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Power Breakfast for The Professional Voice UserWe've heard it over and over again - "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Well, there's truth to that, especially if you are a professional who works ten-to-fifteen hours a day, an artist on tour, a politician on the campaign trail, a teacher lecturing all day, or a lawyer burning the midnight oil preparing to speak in court. Breakfast is the meal the fuels our day, but most importantly for the professional, provides our bodies with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep everything working on all cylinders...especially our professional voice.

And just as breakfast can be the boost we need for the day, poor choices can also take a toll on our health, energy, and quality of your voice. Poor choices are often the result of a busy schedule, and although it may be easy to swing through the drive-through, snag that pastry out of the break room, or rely on that lone cup of coffee to get us through lunch, the long-term harm is far worse than the convenience of these quick breakfast choices.

So how do you maintain your busy schedule and keep your body and professional voice in top shape?

Here are a few of our top tips for healthy options that are possible with even the tightest morning time-crunch. Your voice and your career will than you in the long run!


1. Morning Shot of Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

It's quick, it's easy, and the benefits are bountiful. A shot-glass sized portion of apple cider vinegar in the morning may seem like an odd way to start the day, but it is also one of the best.

  • Apple cider vinegar is full of bacteria-killing compounds that will help to clean out your system and give your immune system an early morning boost.

  • Increases satiety to help you feel more full through the morning, and making it easier to resist bad food choices. If you are dieting, this is a great tool for weight loss as well (consult a physician about any dietary changes for safe weight loss).

  • Studies have suggested that acetic acid can aid in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides - which is always important for professionals in high stress occupations (National Institute of Health).

  • ACV can help with a nervous or upset stomach, which we have all experienced before a big speech, presentation, or lecture. However, nerves may not be the root of the problem. A bacterial infection may be the cause of your upset stomach, which is why ACV's antimicrobial and antibiotic properties will help to kill the bacteria in your intestines. ACV also contains pectin, which aids in reducing muscle cramping and spasms in your intestines.

Acetic acid can help clear a stuffy nose, which can potentially ruin a speech or presentation (not to mention annoy your co-workers). ACV contains potassium, which helps to thin excess mucous in your nasal passage.

Professional Voice Blog- The Professional Power Breakfast | Apple Cider Vinegar


2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - Pack Your Breakfast Full of Fluid-Rich Foods

Hydrating is an obvious one. Staying hydrated is vital to a healthy body, and even more important for your professional voice. Start you morning with an 8 oz glass of cold water, which not only hydrates your vocal system first thing in the morning (especially important if you live in dry climates or sleep with a fan), but can also help to boost your metabolism - which means a great start to your work day!

According to a study conducted by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking water can boost your metabolism by up to 30%.

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In addition to helping keep your vocals hydrated and functioning properly, staying hydrated will also improve your brain's function at work. Studies have found that dehydration can negatively effect your brain function, mental endurance, and concentration levels.

A good rule to live by is the 8, 8 oz glasses of water per day. However, if you are exercising, in high-altitude environments, or consuming caffeine, increase your H2O intake significantly.

Another way to increase your intake of water in the morning is through fluid-rich foods. Add fruits and vegetables with a high fluid content like grapes, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, cantaloupe, or peaches to your breakfast.

Professional Voice Blog - Power Breakfast for Professionals


Professional Voice Blog - Power Breakfast For Professionals


3. Switch from Coffee to Tea

Coffee is a natural diuretic, which can dehydrate your body and cause your muscles in your throat to contract. This not only can effect the quality of your voice throughout the day, but the extra strain you are putting on your muscles can cause long term damage. The good news for coffee drinkers is that studies about the negative effects of caffeine on the voice are not completely conclusive. The dehydrating effect of caffeine is real, however you can off-set the effects by supplementing with more water. So this one is up in the air. For good measure, if you have a cup of coffee, always follow it with a glass of water.

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If you believe that your voice feels dehydrated, then tea is a great substitute. Tea is also a great morning beverage because of all the healthy add-ons. The addition of ginger to your tea can help fight colds, fight acid reflux, reduce nausea, and give you a metabolism boost.

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Lemon can help clear up excess mucous if you're feeling a bit phlegmy and its natural antibacterial properties can also help to clean out harmful bacteria.

4. Add a Squeeze of Lemon To Your Tea or Water

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In addition to being a natural disinfectant, lemon is an astringent. High in pectin and potassium, lemon can clear your system of environmental toxins. The astringent quality of lemon in you system can clear your vocal chords and throat of mucous, however for professional vocalists and speakers, too much can dry out your vocal chords and cause irritation. Only use it when you feel like you have tons of mucous and avoid adding slices of lemon to your beverages on a daily basis.

If you want to clear up mucous in your throat, mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + one cup warm water and gargle at a high pitch. Gargling the mixture at a high pitch will cause your vocal cords to contract and rise closer to the back of your throat where you are gargling the mixture. Spit and repeat several times.

In addition to its body cleansing capabilities, lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help rid your system of free radicals and help your body fight infection—which is another good reason for professional vocalists to consume the yellow super fruit.

5. Eggs!

Vitamin A is one of the best ways to keep your professional voice healthy because it helps keep our mucous membranes functioning properly. Vitamin A is also a great vanity vitamin. If you sit in a dark office all day, it can do a number on your skin. So if you want healthy skin and a healthy mucous system, boost that Vitamin A intake. Luckily, some of our favorite breakfast foods are packed full of the stuff - like eggs.

In fact, eggs are one of nature's best superfoods. Here is a list of their many nutrients from Eggs.Org
Eggs contain over 11 essential vitamins and minerals including:

Selenium – antioxidant which protects our body and immune system
Folate – for growth and maintenance of healthy cells
Biotin – helps cell metabolism and the utilisation of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Calcium – for building and maintain bones and teeth
Cephalin – a phosphorus-containing lipid found in tissues
Lecithin – contains acetylcholine which has been proven to help brain function
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5 ) – releases energy from our food for our body to use
Vitamin B12 – for brain and nervous system functions and blood formation
Vitamin A – for growth and eye health
Iodine – to ensure proper function of our thyroid gland
Vitamin E – antioxidant to protect our bodies against disease
Phosphorous – helps build strong bones and teeth
Iron – to produce haemoglobin which carries oxygen around our bodies
Thiamine – to turn carbohydrates into energy our body can use
Zinc – helps in growth, wound healing, blood formation and maintenance of tissues
Vitamin D – important in bone health

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6. Go for Orange

For a super Vitamin A power breakfast, mix up an omelet full of orange and yellow bell peppers, dark leafy greens like spinach, and pair it with even more vitamin and antioxidant-rich orange fruits like cantaloupe or apricots. A good rule is to find fruits and vegetables that are orange or yellow.

Orange fruits and vegetables don't only make your breakfast look inviting, but they contain an abundance of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients that come with a laundry-list of health benefits including boosting your immune system, your metabolism, and providing essential energy to get through your busy work day.

Some of the best breakfast-friendly orange foods include:

  • Cantaloupe

  • Apricots

  • Carrots

  • Pumpkin

  • Sweet Potatoe

  • Squash

  • Oranges (duh)

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The best thing about all of these foods is that there is little to no prep at all. Grab a piece of orange fruit, a bottle of water, and take your shot of apple cider vinegar as you head out the door.

For more information on care of the professional voice, visit the ColoradoVoiceClinic.com.




Dr. Dave Opperman, MD - Colorado Voice Clinic

Authority Nutrition - 6 Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

National Institute of Health - Dietary acetic acid reduction...

Reader's Digest - 13+ Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar - http://www.rd.com/slideshows/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/#ixzz3VJhQ1pmJ

Healthline.com - The Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar

National Health Institute - Role of dehydration in heat-stress induced variations in mental performance

National Health Institute - Effect of Caffeine on the Vocal Folds

Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 10:41 AM MDT Posted by
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