Looking at the certain opera singers, rock stars or lounge performers people would think that a good singing voice is achieved by being overweight, chugging beer and chain-smoking. That, of course, could not be farther from the truth. A good singing voice is a healthy voice, and a healthy voice comes from a healthy body.
Basically, a healthy body weight, not smoking or drinking alcohol, good eating habits and keeping hydrated are general factors that contribute to the voice.
The voice needs to be trained, and there are vocal exercises for that. But the body needs to exercise as well. Voice coaches usually recommend abdominal exercise for the core muscles, cardio routine for the lung capacity and yoga for posture and breathing. If the respiratory system is in bad shape, the voice will suffer, and the same goes for the cardiovascular system.
There are certain foods that should be avoided by singers and generally by the people who want to improve their voices. Citrus fruits, dairy products, candy and fatty foods do not contribute to a good singing voice because they lead to the production of extra mucous around the vocal cords and may damage the vibration.
It is recommended to swallow the phlegm instead of clearing the throat, because clearing the throat, just like sneezing and coughing, causes friction of the cords and damages them.
Singers should never allow their vocal cords to become dry because dryness is damaging to them. Water is the best way to keep hydrated. It is generally recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day, but for singers some experts recommend doubling the number.
Some beverages are to be avoided. They include soda pops, because they often contain caffeine, sugar and citric acid, which are all harmful for the vocal apparatus, dairy products which produce extra phlegm and alcohol, which is simply not good for anybody, also contributes to drying up of the throat.
It is very important for singers to protect the throat, especially from the cold. This is why we often see famous singers walking around with a scarf or a similar accessory, even though the weather is not really cold.
Also, female singers need to be aware that their voice may not be at its best during menstruation and pregnancy. This is due to changes in hormonal levels, it is normal and temporary.
Remedies that are usually taken to treat a sore throat are not very effective for problems with vocal chords, This is because they only soothe the membrane of the throat and do not reach the cords.