Why would food or drinks affect the vocal folds?



Asked by: Meghan Babione

Certain acidic foods or spicy foods can cause a powerful reaction in your throat that can constrict the airway and affect your voice. Foods (substances) that dry out your throat such as alcohol and caffeine can make it more difficult to sing properly.

Can food affect your vocal cords?





Stomach acid may fall onto the vocal folds, irritating or burning them, causing discomfort and temporary vocal damage that can be further aggravated by singing. To prevent these negative effects on the voice, it’s best to steer clear of meals that may trigger reflux and heartburn in the days before a vocal performance.

What types of foods can have a negative effect on the vocal folds?

What NOT to Eat

  • Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy. I know, I’m sorry. …
  • Processed sugar. Overly sugary foods do you no favors. …
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more often and dehydrates you. …
  • Chocolate. Chocolate is a triple threat. …
  • Fried foods. …
  • Butter. …
  • Ice water. …
  • Soda.

What foods irritate the larynx?

Generally speaking, avoid fatty, spicy, or acidic foods as they can all increase irritation. You should also avoid crunchy or hard textured foods like dry toast or cereals, as they can scratch your already delicate throat.

How does alcohol affect the vocal folds?

In sum, the negative effect of alcohol is two-fold. It dehydrates your body, making your voice less resilient to recover from traumatic vocal use, and it also has an anesthetic effect that causes one to press their vocal cords together harder in order to achieve a normal sensation while talking or singing.

Does food and drink touch vocal cords?





Food you eat doesn’t touch your vocal folds. So although it’s fine to eat things that feel good – steamy soup in cold weather or ice cream when your throat is hot and dry — the more important principle is to choose foods based on overall health rather on than what might feel good for an instant on your throat.

Does milk affect your vocal cords?

Milk. When you drink milk, it increases the mucus in the back of the nose and throat. This can make your voice unclear and cause you to cough and clear your throat more often, which can damage your vocal cords.

Is coffee bad for vocal cords?

Unfortunately, coffee can seriously dehydrate you and create havoc with your voice. It can damage your vocal cords, increase acid production, and act as a diuretic – not a good thing! As it tightens and restricts muscles, your pitch or dynamic range can be affected.

What should you not drink before singing?

Some foods and beverages to avoid prior to singing are mucous producing foods such as dairy, stimulants such as caffeine and spicy foods, soft drinks, refined sugars, chocolate, iced drinks and alcohol (including wine and beer).

What should singers avoid eating and drinking?

Dairy products and fatty foods will cause a build-up of mucous in your throat and should therefore be avoided before singing. Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided as these dry out your throat, leading to damage. Any other food or drinks that are too cold will restrict the throat.



Can soda damage your vocal cords?

The caffeine content in some sodas can be as bad for your vocals as drinking coffee before you get on stage. Caffeine dries out your throat, leaving your vocal cords tight and irritated. Combined with a high sugar content, fizzy drinks will make your body hit a rush, then cause you to burn out and crash.

Can drinking cause you to lose your voice?

After a night of drinking, it’s not uncommon for a hangover to be accompanied by a sore throat and hoarse voice. Alcohol can dry out your mouth and throat. When combined with a night of talking or yelling over loud music, this dryness can cause uncomfortable inflammation in your throat and vocal cords.

Can drinking cause throat problems?

Alcohol abuse can cause a wide range of problems with the throat, including persistent sore throat, hoarseness, throat clearing, laryngopharyngeal reflux (when stomach acid travels to the throat), and head and neck cancers.



Why do vocal cords swell?

Laryngitis causes a raspy or hoarse voice due to swelling (inflammation) of the vocal cords. It can be caused by using your voice too much, infections, breathing in irritants, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux). These are noncancer growths on the vocal cords caused by vocal abuse.

What can affect your singing voice?

Causes of voice problems include:

  • Upper respiratory infections.
  • Inflammation caused by gastroesophageal reflux (sometimes called acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD)
  • Vocal misuse and overuse.
  • Growths on the vocal folds, such as vocal nodules or laryngeal papillomatosis.
  • Cancer of the larynx.

Can spicy food damage your vocal cords?

Spicy foods are bad for singers because they’re often combined with oil which can add grease to your throat and can cause phlegm. This massively affects your tone, and there’s then a huge temptation to clear your throat. Doing so involves your vocal cords suddenly smacking together which can lead to vocal fatigue.

Can certain foods cause hoarseness?

Acidic foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spicy foods.



Does diet Coke hurt vocal cords?

Just one fizzy drink before you go on stage can spoil your performance. The caffeine content in some sodas can be as bad for your vocals as drinking coffee before you get on stage. Caffeine dries out your throat, leaving your vocal cords tight and irritated.

Why does my voice get raspy when I drink?

Despite being a beverage, alcohol can cause dehydration and take away moisture from your throat. That in turn can mitigate your vocal chords from being lubricated and create a more raspy tone.

Does tea affect vocal cords?

It’s a myth that what you eat or drink comes into direct contact with your vocal cords. Drinking honey or tea, or gargling salt water or apple cider vinegar can definitely be soothing for your throat, but they aren’t washing off the vocal cords.