Staying hydrated is crucial for singers. But what you drink before you sing is more important than you may think. Fizzy drinks and sodas, among other drinks, can have a negative impact on your performance.
Singers have to make informed choices before a performance. This includes what to drink, as it will affect how your voice works and sounds. Fizzy drinks are especially bad before you sing. Having a can of soda can impact your energy levels, stomach, and vocals.
Some fizzy drinks are worse for your voice than others. However, as a singer, it’s not just your vocal health you need to consider. What you eat and drink can affect your body and performance in more ways than you may realise.
Is soda bad for singers?
Fizzy drinks are known to have a negative effect on your health. Drinking sugary, carbonated drinks will affect the way your whole body functions before a show. They can have a significant impact on your vocal performance, too.
Just one fizzy drink before you go on stage can spoil your performance. The caffeine content in some sodas can be as bad for your vocals as drinking coffee before you get on stage. Caffeine dries out your throat, leaving your vocal cords tight and irritated.
Combined with a high sugar content, fizzy drinks will make your body hit a rush, then cause you to burn out and crash.
The fizziness of soda will increase the amount of air in your stomach, too. This extra gas can make you feel bloated and make it uncomfortable to be active on stage, as well as making it harder for you to use proper breath control during your performance.
How fizzy drinks affect a singer
Drinking soda will take its toll on your entire body before a show. The caffeine and sugar in fizzy drinks like Coke can cause hyperactivity followed by exhaustion. As a singer, you need a constant, maintained stream of energy while you’re on stage.
Fizzy drinks also cause a false sense of fullness. The bubbles trapped in your stomach create a sense of feeling full, making you more likely to skip vital snacks before your performance.
When this effect wears off, your blood sugar levels will be disrupted, and you’ll become hungrier sooner. This will cause you to lag on stage. You need proper nutrition from whole foods before you perform, not a temporary fix from sugary drinks.
Is Coke good or bad for singers?
Coca-Cola is the top soft drink brand in the world. But Coke is a bad choice of refreshment for a singer.
An average can of Coca-Cola contains 32mg of caffeine, while Coca-Cola Energy has a shocking 80mg inside the bottle. It’s wise to avoid caffeine before a show because it can dry out your vocal cords, restricting their contractions and limiting your vocal range. Caffeine can also cause anxiety.
A 330ml can of original Coke also packs 35g of sugar – which is sure to give you an energy crash when the sugar rush fades.
Beware of the Diet Coke options, however. These may be lower in sugar, but they’re full of even more caffeine to compensate, containing 42mg of caffeine in the average can.
Is lemonade good or bad for singers?
Lemons are known to have a soothing effect on the vocal cords. But for good vocal health, opt for natural lemon in warm water rather than lemonade.
Lemonade doesn’t offer the vocal health benefits that drinking natural lemon does. The fizzy drink contains small traces of real lemon juice which aren’t enough to have a positive effect on your throat. A 250ml Schweppes Lemonade contains 11g of sugar which will coat your throat in sugar and cause phlegm, rather than soothe it like natural lemon juice.
Is Fanta good or bad for singers?
A 330ml can of Fanta Orange contains 15g of sugar, making it a less sugary option that Coke. Fanta also doesn’t contain caffeine like its Coca-Cola counterpart. But as a singer, you should try to avoid sugar altogether in the hours before your show.
Fanta may look like a lighter option than other soda drinks, but that doesn’t make it a good choice before you sing. All carbonated drinks can cause a build-up of bubbles and gas in your stomach, affecting how you use your diaphragm. It’s best to save fizzy drinks until after you sing, and always have them in moderation.
Adding ice to your drink
Most fizzy drinks are served cold with plenty of ice. A cold, sugary drink full of ice is a triple threat to your voice.
Cold temperatures and ice can affect your tone and vocal cords. Putting ice in your drink may seem like it will soothe your throat, but it can actually have the opposite effect. The cold temperature can cause the muscles in your throat to constrict, putting stress on your vocal cords and limiting your range and flexibility.
It may seem like a boring alternative, but room temperature water is the best thing to drink before a show. Your voice will thank you and you’ll be glad you gave sugar and caffeine a miss once you perform.
Is sparkling water good or bad for singers?
Sparkling water is also known as carbonated water. The drink is made fizzy by adding carbon dioxide gas and pressuring it in the water, causing bubbles in the liquid.
There is no evidence to suggest that sparkling water is bad for your health. But due to its carbon dioxide content, sparkling water is acidic. Carbonated waters contain carbonic acid, a weak chemical that is said to trigger nerve receptors in your mouth.
This type of irritation could affect your voice and tone when you sing. It’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything acidic before you perform. Even if the acid is weak, you risk irritating your vocal cords and increasing the chance of acid reflux.
Most sparkling waters also have salt added to them to improve their taste. Salt should be avoided before a performance, as it will draw moisture from your body and leave your mouth dry.
Sparkling water is a much healthier option than fizzy drinks and sodas. But to keep yourself hydrated before a show, still water served at room temperature is the best option.
What’s your go-to drink as a singer? Let us know in the comments below!