In 1997 I was the play-by-play voice for the Arena Football League’s Anaheim Piranhas. It was that summer in Des Moines, Iowa, when I enjoyed the most legendary pregame meal of my career. The team and I were served an entrée of spaghetti and meat sauce. After 45 minutes all the players and all but one coach had finished and left the banquet room.
I was still eating. The remaining coach looked at my skinny frame and said with wonder, “You eat more than the players.”
Did you know that eating certain foods before going on the air can help or hurt your broadcast?
Here are some foods to eat and avoid.
What to Eat
Carbs will give you energy. As referenced above, I loved a plate of pasta before going on the air.
Protein has satiety value so you won’t feel hungry. Grilled chicken was one of my favorites and it goes well with pasta. Eggs are also good.
Sip water during your broadcast to keep your vocal cords moist and keep you hydrated. Don’t guzzle it, though. Who knows when you’ll have an opportunity to take a break.
Instant protein. You can chomp on a handful of them during a commercial break.
What to Avoid
Soda and coffee dry your vocal cords.
Chicken, French fries and other fried foods can spark acid reflux which weakens your voice.
Cold food, including water, changes the voice. The diaphragm needs to be kept at comfortable body temperature.
Some people say dairy products like milk and ice cream causes phlegm, which would compromise your voice. However, science does not back it up. It’s urban legend. Still, if you think dairy foods give you phlegm, avoid them. It’s like telling the doctor, “This hurts when I do it.” Don’t do it anymore.
Hate for a stray husk to get stuck in your throat when calling a big play.
Some folks stop eating at least 20 minutes before going on air to ensure their vocal cords have time to clear out.
What do you suggest eating and avoiding before going on air? Please share your advice in the comments section below.