Do you think food can affect your voice? Well, I’ve been conducting an informal study for the last few years asking my clients about their diets. I started this because many of my clients, especially broadcasters, don’t have the greatest eating habits. They tend to fall into two categories:
The first group answers my query about how they eat on a typical workday be saying, “Oh, I have a Venti Starbucks on the way to work and then I pretty much forget about eating until I get home after a long day.” The other group tells me they keep going by snacking all day on healthy things like dried fruit and lo-fat cookies and pretzels.
Think either of these has it right? The answer is, No! What they are missing is what my study has been about, and that’s protein. I tell my clients to stick with the snacking idea and eat every 3 to 4 hours, but they must include some protein with the carbs every time they eat something. That’s the happy marriage that makes for good vocal energy.
I can report to you that every single client who begins eating protein throughout the day has come back astonished at how much additional vocal energy they have and how much better they feel. They are amazed that such a simple change can result in better energy all day long.
To understand this, let me give you a short lesson in how blood sugar works. Basically, any food that grows out of the ground is a carbohydrate. It might be processed into bread, for example, but it still comes from the ground. Any carb is basically sugar and will be used up quickly in the body. With carbs alone you get a burst of energy only to crash after around thirty minutes feeling more tired than you were before you ate.
Protein, on the other hand, slows down the release of the sugar in your body. Proteins all come from animal or fish products or by-products (two exceptions are nuts and soy). It doesn’t take a lot of protein to balance the carbs. Aim for two-thirds carbs and one-third protein whenever you eat.
The way to get energy and keep it for 3-4 hours is to marry protein with carbs. This puts you at peak performance. If you remember this happy marriage and put it to use every few hours, I bet you’ll feel the difference. You’ll have good energy all day long that will be reflected in your vocal delivery as well as your physical stamina.
Want to know more about vocal energy? Download a copy of my ebook, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK. Besides all the great voice info, you’ll even find a handy list of foods to eat during the day that give you the happy marriage of proteins and carbs.
I agree that I need to incorporate more protein into my diet, but can you suggest protein snacks that I can carry with me throughout the day? I’m often on-the-go and I find it so difficult to carry the foods that I need to eat. Almonds and beef jerky are a couple of my go-to options, but I’m looking for more choices and variety. Thanks!
Great point! It’s really hard to have mini-meals in your bag or car when you need them. I rely on protein bars a lot like Luna bars. They already have the correct combo of carbs and proteins and are very tasty and easy to carry. Just be sure any bar you get has at least 10 grams of protein. Also, I put an expanded version of my post on VoiceOverXtra. At the end of it I list some good combinations to try. You can see that at bit.ly/VocalEnergy One more source that might be helpful is my ebook, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK. In the chapter on coping with stress I have a full page of eating options. These are things that are easy to travel with or keep in your desk.
Hope some of this helps!