It’s not only a sweet and tasty treat, but it’s also long been used for its medicinal properties. So what does it do exactly and how should you take it?
Honey helps to improve your singing by coating the throat and vocal cords creating a smoother tone. Some varieties of this superfood are also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, meaning you can recover quicker from respiratory infections and vocal strain.
Eating and drinking the right things is important as a singer. Read on to find out which types you should be using and how much honey is good for your voice.
How honey helps to improve your singing
Honey is a natural superfood, but it’s also a form of medicine. Since the ancient times of the Egyptians and Greeks, honey has been hailed as a natural aid to good health and longevity. And honey boasts lots of vocal health benefits for singers, too.
Honey is known to have powerful soothing effects on your voice, vocal cords, and throat. It’s rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties which help fight bacterial infections in the throat. Honey is amazing because it can help you recover quicker from a strained, sore, and lost voice.
And it’s not just a remedy, it can be used to prevent vocal problems too. Honey’s thick, smooth consistency coats and lubricates the throat, providing relief to your vocal cords and voice after a strenuous performance. As such it should feature in a healthy balanced diet as a singer. Treat your throat to a soothing, warm honey drink before or after every performance to reap its vocal benefits.
Is honey good for your voice?
Absolutely and it’s often paired with another wonder food – lemon. Honey and lemon both have bacterial fighting qualities which will aid your voice in its recovery from all types of illness.
Lemon contains pectin which is thought to act as a natural disinfectant for the human body and helps to clarify the vocals. It’s also rich in vitamin C, known to help fight infection.
Honey also has antibacterial qualities, as well as lots of nutrients like iron, calcium, and magnesium to keep your body strong enough to fight an infection like laryngitis or the common cold. Pairing honey with lemon will reap more rewards for your voice, but avoid using synthetic packaged citrus honey products if you can. Instead, use fresh, natural lemon and organic honey to make your own tea blends.
Is honey good for singing?
Honey is considered one of the best natural antibiotics too. It contains hydrogen peroxide and sugar, which help reduce the growth of bacteria in your throat when you’re suffering from a cold or virus. But not only that – soothing your throat will take the pressure away from your vocal cords, allowing them to recover. All of this will mean that not only can you get back on stage faster, but your voice will also be clearer when you do.
How much honey is good for your voice?
Honey works wonders as a cough suppressant – perfect for that tickle before going on stage. Instead of processed cough syrups, simply take two teaspoons of honey at bedtime to relieve your cough. Otherwise, one to two tablespoons a day should be enough to keep your vocals ticking over.
Is honey good for vocal cords in small quantities?
Yes. Although you’ll need at least a teaspoon to notice a difference. How much or how little you should take depends on the potency on the honey. You can tell this by looking at the packaging. It may say MGO + followed by a number.
The higher the number the more potent it will be (and the more it will cost). The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects will be stronger, so you need less of it to gain these benefits. However, for simply soothing a sore throat, any type of honey is fine and you should take as much as you need to relieve the discomfort. Honey is a natural form of sugar though, so too much can be bad for you in the sense that is can cause your blood sugar to spike.
A tablespoon a few times a day, take raw or mixed in water should be plenty. When you’re sick you can take a little more. And as it contains sugar, it’ll give you a boost of energy before your performance.
Types of best honey for singers
The best types of honey to help your vocal cords are the raw, dark versions. These won’t feature added sugar or sweeteners, which can be bad for singers. Manuka honey and Jarrah honey are among the best types to try for vocal recovery, as they offer the most health benefits.
More and more supermarkets are stocking these types of honey now, although for a fuller selection of medical-grade high MGO honey, head to a health food shop. For local varieties check out nearby farm shops.
Best honey for vocal cords – manuka honey for singers
Opt for natural, organic forms of honey. Varieties that are sourced locally are often excellent, and have scientifically proven benefits – so see if there’s anyone with a hive nearby. Some people put a sign outside their house to advertise if they do sell it.
Otherwise, medical-grade manuka honey has a name for being the finest and most effective form, so is a good choice. New Zealand is known as a top producer of manuka honey. It’s regularly used by doctors to treat many conditions all over the world.
Now you’re convinced that honey is a great source of goodness for your voice, here are some tips for how to take it.
- Straight from the spoon (dip a clean one into the pot to avoid spreading germs)
- Stirred into a warm drink
- On your cereal or porridge
- Added to meals like a stir fry or to sweeten a sauce
- Mixed with warm water and gargled
- Taken in lozenges or tablet form (available from health food shops)
How will you eat yours?
- Is ginger good for the voice?
Ginger also has excellent properties to soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation in strained vocal cords. It also helps to settle a nervous stomach so is ideal for pre-show nerves. Don’t take too much as it’s quite spicy and can make you cough. Grate a little into warm water with a large dollop of honey.
- What is the best thing to drink before singing?
Drink lukewarm water to gently lubricate the vocal cords – avoid very hot and very cold drinks as this shocks the muscles. Herbal teas and infusions are ideal – stir in some honey to make them taste nicer and to soothe your voice.
- How long does it take to get your voice back?
Infections should usually take a few days to start clearing up by themselves. If your symptoms persist after a week, you should contact your doctor. If your voice has become hoarse from vocal strain, rest your voice for at least a couple of days and only return to singing when it’s fully recovered.
Has honey helped to improve your singing? How much honey do you consume for your voice? Let us know in the comments below.