Yesterday I started to feel like I was going to get a cold!! This is absolutely the worst thing that could happen while preparing a role debut. While the cold may linger for a few days, at least in my case, the effects on the voice take weeks to completely heal. I was determined to stop this from happening and today I feel like I beat this cold. Every singer has their own pre-sick remedies, these are mine:
- Tons and tons of water! This will flush out the cold and break down congestion. I often add fresh lemon and a little apple cider vinegar to my water for added health benefits.
- Be quiet!
- Vitamin C!
- Saline spray all day long!
- Zinc, zinc and more zinc. I learned this from Dr. Anthony Jahn, ENT at the Metropolitan Opera, in his book The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health (paperback / Kindle). He recommends taking a large dose of zinc during the first 24 hours you feel that first tickle in your throat that signals a cold is near. He also says that zinc will not prevent a cold if you have no symptoms and does little once you actually have a cold, which is why it’s important to act fast and stay stocked up on your zinc!
- Take Bromelain! I learned about this magical, all natural pineapple stem extract when I was singing in Germany, where all the singers there swear by it. It’s used when you feel that the vocal chords are a bit swollen (women, also good to relieve the effects to the voice during that “time of the month”). You will find your voice feels clearer in minutes. Must keep refrigerated!