Man singing a song

Have a big performance coming up? Looking to impress your friends in the car or at the club? Your singing can be the highlight of the night if you take the right steps, and it all stems from how you can keep your throat healthy.

Avoid food that causes acid reflux

Acid reflux, or more specifically GERD, happens when stomach acid flows back up through your throat and esophagus. This can cause symptoms including regurgitation, burping, and sore throat, all of which can affect your vocal performance. Certain foods can trigger acid reflux or make it more prominent. Before your performance, it’s suggested to avoid foods like:

  • Peppers and spicy ingredients
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Fried chicken

Swap the alcohol for water

It might be tempting to have a beer or mixed drink before your performance, but it can hamper your ability to sing worse than any nerves you’re trying to stifle. In addition to causing acid reflux, alcohol can dehydrate your throat, create extra mucus, and impair your voice if you choose a harsher spirit.

Dr. Darrell Klotz, a CEENTA otolaryngologist and voice specialist at our SouthPark office, recommends avoiding alcohol in favor of a hydrating beverage. “Keeping your throat hydrated with water allows the vocal folds in your throat to vibrate easier, allowing for a more harmonic experience for you and your audience.”

Take breaks during practice and performing

Vocal strain can occur if you overuse your voice, leaving your vocal folds and the surrounding muscles sore. While “practice makes perfect” is a wise adage, it’s important to give your voice proper rest throughout the day or week leading up to your performance. If you’re performing a full set, schedule a break for you and your audience so that you can relax and rehydrate.

Use proper posture

Singing with a poor posture can make your vocal muscles work harder to sing. Even something as minute as moving your jaw forward can narrow the vocal tract and put additional stress on the larynx and vocal folds. Some tips for proper singing posture include:

  • Keep a straight spine
  • Loosen your shoulders, arms, and neck muscles
  • Relax your jaw
  • Engage your abdominal muscles

Be mindful of your medication

Allergies can definitely affect your singing by causing a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or nasal congestion. One method of treatment is to use antihistamines, which reduce the amount of inflammation in the nasal passages. While that can be an effective way to mitigate allergy symptoms, it also has the potential to dry up your vocal cords, creating a raspy voice. Prior to your performance, you can treat your allergies with an air purifier, nasal irrigation, or begin immunotherapy treatment.

Your audience deserves to hear the best singer possible, and what you do before showtime can make a huge difference. Your vocal care is also important, and experiencing hoarseness from overuse or other conditions can disrupt your performance. At CEENTA, our team of voice and swallowing specialists can examine your throat and provide the right treatment options for you based on your specific needs. Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Klotz at our SouthPark office today for throat care that’ll make you sing.

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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