Berkshire Choral International

How to Manage Your Voice This Summer

May 11, 2017

The harsh winter is over but that doesn’t mean our vocal chords are any less susceptible to disaster as the weather heats up and summer comes a knocking. We know it can be difficult to focus on vocal health amidst all the summer fun, so we’ve made it easy for you with a quick list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to ensure you can hit those high notes this spring and summer.

Do stay hydrated. Though the air isn’t as dry in the summer, the heat can still cause dehydration and a loss of fluids, especially with an increase of physical activity. Make sure to replenish your body’s water supply and keep your vocal chords hydrated by drinking lots of water. The recommended amount is about 6-8 glasses of water per day- more if your day is packed with physical activity.

Don’t drink a lot of caffeine and alcohol. Both alcohol and caffeine dehydrate your body and dry out your vocal folds and larynx. Additionally, alcohol irritates the mucous membrane lining your throat. So if you’re having a rough morning, opt for an herbal tea or decaffeinated coffee, and if you’re having a night out – well, just don’t overdo it.

Do maintain a healthy diet. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains not only makes you feel good and nourishes your body, but these types of healthy foods contain important nutrients such as vitamins A, E and C which help maintain the mucous membrane in your throat. Healthy food means healthy vocal chords!

Don’t eat spicy foods. We know the spicy barbeque sauce and buffalo chicken can be tempting, but spicy foods can cause heartburn by causing stomach acid to travel up into the throat and esophagus. Stomach acid can irritate and damage the tissue in your throat, which can take a toll on your singing. Opt for lighter food options with less sauce; your voice will thank you later.

Do avoid smoke. This includes both smoking cigarettes and breathing in smoke from grills and bonfires. Smoke can cause coughing, wheezing and mucous buildup which irritates the vocal chords; not to mention, the act of smoking is the biggest cause of cancer of the vocal folds. When it comes to smoke, try to sit upwind of the fire or grill.

Don’t strain your voice. With summer comes loud events and activities including graduations, weddings, concerts and amusement parks. As tempting as it is, try not to yell and strain your voice too much, or you’ll wake up with a sore throat and a raspy voice. Screaming and yelling causes your vocal chords to repeatedly slam together at high speeds which, as you can imagine, is pretty damaging to vocal health. If you do strain yourself, make sure to rest your voice for a few days until it heals completely.

Managing your voice in the summer may seem tedious, but such care goes a long way in maintaining the overall health of not only your voice, but your body as well. If you still want a dose of concerts this summer, join us at one of our beautiful locations! Visit here for more information.