Updated: Sep 23
As a voice actor, your voice is your primary tool, and taking care of it is essential for your career success. While there are many things you can do to maintain the health of your voice, one critical aspect is paying attention to what you eat and drink before a recording session.
Below are the Do's & Don'ts on how voice actors can protect their voice:
Hydration is Key
One of the most crucial things you can do for your voice is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in the hours leading up to a recording session. Avoid drinks like coffee or tea that can dehydrate you or cause vocal strain. Drinking warm water or herbal tea with honey or lemon can be soothing to your vocal cords. Room temperature water with lemon is ideal because cold water can constrict the blood vessels in your vocal cords, making it harder to produce a clear voice.
Fixing Dry Mouth
Oh, the dreaded snap, crackle and popping sounds of 'rice crispy mouth!' (Also known as dry mouth). If this happens to you reach for a green apple! Green apples can be helpful for voice actors before a voiceover session due to their high pectin content. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps to clear the vocal cords and eliminate any excess mucus, resulting in a clearer voice. Green apples also contain vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and soothe the throat. Additionally, the crispness of green apples can help to stimulate saliva production, which keeps the mouth moist and can prevent vocal cord strain!
Avoid Dairy Products
Dairy products can cause phlegm to build up in your throat, which can affect your voice. It's best to avoid dairy products before a recording session.
Skip the Alcohol
Alcohol can dry out your vocal cords, making it harder to speak clearly. Avoid drinking alcohol before a recording session, and if you do drink, make sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
Steer Clear of Acidic Foods
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, can cause acid reflux and irritate your vocal cords. Avoid eating acidic foods before a recording session, and opt for alkaline foods instead, such as green vegetables, and oatmeal.
Watch Your Spices
Spicy foods can irritate your throat, causing inflammation and making it difficult to speak. It's best to avoid spicy foods before a recording session.
Caffeine can dehydrate you and cause vocal strain. It's best to avoid caffeine before a recording session, or if you do drink caffeine, make sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
Other Tips to Protect Your Voice
In addition to watching what you eat and drink, there are other things you can do to protect your voice before a recording session. Here are a few tips:
Warm up your voice with vocal exercises, such as humming or lip trills.
Take breaks during the recording session to rest your voice.
Get proper vocal training on how to safely shout or scream without straining your vocal cords.
Use a humidifier in the recording studio to keep the air moist.
As a voice actor, taking care of your voice is crucial for your success. Paying attention to what you eat and drink before a recording session can make a big difference in maintaining the health of your voice. Avoiding dairy products, alcohol, acidic foods, spicy foods, and caffeine can help protect your vocal cords. Additionally, warming up your voice, taking breaks, being cautious while shouting or screaming, and using a humidifier in the recording studio can all help maintain the health of your voice.