Singing Tips

Are Fizzy Drinks Bad for Your Voice & Can Soda Damage Vocal Cords? 

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If you enjoy fizzy drinks or sugary beverages you may be wondering how taking these could affect your performance and which types will have the biggest impact.   

So are sparkling drinks and carbonated water bad for your voice and can soda damage your vocal cords? As with most foods and drinks, moderation is key. But for singers, in particular, fizzy drinks are best avoided for a number of reasons relating to physical and vocal health. 

Read on to find out the drinks that should be avoided completely, the ones you can consume in small quantities and the drinks that get the green light.  

Is carbonated water bad for your voice? 

Drinks that are good for your voice 

Sparkling water is also known as carbonated water and vice versa. Whether you buy it bottled, or make it in a soda stream, the drink is made fizzy by adding carbon dioxide gas and pressuring it in the water, causing bubbles in the liquid.  

There is no evidence to suggest that sparkling water is bad for your health. But due to its carbon dioxide content, sparkling water is acidic. Carbonated waters contain carbonic acid, a weak chemical that is said to trigger nerve receptors in your mouth. 

This type of irritation could affect your voice and tone when you sing. It’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything acidic before you perform. Even if the acid is weak, you risk irritating your vocal cords and increasing the chance of acid reflux. 

How is soda bad for your voice? 

The fizziness of soda will increase the amount of air in your stomach, too. This extra gas can make you feel bloated and make it uncomfortable to be active on stage, as well as making it harder for you to use proper breath control during your performance. 

Fizzy drinks also cause a false sense of fullness. The bubbles trapped in your stomach create a sense of feeling full, making you more likely to skip vital snacks before your performance.  

When this effect wears off, your blood sugar levels will be disrupted, and you’ll become hungrier sooner. This will cause you to lag on stage. You need proper nutrition from whole foods before you perform, not a temporary fix. 

Can soda damage your vocal cords? 

Most fizzy drinks are served cold with plenty of ice. A cold, sugary drink full of ice is a triple threat to your voice. 

Cold temperatures and ice can affect your tone and vocal cords. Putting ice in your drink may seem like it will soothe your throat, but it can actually have the opposite effect. The cold temperature can cause the muscles in your throat to constrict, putting stress on your vocal cords and limiting your range and flexibility. 

Can fizzy drinks damage your throat? 

Fizzy drinks are known to have a negative effect on your health. Drinking sugary, carbonated drinks will affect the way your whole body functions before a show. They can have a significant impact on your vocal performance, too. 

Combined with high sugar content, fizzy drinks will make your body hit a rush, then cause you to burn out and crash. 

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.  

Is fizzy drink bad for you? 

Drinks containing caffeine can also cause anxiety, or make it worse. For some people, caffeine can also bring on heart palpitations. Drinking soda will take its toll on your entire body before a show. The caffeine and sugar in fizzy drinks like Coke can cause hyperactivity followed by exhaustion. As a singer, you need a constant, maintained stream of energy while you’re on stage. 

Beware of the diet options, however. These may be lower in sugar, but they’re full of even more caffeine to compensate, containing 42mg in the average can. 

Some fizzy drinks are worse for your voice than others. However, as a singer, it’s not just your vocal health you need to consider. What you eat and drink can affect your body and performance in more ways than you may realise. 

are fizzy drinks good or bad for the voice

Drinks that are good for your voice 

Lemons are known to have a soothing effect on the vocal cords. But for good vocal health, opt for natural lemon in plenty of warm water, rather than lemonade. It may seem like a boring alternative, but room temperature water is the best thing to drink before a show. Your voice will thank you and you’ll be glad you gave sugar and caffeine a miss once you perform. Sparkling water is a much healthier option than fizzy drinks and sodas. But to keep yourself hydrated before a show, uncarbonated water served at room temperature is the best option. 

Alkaline water for singers 

Beyonce kickstarted a trend for singers drinking alkaline water during her Mrs Carter Show world tour. The jury is still out on whether this type of water is actually of any benefit. There has been some suggestion that it can help acid reflux and relating hoarseness, which could be of use if you suffer from this in particular. [Text Wrapping Break] 

While the extra acidity of carbonated drinks is not good, still water as it is, is a perfectly good drink. More scientific research needs to be done on alkaline water, so until then unless you’re specifically advised to take it, natural flat water is just fine and much cheaper. 

Apple juice and aspirin for voice 

Foods with high water content like fruit are good for hydrating the voice and providing vitamins. Concentrated juices are very high in acid, and as we know, too much acid is bad for the teeth and vocals. So, while fruit juice doesn’t have the downsides of carbonated drinks, it is high in both natural sugar and acid. Instead much on a whole apple and take an aspirin if you need a painkiller – not as a magic route to a great voice. 

Singers have to make informed choices before a performance. This includes what to drink, as it will affect how your voice works and sounds. Fizzy drinks are especially bad before you sing. Having a can of soda can impact your energy levels, stomach, and vocals – which will, in turn, have a negative effect on your performance. Save fizzy drinks until after you sing, and always have them in moderation and at room temperature. 

Related Questions 

  • Is lemonade bad for your voice? 

Lemonade doesn’t offer the vocal health benefits that drinking natural lemon does. It contains small traces of real lemon juice which aren’t enough to have a positive effect on your throat. A 250ml lemonade contains around 11g of sugar which will coat your throat in sugar and cause phlegm. 

  • What drinks are bad for your voice? 

Staying hydrated is crucial for singers. But what you drink before you perform is more important than you may think. Fizzy drinks, dairy drinks, coffee and black tea are all bad for your voice if taken too frequently and before singing.   

  • Can Coca-Cola hurt your throat? 

Coca-Cola is the top soft drink brand in the world. But coke is a bad choice of refreshment for a singer. An average can contains 32mg of caffeine, while Coca-Cola Energy has a shocking 80mg inside the bottle. A 330ml can of original Coke also packs 35g of sugar – which is sure to give you an energy crash when the sugar rush fades. 

Do you drink carbonated water of fizzy drinks? Have you managed to cut down your intake? Let us know in the comments below.