What Singers/Vocalists Should Eat and Drink? 
~ By Jin Loh

Singers/Vocalists Meals (Foods) and Beverages (Drinks/Water)

What should a singer/vocalist eat and drink? What kinds of foods and drinks are good for singers/vocalists?What kinds of foods and drinks should Classical Opera singers, Jazz singers, Pop singers or other singers/vocalists eat or drink more?

There are certain good, recommended foods and drinks (water) that singers/vocalists should try to eat or drink more. There are also some foods and drinks that singers/vocalists should try to avoid especially before or during their singing, performances, recordings, shows or gigs, which I discussed on another separate article called the 'Singers/Vocalists Avoid Foods and Drinks'.

Eating or drinking 'The Good/The Right Foods and Drinks for Singers/Vocalists',  may give the singers/vocalists more energy to support their voice, making them feel better or calmer before performances, helping them to hydrate their vocal folds (voice) and throat. It also provides many other health benefits for singers/vocalists.

Below are some examples of foods and drinks (water) that singers/vocalists should try to eat and drink more: -

 What Singers/Vocalists Should Eat and Drink  

Eating more vegetables and fruits are healthier than eating meats for singers/vocalists, for us, and for our beautiful planet earth. :)

In order to produce meats for us to eat, many innocent livestock animals are confined and sacrificed, to become our food inside our mouth... If you watched the 'Chicken Run' animated comedy film many years ago, you may look at your chicken chop placed in front of you in a new point of view, which is in the point of view of that chicken... :O

Try to imagine what a chicken (including all livestock animals, seafoods that we eat) are forced to go through, in terms of physical and mental pain and fear. Since a small little innocent chick, it is always confined in a small cage, forced to grow up faster by eating funny foods, watching other members and friends going 'missing' one by one and never see them again... Later when the chicken grows to the right size, then it is the chicken's turn to sacrifice.. Imagine the pain and fear..etc, the poor little chicken has to go through...

Besides livestock animals and other seafoods, we actually have many options of healthy and delicious foods provided by our nature. For example, we have different types, colours, energy, tastes of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds or even flowers (some are edible :) ).

We have a choice for not eating and hurting animals..

During the industrial meat production proses, poisonous gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are also released into the air polluting our air and our beautiful environment. 

Hence I encourage singers/vocalists or even if you are not a singer, to try to eat more vegetables and fruits. Try to slowly reduce eating meats.

Foods With Rich Vitamins A, B Complex (B7), C and E Are Good For Singers/Vocalists

Singers/vocalists should try to eat more foods with vitamins A, B complex (especially B7), C and E.

Vitamin AVitamin A is also known as retinol, because it produces the pigments for the eyes' retina. It is important for singers/vocalists because Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. 

Singers often need to sing, perform or do recordings in dim light. So eating Vitamin A foods is important for singers' eyes.  

Besides the benefit of good vision, Vitamin A also helps to maintain healthy skin, soft and skeletal tissue, teeth, mucus membranes and immune system for singers/vocalists. 

There are 2 types of Vitamin A. 

1) Performed Vitamin A which is found in animals foods like dairy foods or meats, 2) Pro Vitamin A which is found in vegetables and fruits. 

Examples of Pro-Vitamin A foods are:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli 
  • Spinach
  • Orange and bright yellow fruits like apricots

Even though Vitamin A is good, please do not over eat because it has side effects like making the skin turn yellow or orange colour. :O

Vitamin B Complex: All the eight B vitamins - B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 , B7, B9 and B12 are referred as Vitamin B Complex . 

Especially Vitamin B7, also known as Vitamin H. Later it replaced by the name - Biotin. Vitamin B7 is sometimes called 'the beauty vitamin' because it helps to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. Being a 'beauty vitamin', it is an important vitamin for singers/vocalists especially for pop singers who need to maintain an attractive physical appearance all the time for their profession... :)

It is interesting to highlight that one of the Vitamin B7's benefits are weight loss! :P   Vitamin B7 helps to reduce surplus fat from the body and maintain a healthy weight.

If singers/vocalists noticed they have following symptoms for example,

  • crack in the corners of the mouth 
  • painful and swollen tongue
  • thinning and loosing hair colour
  • dry eyes
  • mild depression
  • exhaustion or insomnia, 

Try to eat more Vitamin B7 foods to see if it helps.

Examples of Vitamin B7 or Biotin foods are:

  • brewer's yeast
  • soybeans
  • cauliflower
  • peas
  • bananas
  • watermelon
  • nuts
  • cereals
  • others

However, just like other vitamins and minerals or foods, please be careful not to overeat. Taking too much biotin or Vitamin B7 may cause side effects like acne, allergic reaction, miscarriages or interactions with certain medications.  

Vitamin CVitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is a type of water-soluble vitamin that our body doesn't produce on its own, store or accumulate. Water-soluble vitamins means the vitamins would dissolve in water. The leftover vitamin would then leave our body when we go to the washroom... Therefore, we need to eat foods with vitamin C, daily.

Singers/vocalists are encouraged to include a daily diets of Vitamin C foods or drinks because some scientifically controlled studies have shown that regular consumption of vitamin C may reduce the severity of cold symptoms and the duration of colds.  However, if vitamin C is only taken after a colds starts, it may not be very helpful. 

Thus, taking regular vitamin C is important for singers/vocalists who have very busy schedules, who could not 'afford' or allowed themselves to catch a cold and rest for a long period of time, because they have many performances, concerts, gigs or shows waiting for them.

Besides being a natural antihistamine that may reduce histamine levels, Vitamin C is also one of many antioxidants that may protect against damaged caused by free radicals, toxic chemicals or pollutants like cigarette smoke.

What is free radicals?

When our body are exposed to radiation or tobacco, or when our body breaks down food, it creates free radicals. Thus taking more Vitamin C may be important for singers who have many gigs, shows or recordings in places surrounded by people, audiences or sound engineers who smoke... :O  

Other vitamin C benefits include creating and maintaining collagen - which is known as the 'glue that holds our body', strengthens blood vessels, gives our skin its elasticity, improve hair and nails, and other benefits.

A 2007 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed middle-aged women who ate more Vitamin C foods have fewer wrinkles and less skin dryness. :)

If a singer/vocalist noticed some of the following symptoms or deficiencies in his or her body, it may showed a lack of vitamin C in the body.

  • bleeding gums
  • dry, split hair
  • decreased ability to fight infection
  • easy bruising 
  • wound is taking longer time to heal
  • rough, scaly skin

However, please do not take too much Vitamin C even you may need it more than others. If one takes too much vitamin C, one of the side effects are, it may cause indigestion, diarrhoea and other problems.

If possible, try to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, instead of taking vitamin C pills or supplements. The best sources of vitamin C foods are raw vegetables and fruits.  

Examples of Vitamin C foods are:

  • broccoli
  • guavas
  • kiwi fruits
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • cauliflower

Vitamin EVitamin E is a group of 8 fat-soluble vitamins or antioxidants. It helps to fight free radicals in our body. It protects for example, cell membranes like lung cells, which is important for singers.

Our body's own metabolism also creates free radicals when we do excessive aerobics exercise. Just like athletes, some singers especially pop singers-dancers who need to dance a lot during their practises or performances, may need to get a little more amount of vitamin E to make sure those free radicals would not get out of hand.

Examples of Vitamin E foods are:

  • almonds
  • avocado
  • sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • spinach
  • plants oil (olive oil)
  • others

However, please don't over eat Vitamin E. Clinical trials found that people who  over eat Vitamin E in a long term, have increased risk in for example, stroke, hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding.

Singers need to be aware that seeds, nuts and oils are high calorie foods. Thus these food should be taken in moderate amounts, especially if you need to control your weight..

Some of the symptoms of lack of certain vitamins mentioned here, could be the symptoms for other health problems or diseases. To be safe, I advise to please check with doctor if your condition is quite serious or you noticed your body or throat..etc do not feel quite right for some time...

Please consult your medical doctors and follow their medical advise and treatments. 

Singer's/Vocalists Protein Food

To get more protein without eating meats, singers/vocalists could eat more :-

  • whole grains like brown rice, barley
  • Beans for example, black beans
  • Soy foods like tofu
  • Nuts like almonds (source of high quality protein and Vitamin E. Also contain L-carnitine and riboflavin that boost brain activity - good if you need to memorize many lyrics or songs.. :)
  • Seeds like sesame seeds (contain unique sesamin and sesamolin. Helps to lower cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure). Chia seeds (rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids helps to control blood clotting and build brain cell membranes. There are 3 essential omega-3 fatty acids namely ALA, DHA and EPA we need, but our body don't made these omega-3 fatty acids so we need to get from foods. Normally if we want to get DHA and EPA, we need to eat certain fish. But if we don't want to eat meat, we still can get omega-3 fatty acids through ALA, found in nuts and seeds.) Sunflower seeds is an excellent source of Vitamin E for antioxidant, to fight free radicals in our body and to protect lung cells )

Singer's/Vocalist's Vegetables 

Since about 60% of our body comprise of water, it is important for singers/vocalists to eat more high water content vegetables and fruits. Keeping the body and vocal folds hydrate are important for singers/vocalists especially before singing.

Examples of high water content vegetables are: -

  • cucumber
  • lettuce
  • celery
  • radish
  • others

Singer's/Vocalist's Fruits

Examples of high water content fruits are: -

  • watermelon
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • apples (An apple a day keeps the doctor away!)
  • grapes

Bananas, apricots or spinach are examples of good foods for singers/vocalists who have stage-fright or performance anxiety.  By eating foods that contain tryptophan like bananas, it helps singers to release seratonin and reduce stress. :)

Singer's/Vocalist's Beverage (Drinks/Water)

The Recommended or Best Drink or Water for Singers/Vocalists especially Before/During Singing: -

  • Room temperature (plain) water.

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