Disclaimer: The following list is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease or illness. Before taking any of the following vitamins, mineral, or herbs, I urge you to contact your physician for consideration, and proper dosage amounts.
I have been asked many times if there were any “tricks” to keep your voice healthy. I don’t really consider hard work and vocal awareness a trick, but if you learn solid vocal technique and maintain an awareness of how you treat your voice, you will improve. Another aspect to consider is vocal health. By “feeding” your body with the right nutrients, you can maintain over-all health. So I decided to focus this blog on what nutrients best help to maintain a healthy vocal apparatus. What I am about to present to you is a review of my daily regimen; my list of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other areas I take into consideration to keep my voice healthy.
I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I might be what you would consider, a bit unhealthy. I had my tonsils removed when I was three years old, due to ongoing colds. I could possibly say that I have had several colds, every year of my life, for as long as I can remember until I began taking care of my voice. This includes basic colds to sinus infections, laryngitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis.
Singing in top form requires top health. Singing can be a mental thing, and people have a tendency to get in their own way. A lot of times a sore throat is created out of fear of performing, but there are still times when you are really sick. When you are tired of being sick, especially when you are a vocalist, you’ll try anything. So I decided to teach myself to be prepared for a sore throat. I have thoroughly researched this subject and came up with my own concoction of daily supplements. I have discovered what foods the voice needs to strengthen, replenish, and repair itself.
If you sing for hours a night, you are going to have to give your voice time to recuperate. First things first- PLENTY OF SLEEP! Your voice is very sensitive and when your body is tired, your voice will be the first to suffer. This is why when you are extremely tired, you feel like it’s too much work to talk. You could need eight-ten hours of sleep, especially after a long night of performing. You want be sure that you are well rested before you sing as well.
Singing, especially rock singing, takes a lot of physical energy. I also recommend some sort of exercise program. If you want to sing to your fullest potential, you must be in shape, as well as your voice. Cardiovascular exercise is best for a singer, preferably something such as jogging, or rebounding while you sing to also help build vocal stamina.
I follow a specific nutrient regimen every day. When I wake up in the morning, I drink 16-20 ounces of water. I continue to drink water all day long. My daily water quota is a gallon. It used to be more. The more you drink, the better. Your vocal cords need lubrication to maintain their elasticity, and only water will do.
I also take vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, and other supplements, such as Sinus Clear Out from SuperiorVocalHealth. When your body is tired or under physical or mental stress, you will lose vitamin C, and Calcium. Both strengthen the immune system. When your body lacks vitamin C and Calcium, the immune system is weakened and you risk the chance of infection. Magnesium helps the body to maintain Calcium. Zinc is the singer’s mineral. Zinc helps to reduce the swelling of inflamed vocal cords, which is why I also take Zinc lozenges if I have a cold. I also enjoy a daily cup of Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals.
The day of a performance, I up my water quota. I also perform at least 20-30 minutes of warm ups before singing by vocalzing along to my Voice RX Warm Up while performing my Vocal Stress Release routine as described in my book, Raie Your Voice”. By the time I hit the stage, I drive everybody crazy because I have to pee so much! But hey, I can sing all night long!!! I have also recently started using a new throat spray called Throat Saver by Superior Vocal Healh.. I’ll also occasionally suck on a lozenge. I’ll use anything that contains vitamin C, bee propolis, Zinc, apple pectin, slippery elm, licorice, or glycerin. I stay away from any menthol-based lozenges. Menthol dries out the vocal cords. Again, at the end of the night, I warm down my voice by performing some exercises from my Vocal Stress Release program.
Do some research and create your own daily regimen. What works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. Regardless of what you do, if you try to live a healthy lifestyle, (plenty of rest, water, nutrients) you will have a longer vocal career. If you are really serious about singing I offer these words of advice. Find a good vocal coach and learn proper technique. If you are a smoker, QUIT!!! Smoke aggravates the cords and dries them. Alcohol is also another bad choice. Alcohol dries out the vocal cords. If you are interested in more information about vocal health, everything we have discussed in this lesson is discussed in greater detail in my book, Raise Your Voice.