- Discover how vocal cords affect the way you sound.
- Find out about the beverages you should drink for a good singing voice and the ones you should avoid.
- Learn more about how certain drinks can impact your voice.
A good singing voice either comes naturally or is born from hours of training and practice. But as a singer, professional or casual, you should know that the right drink also determines the quality of your voice.
The type of beverage you choose to consume can make or break your performance. But which drink helps you with your singing voice? Let’s find out.
What Are Vocal Cords?
The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are small bands of muscle and tissue at the top of your windpipe. When air from your lungs passes through your vocal cords, it causes them to vibrate and make sound.
These vocal cords will open or close depending on what you’re doing. When you’re breathing, they remain open. But when you speak or sing, they close and pull tighter as you go for higher notes.
Do Vocal Cords Affect Singing?
Vocal cords define the quality and volume of your voice. Since it’s required to make sound, it’s a no-brainer that keeping it healthy and lubricated is important for a good singing voice.
You want your vocal cords soft, flexible, and smooth without any inflammation.
To have a good singing voice, you must choose the right beverage. Different drinks can have a considerable influence on your voice and affect your performance.
Let’s take a look at the best drinks to have a good singing voice.
Best Drinks for a Good Singing Voice
Water is the ultimate lubricant for the throat. Even if you find it boring, it stands as the healthiest choice of beverage.
Dehydration, no matter how mild it is, is detrimental to your health in the long run, whether you sing or not. If you try to sing while your throat is dry, you’ll end up causing lasting vocal damage.
That’s why drinking water is rarely harmful or counterproductive. It’s also affordable, easily accessible, and available everywhere.
However, the temperature of your drinking water also decides the quality of your voice. Cold water isn’t ideal as it will constrict your throat and make your voice sound choked.
Hot water causes your vocal cords to be inflamed and ruins your tone. It also increases the amount of mucus around your vocal cords, making you sound stuffy.
Instead, you should drink warm water for more supple vocal cords that are less liable to injury. It’s also advisable to take little sips of water gently instead of chugging the entire cup to prevent straining your throat further.
Warm Black Tea
When it comes to teas, decaffeinated options are the most ideal. Caffeine tends to mess with your mucus production and dries out your throat. It also constricts the throat muscles, which will lead to damaging stress on your vocal cords if you don’t hydrate after.
However, black tea is an exception. It contains compounds called tannins that relieve sore throat pain and reduces inflammation.
Black tea shouldn’t be consumed by itself though. You should have it at room temperature with a dab of low-fat milk for optimal effect. Take slow sips of it so it will envelop your throat and strengthen your singing voice.
Peppermint tea is one of the best caffeine-free teas that guarantees a good singing voice. Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve clogged sinuses.
Clear sinuses indicate easier breathing and less mucus, allowing your voice to come out strong and audible.
The best way to have peppermint tea is to drink it while it’s warm. It can also help with cases of sore throat, so it definitely does wonders for you in many ways.
Chamomile tea is another great beverage for your vocal cords. It has a light, earthy, and floral flavor that makes hydration a refreshing experience. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds, making it beneficial for your throat.
Chamomile tea has a reputation of relieving stress and helping people to relax. Thus, it’s a good choice if you’re struggling with nerves before a performance.
You often hear of using ginger as medicine or ingredients in cooking, but ginger tea has been widely consumed for its medicinal benefits too.
Ginger contains antioxidants, which boosts your immune system, fights infections, and protects you from bacteria that can cause sore throats.
Ginger tea can bring comfort to your inflamed throat and strained vocal cords. Drinking it warm would soothe your throat muscles and prepare your voice for singing.
You can easily make ginger tea yourself or enjoy it through pre-packaged tea bags. If the spice of fresh ginger is too much for you, add some honey to your beverage to soften the flavor.
Throat Coat Tea
Throat coat tea is a type of herbal tea containing various ingredients that can soothe your throat. It’s made out of a formula usually consisting of licorice root, echinacea, lemon, slippery elm bark, and marshmallow root.
Throat coat tea can protect your voice from vocal strain, ease sore throat symptoms, and create a healthy amount of mucus to envelop your vocal cords.
It can be brewed at home using natural ingredients or store-bought tea bags. It’s also a popular and easy option for most singers and performers.
Warm Honey and Lemon Water
If you’re not a big fan of teas or want to switch your drinks up, you can go for warm honey and lemon water.
The combination of honey and lemon has been proven to be beneficial not just for your voice but for your body too. You can drink warm honey and lemon water even if you’re not a singer or into singing.
Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and citric acid, which helps fight against infections and break down the mucus in your throat.
Honey has a thick consistency that coats the throat and vocal cords, creating a smoother tone and preventing vocal stress.
Honey and lemon water is best made with natural, organic honey, specifically manuka honey, instead of synthetic ones.
For some people, citrus fruits like lemon can slightly dry the voice. If you’re one of them, go light on the lemon and add more honey into your warm drink.
Drinks to Avoid to Maintain Your Singing Voice
Any type of alcoholic drink is harmful to your singing voice. From wine to beer, alcohol is known to cause dehydration, increase mucus production, and eventually lead to long-term vocal range impairment.
Alcohol can also dry up and shrivel your vocal cords, so it’s better to avoid it completely if you want to maintain your singing voice.
Milk and other dairy products are the main reasons for phlegm build-up in your throat. You’ll end up sounding stuffy and find it hard to hit higher notes. It’s best to avoid drinking milk or any dairy-related beverage to maintain how your voice sounds.
But that doesn’t mean you should cut out milk entirely from your diet. Milk provides plenty of health benefits, so you can still have it once in a while.
Soda and Carbonated Drinks
Singers should avoid soda and carbonated drinks, especially before a performance. Some sodas contain caffeine and sugar, which lead to dehydration and throat dryness, affecting your vocal cords’ flexibility and range.
The carbonation in these drinks can also cause acid reflux, irritating the fine tissues in your voice box and throat.
It’s all right to drink soda or carbonated beverages occasionally. But if you’re serious about maintaining your singing voice, you should steer clear of then and opt for healthy, natural choices instead.
How Many Litres of Water Should a Singer Drink?
It’s recommended to drink at least eight glasses of 200 mL of water per day, which translates to 1.6 litres. However, men are recommended to drink more and should go for 2 litres of water daily.
Is Sparkling Water Good for the Singing Voice?
Sparkling water isn’t recommended if you want to have a good singing voice. Though it’s a healthier alternative, sparkling water still contains carbonic acid, like soda.
It can cause acid reflux, which can cause irritation to your voice and vocal cords.
Do Energy Drinks Help with Singing?
Energy drinks should be avoided to maintain your singing voice. Energy drinks can be great for keeping you awake and alert, but the caffeine and sugar in these beverages are abrasive to your vocal cords.
These drinks remove the lubrication from your throat and put your vocal cords under pressure when you sing, making you sound less than ideal.
Vocal cords determine the sound of your voice. Thus, having a healthy throat and vocal cords would give you a good singing voice.
Like any part of your body, your vocal cords can become damaged and inflamed from intense use and strain. You can alleviate your vocal cords and maintain your singing voice by consuming natural beverages like herbal teas, warm honey and lemon, and plain warm water. In most cases, these drinks can even help improve your singing voice.
The drinks you consume can affect how your singing voice works and sounds. It’s important to make wise beverage choices so your performance will be a success.