How to protect your vocal chords

Singers must take good care of their vocal chords. Rather than leaving things to chance, you must work hard on the health and well being of your vocal chords. Singers are known for their voice and consistency. If you are not consistent, then you are not a good singer. You cannot sing excellent once in a while and sing below average most of the time. Consistency requires lot of hard work and self control. Following tips will help you to protect your vocal chords. Make good note of these points.

  1. 1. Warming Up: Most people ignore this, but its very important. You must warm up your voice before any type of vocal session or performance!  Just like you need to warm up your muscles before a sport activity, the same way you need to warm up your vocal chords before singing. You can avoid a lot of vocal injuries and strain on your vocal cords by doing good warmup exercies. Especially when you are trying to hit those high notes or sing a powerful song. 
  2. 2. Hydration - Drinking water is best way to keep your vocal chords hydrated, while I will not advise drinking more than what you need, what I mean is to not substitute water with any other drink like aerated drinks, Tea , coffee etc. These drinks have caffine and actually dehydrate your vocal chords. Dehydrated vocal chords may cause strain and even pain when singing loud or higher notes.
  3. Overall Rest - Singers must take good care of themselves , especially before a performance. Give rest to your body and vocal chords. Avoid speaking or talking loud. Whispering is very bad for vocal chords. Practice well in advance and try to limit your speaking and overall volume. 
  4. Avoid Fatty foods, Oils and Quantity -  Oily foods can clog your vocal passage and can put excess mucus in your mouth causing you to sound muffled. Avoid fatty foods, oily foods especially before performance. You must follow a strict diet. Else you will not sound good on days you had unhealthy foods. If you eat unhealthy on regular basis then you will have tough time keeping up with your practice regime and will feel tired and drained out.  It goes without saying to quit smoking and drinking alchohol. Never eat full stomach. Eat till you are around 70 to 80% full. If you eat full stomach you will not be able to perform for atleast couple of hours till the food settles down in the stomach. Also most of the energy in the body is diverted towards digestion and you will stress yourself sooner. 
  5. Avoid Anti-depressants and Decongestants: These medicine cause your throat to get extremely dry. Avoid taking these when you're getting ready to sing or preparing for a show. The vocal chords must be well hydrated in order to sound good. 
  6. Green Tea: Drinking warm tea especially green tea is probably one of the best things you can do when it comes to protecting your voice. Not only does the warm tea sooth your vocal chords, but it also repairs any itchy or scratchy throat feeling which can affect your performance. 
  7. Honey Water - Put one teaspoonful of Honey in warm water and drink it first thing in morning and last thing when going to bed. This will help in quickly correcting any damage done to your vocal chords and will soothe them. In long run it will improve your overall health