High-performance athletes often benefit from consultation with exercise-specialised registered dieticians and performance nutritionists to support excellence in both their performance and recovery. The nutritional requirements of elite vocal performers, (who may be equally as athletic as sports athletes when we consider their performance and rehearsal schedules), is undoubtedly a less researched area of nutrition-based science.
Research does indicate, however, that for high-level exercise and athletic performance the macro- and micronutrients you require to maintain that higher level of athletic function may be different to the nutrient requirements of other people. To support these requirements, food supplementation is often a popular option. Data suggests elite athletes (e.g., professional athletes and those who compete on a national or international level) use dietary supplements more often than their non-elite counterparts to enhance both performance and recovery, alongside eating a balanced and healthy diet.
In this blog post we discuss some top tips for maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, and how the use of supplementation can maximise your health and performance potential through correcting any nutritional deficiencies you may have.
Nutrition tips for improved health, wellbeing, and performance.
1. Eat from every food group.
Protein foods, dairy, grains, fruits, and veggies can all be great sources of vitamins and minerals. But no single food, or food group, is a great source of everything. At mealtime, fill your plate with 3-4 food groups, and try to incorporate the ones you miss into snacks throughout the day. For example, if you have a bowl of cereal with milk and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, grab a piece of fruit to snack on later in the day.
2. Eat a Rainbow.
Micronutrients contribute colour to foods. These colours are often associated with certain vitamins and minerals. Eating a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a great variety of micronutrients.
3. Eat fresh or frozen when you can.
Choose natural ‘live’ or ‘raw’ foods and avoid processed products where possible. Food processing, as well as exposure to light and air, can degrade important vitamins and minerals.
·Minimize the amount of processed and fast food you eat. These foods typically have little nutritional value when it comes to vitamins and minerals, and can be high in saturated fat, sodium, added sugar, and calories.
·Don’t let your farmer’s market finds sit around too long before you eat them–even when those fruits and veggies are tucked away in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Stock up on frozen produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables are commonly picked at peak freshness and quickly processed, which preserves their nutrient value.
4. Know a few kitchen basics.
Certain vitamins and minerals can be lost or broken down in cooking, while others can be better digested and absorbed when paired with certain foods. Here are a few rules of thumb:
Eat some produce raw and avoid overcooking the rest.
When cooking: steaming, roasting or sautéing will preserve more vitamins and minerals, compared to boiling.
Eat iron-rich plant foods like lentils, spinach, tofu, and beans with a squeeze of lemon juice or citrus dressing. The Vitamin C increases iron absorption.
For better absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, pair with a healthy fat, like oil & vinegar dressing. This is a great reason to choose low-fat milk instead of fat-free and is key to why VitaVoice is best taken with your first food of the day (breakfast).
5. Meals and snacks
·Choose higher protein snacks where possible and combine them with complex carbohydrates for endurance.
Eat a small meal 2-3 hours before a performance which includes some protein and complex carbohydrates.
For an evening performance, you may wish to have your main meal at lunchtime.
After a performance, eat a small meal which is higher in protein.
Where does taking a supplement fit in?
It’s possible to get a broad range of micronutrients, and plenty of them, from a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, if you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet you may wish to consider taking a supplement such as VitaVoice Optimise - which includes vitamin B12, vitamin D, Iron and Zinc - to boost your vitamin and mineral balance, as plant-based foods are not always high in nutrients and some micronutrients are less bioavailable from plant sources.
Research suggests the ingredients in VitaVoice have multiple proven physical, cognitive and psychological benefits which can support vocal performance and recovery. Our vitamins, minerals and carefully selected botanicals have each been proven through scientific studies to support the body with a variety of functions such as:
-adapting to stressors,
-cognition (including memory, focus and creativity),
-maintaining energy and endurance,
-tissue-repair and collagen formation - key in the maintenance of healthy vocal fold tissue.
See our ‘Science’ document for more details on how VitaVoice Optimise may support you with optimising your nutrition for improved all-round performance.
Try VitaVoice for yourself today and feel the benefits. Find our Shopify store here.
Disclaimer: The use of dietary supplements can be beneficial; however, response greatly varies according to the genetic make-up of each individual and the degree of nutrient deficiency. We encourage individuals to take note if they are thinking of taking any food supplements: ‘If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication or under medical supervision, please consult with your doctor before use. Do not exceed the stated recommended serving size’. VitaVoice advises anyone thinking of taking any food supplements to tell your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care providers about the food supplements and prescription or over-the-counter medicines you take. They can tell you if the supplements might interact with your medicines. They can also explain whether the medicines you take might interfere with how your body absorbs or uses other nutrients.