Alcohol can affect how your voice acts while you sing

Alcoholic beverages have been used for centuries to provide relaxation, and the effects have been well-documented. While many know about alcohol’s ability to impact judgement and motor skills, its impact on your voice is one that might surprise you.

Dehydrating your throat

You might be tempted to use alcohol to soothe your anxiety before a performance, but it can actually impact your singing ability. Despite being a beverage, alcohol can cause dehydration and take away moisture from your throat. That in turn can mitigate your vocal chords from being lubricated and create a more raspy tone.

Slurred speech

As alcohol enters the bloodstream, it can increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that the brain produces. This is turn can negatively affect how your brain processes information, leading to slower reaction times and movements, including your ability to speak.

Stronger acid reflux

Too much alcohol can upset the stomach, but that can also play a role in how your voice is projected. Certain types of alcoholic beverages can make GERD symptoms worse by relaxing the sphincter muscle and allowing stomach acid to come back to the esophagus. Beer in particular is pretty rough on GERD and your voice due to its carbonation.

Chronic laryngitis

Laryngitis in general is the inflammation of the voice box (larynx). While there are many causes, such as illness, exposure to dust, and smoking, consistently consuming alcohol can bring about these same symptoms. Constant drinking irritates the larynx to create that familiar “sore throat” feeling that’s present from constant yelling.

Less enthusiasm

While alcoholic beverages are used to lighten a mood, its nature as a depressant can cause emotions to ebb and flow. This can make your voice go through several pitches as the drink affects your mood. At the end of the first buzz, it can lead to mumbling or less enthusiastic speaking.

Whether you enjoy alcoholic beverages or not, you might find that your voice is less than stellar one day. For any voice, vocal cord, or throat concerns you have, reach out to a CEENTA voice and swallowing specialist to diagnose and treat your condition. Schedule your appointment today to enjoy your melodies again. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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