What you eat and drink can have a significant effect on your singing. There are foods which can improve your voice, whilst others – such as fried foods and dairy – can irritate your vocal cords. Bananas may be great for your overall health, but are bananas good for singers before a performance?
Should you be tucking into a banana before a show? When eaten in moderation, fruit increases your serotonin levels and helps alleviate depression and anxiety, which is fantastic for confidence on stage. But bananas’ creamy texture can cause excess mucus, which will make hitting those high notes more difficult.
So is this a fruit to avoid before a performance and what foods do we recommend before hitting the stage? A quick snack which provides long-lasting energy and doesn’t increase your phlegm.
Are bananas good for singing?
Bananas moderate your blood sugar levels to reduce your appetite. This is ideal if you have little time to consume a rich meal before a performance. The glycemic index (the speed foods increase your blood sugar levels) of bananas is well-balanced.
This means you’ll have consistent energy levels and won’t encounter any significant spikes which could impact your performance.
Bananas are good for nerves. They’re natural beta-blockers which reduce nervous symptoms, such as shakes and sweaty palms. This fruit is rich in serotonin (a neurotransmitter which contributes to feelings of happiness) which significantly lifts your mood.
Everyone wants to feel happier, and by increasing your serotonin levels, you combat anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
Are bananas good for your vocals?
Although bananas are good for nerves, mood, and sustaining energy levels, they’re not so kind on your vocals. Bananas can produce extra phlegm or mucus which sits on your vocal cords and leads to an unclear tone. The actual texture of a banana is thick, which can sit on your vocal cords.
So bananas are bad for singers?
Eating a banana right before singing is equivalent to drinking milk. The heavy mucus it produces can make the easiest part of your song difficult to sing. As there’s a lack of moisture in this fruit, it doesn’t easily glide down the throat either, which can irritate your cords.
So, yes, bananas can be bad for singing, and as such you should look to eat a snack that won’t affect your vocal cord or increase mucus and phlegm levels.
How many bananas should you eat to feel the benefits?
But that’s not to say you should discount bananas completely as a singer; don’t dismiss the health benefits of bananas.
However, the most important factor to stress is that this fruit doesn’t have any benefits on your vocal cords. Therefore, eating one before a performance won’t help you sing your best. Instead, the excess mucus will make performing more difficult.
What fruits should you eat instead?
We advise that you avoid eating bananas immediately before hitting the stage, and preferably, during the entire day of your performance.
Instead, grapefruit and pineapple help to reduce mucus production, which makes them great foods to eat just before a performance.
What food should you avoid before singing?
We’ve now discounted bananas for singing, but what other foods should you avoid before a performance?
Basically, anything with dairy in it is going to be trickier for your body to break down and should never be eaten straight before a show.
Dairy products such as cheese and milk can lead to a nasty acid reflux that can get into your vocal cords and have a negative effect on your singing voice.
Think of all that thick mucus that develops when you eat a cheesy snack or down a pint of milk. It’s going to stick to your throat and inhibit you from hitting those top notes. Don’t do it!
Anything food type to avoid like dairy and bananas would be anything like that contains a lot of sugar. Sugar will also stick around in your throat.
Sugar can also give you a rush that will pass quickly.
Do you really want to take all the energy out of your voice and performance? Of course not!
We also recommend not eating anything with caffeine, chocolate, or butter in it, plus any type of fried food.
What snacks do you eat before a performance? Are there certain foods that you avoid? Let us know in the comments below.