject, I would ask that all comments refrain from offering dietary advice. Any comments that I deem to
be unhelpful will be deleted. This is a tricky subject for many singers, and I don’t want to muddy the waters with wacky conspiracy theories. So please comment but do so wisely. I look forward to seeing you all again in the next Voice Essentials
video. I’m Dr Dan, sing well.