We are drinking more coffee now than ever before. All hours of the day, morning, noon and night, short blacks to mega cups. But is it dehydrating us and will that have an affect on our singing?
Here are a few points about caffeine it’s quickly absorbed in our body and is also a diuretic, it sucks up our body water including our electrolytes. Our body needs water through making biological processes work, to give shape to structures and also as a lubricant so the machine works smoothly and avoids wear and tear.
I see and hear a lot of vocal coaches, educators, youtubers, etc calling to eliminate caffeine from your diet if you’re a high level voice user. This is good vocal hygiene and makes all the sense in the world.
But, is coffee dehydrating our vocal folds and doing the damage that we think it is?
Well, according to this research paper, no.
In there research, Elizabeth Erickson-Levendoski and Mahalakshmi Sivasankar of West Lafayette, Indiana, says it made no difference to their test subjects who ingested very large amounts of caffeine to prove it’s case.
Their test methods included vocal loading tasks and comparing high and low caffeine intake. There were no difference in the test subjects. Caffeine had no affect on their singing voice.
This contradicts general thinking and practices. This is only a preliminary study and of course with science, we need more research. There are many factors that need to be looked at in the future to clarify some of the aspects of caffeine intake, for example, how much is too much coffee, what else are you doing through the day that may dehydrate you? Also, this paper was written in 2011 so I’ll searching around for any updates. The Research continues.
What do you think? What are your examples? Do you think too much coffee can damage your voice? What other recommendations do we need to research and need proof of? Comment below or join a group.
Investigating the Effects of Caffeine on Phonation. Elizabeth Erickson-Levendoski and Mahalakshmi Sivasankar, West Lafayette. Indiana.