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Foods to Avoid When Performing

The effects of food and ingredients can vary from person to person. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow to avoid foods that may negatively affect your voice or performance!

Overall you need to find what works for you and what you can or can not have before a show, every body is different. Most singers can't drink milk before a performance, when I was younger I could chug milk and belt out broadway show-tunes like nobody's business, now that I'm an adult I can't do that!

Here is a detailed list of foods and ingredients that singers should avoid before a performance, categorized by food group, with specifications for gluten, dairy, and peanuts:

  1. Dairy products:

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Yogurt

  • Ice cream

  • Cream

Note: Some singers may be able to tolerate small amounts of dairy, but others may need to avoid it completely. Additionally, dairy products can increase mucus production, which can affect vocal folds and the function of the voice!

2. Caffeine and other stimulants:

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • Chocolate

  • Energy drinks

  • Soft drinks

Stimulants can dehydrate the body and affect the vocal folds significantly

3. Fried and spicy foods:

  • French fries

  • Fried chicken

  • Spicy chicken wings

  • Chili peppers

  • Hot sauce

Fried and spicy foods can cause acid reflux, and increase acid reflux for those who may already have it, which can irritate the vocal folds! You certainly do NOT want to have that before a performance. The same goes for any acidic foods which are also listed below.

4. Acidic foods:

  • Citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, lemons, grapefruit)

  • Tomatoes

  • Vinegar

  • Pickles

5. High-fat foods:

  • Fatty meats (e.g. beef, pork, sausage)

  • Butter

  • Cream sauce

  • Fried foods

High-fat foods take longer to digest and can cause discomfort, potentially affecting your performance.

Overall, it's important for singers to listen to their bodies and avoid foods that negatively affect their voice or performance. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods that are easy to digest, such as fruits and vegetables, can also help you maintain vocal health.

To get further guidance with your voice please contact me to book a first time lesson at or click the link on my website to book a free 15 minute lesson

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