Energize It! Feed Your Voice, Part 3

 In Presence, Vocal Health
Collection of health materials including healthy foods, weights, water, and a stethoscope

People who perform or speak in front of others expend a lot of energy. I learned this early in my career when I was trying to cut calories while performing a strenuous role in a show. One night I almost passed out in performance. That was way too much drama, so I did some research and tried various food in order to know what worked best for my body to feel great!! In an earlier post, we discussed the need for hydration to keep your voice healthy and working well, as well as for staying energized.

Here are six more suggestions for how and what to eat to keep your voice healthy, your mind alert and your body feeling great!

  1. Eat lean protein. The amino acid tyrosine boosts levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals can help you feel more alert. Tyrosine is found in soy products, chicken, turkey, fish, peanuts, almonds, avocados, bananas, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
  2. Eat carbs. Many people avoid carbs now but they are, in fact, the body’s preferred source of fuel, and fuel is what you need for energy. They help you stay alert and feeling vital. They also give you glucose which the brain needs in order to function. Over the long run, the best sources of carbohydrates are probably whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat and fresh fruits. But if you are speaking or performing and you feel light-headed or very tired, a quick small dose of sugar, such as a piece of hard candy, may pull you through.
  3. Try Coffee or Coca-Cola. Everyone’s body is different. A friend of mine drinks Coke before singing because he feels it lubricates his voice. If I drink it, I just get a lot of phlegm. However, caffeine may be one of the world’s most popular sources of energy and is found in energy drinks, coffee, and soda such as Coke and Mountain Dew. A few years ago, researchers found that caffeine does improve short term memory and alertness. However, whether caffeine is good for you or not is still being debated. Do your research .
  4. Try Tea. An alternative source of caffeine is, of course, tea. Tea is the world’s second most popular drink, next to water (my personal fav!) Green tea’s combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine may improve alertness and memory. In addition, green tea may also be anti-anxietal which could be a real plus for people who have to get up on stage!
  5. Do eat breakfast. We have all heard that breakfast may be the most important meal of the day. Eating a good breakfast will increase your metabolic rate and give you more energy all day. Of course, what you eat matters! Try whole grains and some lean protein as well as fresh fruit or even some veggies. Skip the PopTarts!
  6. Eat less, more often. Another way to stabilize blood sugar, get more energy, and stabilize moods is to eat small meals and snacks every three to four hours.  Energy-sustaining snacks include peanut butter on whole-grain crackers, half a turkey sandwich with salad, or whole-grain cereal with milk … Some portable snack ideas include fruit, low-fat granola bars, nuts, and low-fat crackers.

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