A Vocalist's Survival Guide To Touring: Part 4 - Food and other tricky business

Have I told you about the magic lamp called "Neti Pot"? 'Tis a wondrous thing, and a must for the touring vocalist. Your nasal passages are your first line of defense against lurking disease, and if you allow them to dry out and crack, a germ or two might just wiggle their way into your blood stream, and boom - tour over. I'm not saying you won't get sick if you rinse your nasal passages with the neti pot every day, but you'll drastically reduce the likelihood of catching one of those rhinoviruses (or is it "vira"?) so readily available all over the world.

This last installment of my little survival guide deals with all those things you might want to bring, use in moderation or avoid altogether, including the aforementioned neti pot. Don't have one yet? Go and get one now. I'll wait...

Done? OK, let's move on to the subject of coffee. I myself belong to a very low blood pressure tribe and simply cannot get myself into gear without a cup of the delightful brew in the morning. But coffee consumption should really stop at that. One cup - way before you go onstage. Why? Dehydration, of course!

When I travel, half my suitcase tends to be stuffed with food substances, such as protein bars (ideally sugar free, or at least very low in sugar content), nuts and protein/green powder to make shakes with. The reason behind this is simple: You don't know where your next meal is coming from, if it comes at all. There will be instances in which you get into a town where everything is closed after you finished playing, and the promoter can't be bothered with supplying food for you. But you have to eat. You do have to nourish your body to keep it happy and healthy, and not necessarily with junk food from the nearest gas station. Which brings me to the next point in the food department: Gas station food just isn't all that great. You'd be better off waiting in the car and eating one of your delicious protein bars than stuffing your face with a lumpy, limp cheese/mayo concoction that not only wreaks havoc on your digestive system but also makes your vocal folds nice and phlegmy. Yum!

And finally a short paragraph on supplements. Here's a list of my top 5:
1. Vitamins C, D and B - to help boost the immune system and avoid a hostile takeover of your beautiful, bouncy cells by free radicals

2. Digestive Enzymes/Probiotics - to keep your intestinal tract working properly, supporting the myriads of benevolent microbes that slave away day in and day out in an effort to keep you nourished

3. Lauricidin - a natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal supplement culled from the lauric acid found in coconuts. It helps with warding off that pesky sinus infection

4. Fish Oil or Flax Seed Oil - helps maintain cell health, so you don't crumple at the first sign of physical strain

5. Chlorella/Spirulina - to support the body's PH balance, which, in turn, is crucial in keeping you from getting sick. Plus these seaweeds pack a nice punch in the protein department.

And thus concludes my mini series on the touring business. Unless something else comes nagging me in my sleep that I then feel compelled to share with you. In that instance, another installment might follow. Feel free to add or discuss anything related to the touring vocalist below!
Happy touring!

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