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Prevent vocal cord damage and protect your singing voice by drinking the right liquids

Edited by Alma, April Norris, Dougie, simplysha and 3 others

Questions and Answers

How does eating maize/corn affect my vocal cords?


Corn or maize has not been shown to hurt your vocal cords.

See more questions like this: Does eating of sweets and chocolates affect the vocal cords

What are the side effects of loud singing on the vocal cords?


Loud singing can be defined as singing above the usual range of the voice and above what is usually comfortable. Technically, what happens when one sings loudly is that the voice is pushed in a way that too much pressure of breath passes through the larynx. This leads to the vocal folds being blown through as well. This entire process is what causes the loud sounds to be produced. Although loud singing may not hurt the vocal cords immediately, it may cause straining later on, especially when it is done regularly. The constant air pressure through the vocal folds causes the folds to be pulled thinly as it opens, and this creates that sharp and dry sensation that you feel through your throat. Furthermore, if one is not trained well enough for loud singing, it can cause the incorrect forcing through the vocal cords, which may eventually lead to deterioration. People usually refer to this as vocal fatigue. When this is not treated right away, it can further lead to the development of vocal nodules, which usually require surgery to be removed. There are already various singers who have experienced this, although some of them do not favor going through the process of removal. The common concern here is that surgery might have a lifetime effect on their voices. There have indeed been several cases where singers really lost their singing voice after surgery. Therefore, if singing is your profession or your job requires talking loudly all the time, you have to ensure that you are also training your vocal cords properly. At the same time, a certain level of after care must be followed, in order to avoid further straining your voice.

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Lots of load singing/screaming without good strong vocal chords, can lead to straining your vocal chords. You could also irritate your throat causing your voice to become scratchy and sore. If you have strained your vocal chords and need some relief look into over the counter cough and could relief things. They offer everything from cough drops to numbing throat spray.

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Does Coca-Cola negatively affect vocal cords?


The components of Coca-Cola are harsh to the vocal cords. Aside from the fact that it is a carbonated drink, it also contains a lot of sugar, which is known to easily irritate the larynx. At the same time, Coca-Cola or any soft drinks for that matter, are loaded with caffeine. Caffeine causes dryness. The drier your vocal folds are, the more likely they will get inflamed when they abduct and adduct during the process of breathing and speaking.

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Yes, dark sodas tend to be very acidic, and on top of that the carbonation is not good for your throat.

Is it ideal to drink hot beverages with inflammation of the vocal cords?

Yes, hot beverages are ideal because it is usually soothing and helps in calming the inflammation. It also assists in better blood circulation, which would help muscle inflammation heal faster. However, extremely hot beverages to the point that it might scald your throat are also not ideal. Anything that is tolerable to take should be alright. Test the temperature of your drink by taping your inner wrist onto your cup. If your inner wrist can tolerate the heat, it is more likely alright to drink it.

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Yes, it helps soothe the throat and it calms the inflammation by drinking hot beverages. You can drink hot beverages, but don't drink the super hot beverages because it will affect your mouth, tongue and throat. If it is super hot, just wait and try to test or touch it to know if it is OK or you can start to drink it. You can try drinking an herbal tea and a lemon tea. If you want to drink lemon tea, you can add honey on it, the tea's can soothe the throat.

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More questions and answers on this topic can be found here: How an apple can save abused vocal cords

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Prevent vocal cord damage and protect your singing voice by drinking the right liquids
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Fruits that affect vocal quality?

Generally fruits are healthy for the body, but there are some which may not be too friendly to the vocal cords. If you want to protect the quality of your voice, do away with citrus fruits, since the acid from them can dry your throat lining. Some examples of citrus fruits are lemon and orange.

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The fruits that can affect the vocal quality are citrus fruits like lime, orange and lemon. Citrus fruits has acid that will make your throat dry and a little itchy. Even though citrus fruits are good to make a healthier body, it still affects the vocal quality. You can still take citrus fruits since you can get Vitamin C from it. If you are a singer or loves to sing, avoid taking citrus fruits when you are about to perform or before a performance. If you eat a citrus fruit and your throat dry, just drink a lot of warm water and don't talk very loud.

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Should I drink hot or cold water for inflamed vocal cords?

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Too much of something can definitely do more damage than good, even with your voice box. Neither too hot or too cold water is recommended for inflamed vocal cords, as this can aggravate symptoms such as sore throat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss or hoarseness of voice. Aphonia, referred to as either partial or complete loss of voice, can be attributed to laryngitis or the inflammation or irritation of the vocal cords, which can be worsened by consuming cold or hot water.

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Drinking extremely hot or freezing water can stun your throat or vocal cords and can inflict more damage to your condition. Very cold water is refreshing, but is said to cause the blood vessels to contract and the muscles to tense, which also tends to dry up the throat and hurt the vocal cords further.

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Virtual.marian hot water.jpg

In the case of hot water, aside from the obvious fact that it can sting, burn, or cause mouth blisters (especially if it's boiling hot), it also does more damage by constricting the blood vessels and making the throat or vocal cords swell and become painful, especially when swallowing, speaking, or singing. You should leave it and wait until it's lukewarm before you take a sip.

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Virtual.marian warm tea with honey and lemon.jpg

Lukewarm water with a tablespoon of honey or lemon is advised to be taken to ease the inflammation of your vocal cords. You can also try onion syrup mixed with warm water. Gargling warm saltwater is recommended to ease sore throats and other associated symptoms as well. This also helps alleviate the infection on the vocal cords. Drinking lukewarm ginger ale or chamomile tea can provide the same soothing effect for your throat. Drinking the required eight glasses of water per day is very important for singers to keep their vocal folds well-moist and lubricated (avoiding friction on vocal folds) and to keep hydrated for strings of performances.

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If your vocal chords are inflamed you might just want water slightly cooler than room temperature. Hot water can irritate them more, as well as cold water. It all depends on the type of damage you have. Now if try cold water and it feels like it soothes your throat, you can use it. Just make sure to warm your vocal cords back up before doing anything strenuous to them.

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See more questions like this: Does chilled water spoil your voice

Malic acid and vocal reactions such as phlegm?

Malic acid is used in a lot of processed foods and cold drinks in order to add flavour or a tarty taste. A lot of consumption of Malic acid will definitely cause phlegm to accumulate in your throat. It is best to avoid items that contain malic acid if you wish to keep your vocal cords intact.

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Yes, phlegm in the throat can cause a big issue when trying to sing. You can drink fruit juices that contain a certain level of acidity which can eliminate the phlegm or mucus in your throat.

What should I drink on recording day for my vocals?

In the morning drink warm water and have some tea like herbal tea, lemon tea and licorice tea. In taking tea, you may add a little honey on it and drinking tea three times a day is good and soothing for your throat. So avoid sweet foods, sweet drinks and cold drinks for 2 days or 1 day before the recording day, you may also take sweet or cold drinks, but just a little and after taking it drink a lot of warm water and avoid getting sick.

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How to take care of your vocal cords when you had gastric acid damaging it?

Well it happened wen I was in the usage of soda drinks or drinks that contains acid see every time I try to swallow it hurts and before I was able to do a falsetto voice and hit high notes with it not anymore every time I try to do falsetto it cracks and makes an unstable twitchy weak falsetto and I have a singing career so I've been covering up with low songs and chilled songs where I don't have to go to falsetto and hit high notes

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Based on your description, you are experiencing a GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, which is a type of chronic disease which makes your lower esophageal sphincter not to close properly allowing your gastric content to reflux. The gastric content is acidic in nature, which, when they spill over, especially to the larynx, it causes acidic irritation in the vocal cords resulting to tissue inflammation. Moreover, irritation in the lower esophagus stimulates unusual muscle contractions via the shared nerve impulses between the larynx and the esophagus resulting to cough which further leads to lesions in the vocal folds which is causing you pain every time you swallow and makes you unable to properly sing high notes. The soda drinks you mentioned mostly contains caffeine and acidic compound like the carbonic acid which makes your condition worse. The rationale behind them is that the caffeine content in sodas has a diuretic effect which further dehydrates your body lessening the moisture in the mucus membrane which further leads to irritation and swelling. The carbonic acid is also an acidic irritant to the larynx, which irritates the vocal lesions caused by GERD. Below are some of my suggestions to properly take good care of your irritated vocal cords caused by GERD and external factors:

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  • Stop drinking sodas or any carbonated drinks and coffee.
  • Give your voice rest. Two to three days without singing or straining your voice makes a big difference in naturally healing your voice.
  • Proper hydration. Drink lots of water to maintain the moisture in the mucus membrane of your vocal cords.
  • Gargle with salt and warm water. Salt has anti-inflammatory effect and greatly soothes your irritated vocal cords.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol dries your vocal cords which will only make it worse.
  • No drinking and eating three hours before lying down or going to bed. Some studies shows that without drinking or eating for about three hours before going to bed greatly decreases the occurrence of gastric reflux.

In general, to properly treat your painful vocal cords caused by GERD and sodas, you need to actually stop drinking or eating drinks or foods that causes irritation to your vocal cords, always hydrate yourself with enough fluids and avoid taking foods or drinks 3 hours before lying down to properly heal your vocal cords and for you to be able to sing again in high notes.

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If you have a show at 7:00 PM can you drink dairy in the morning? (i.e 8:30 AM)?

We have a high school show and we want to make sure we are giving the kids the right advice.

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I have total laryngitis and can't talk. What is the best thing I can do or drink to cure this asap?

I have total laryngitis and can't talk. What is the best thing I can do or drink to cure this asap

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I swallowed a drink last night and had a burning sensation in my throat. This was followed by coughing and discomfort. Over time it subsided but I still have discomfort and an occasional cough?

I swallowed a drink last night and had a burning sensation in my throat. This was followed by coughing and discomfort. Over time it subsided but I still have discomfort and an occasional cough

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Categories : Voice Lessons & Tips

Recent edits by: blueyes2553, Eng, simplysha

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