If you have ever had to play with a full stomach, or an empty one craving for food, you know how crucial this aspect is! Food for flutists is going to break down what it takes for your stomach to be quiet and happy, supporting you instead of hindering your breathing, leaving you with the energy to concentrate on the music.
3 tips on what to eat before a performance and a bonus secret
First of all: I’m not a doctor, nor a nutritionist, just a flutist who has lived through some embarrassing experiences and wishes to help you avoid that and be at your best, always!
Maybe you have heard of it: The food to eat before an important performance or audition is a banana. It gives you the minerals you need, fructose and strength. It is best if you eat it 20min before you have to be at the top of your preparation. Just another information, bananas are fantastic, but the fruits treated the most of them all. So be sure you buy organic bananas. (A beauty tip as well: if you have the shell of organic bananas and those stripes that remain, put them on your face and neck, where ever you feel your skin is losing elasticity, dryness or wrinkles. It also helps to even out the skin reducing its imperfections. Much cheaper and more effective than many face creams.)
Be sure you are able to brush your teeth as we wouldn’t want any banana parts rocketing through your flute!
If you really need to be at the peak of your energy, add a piece of dark chocolate, possibly with whole nuts in it. This will help you to perform at the best you can, it gives you energy, uplifts your mood, provides you with antioxidants and vitamin E as well as with healthy fats that protect your nervous system.
Also, after the chocolate you should wash your mouth, because it triggers saliva production which could interfere with your sound quality.
If on the other hand you have problems with a too dry mouth and tongue, drink a glass of orange juice. Choose a fresh one if you can, or at least without sugar added. This will help with the dryness of your oral cavity and induce salivation.
Not only food for flutists can have an impact on saliva production, but there is another trick that doesn’t involve food.
It sounds a little weird but it works! Pull your earlobe while making a yawing movement with your jaw. Keep your lips closed while doing that. Let me know in the comment section below if it helped you too!
Food for flutists – all day long
First thing, what does a flutist look for in food? We wouldn’t want to overcharge our stomach with digestion as this would hinder optimal diaphragmatic breathing. To get a closer look at how a flutist’s breathing works click here.
So in order to do that you should pay attention to chew everything you eat thoroughly before you swallow it.
We look for energetic healthy food. Nutrients that empower us and do not slow us down. They should be easy to digest and release energy gradually over time. So never over eat! In fact follow the Japanese, they have a fantastic golden rule:
Eat until you feel 8 parts out of ten full, not more. Eat until you still could continue, but stop. No need to be completely full. 80% is more than enough to sustain our everyday flute life and keep us healthy.
So what is on the menu for us?
Food for flutists – in the morning
In the morning boost your energy with fruits. They are easy to digest, provide energy and vitamins and have a slow and prolonged release of fructose turned into glucose which keeps your energy level up also in the long run. If you can choose local fruits as nature knows what’s best for you right where you are. No need for passion fruit or mango if you live in Northern Europe. An apple will just be as fine. If you can choose organic and eat the peel as well as many vitamins are stored there.
Limit your dairy product consumption as it burdens your digestive system and slows you down. So choose soy milk if you wish to eat your muesli. I just go with the fruits in the morning and a black coffee. Which should be substituted by tea, but hey, no one’s perfect. If instead you are used to your bread roll, make it whole grain and use organic 100 % fruit jam, no butter.
Food for flutists – at lunch
For lunch choose anything that is easy to digest, as a musician’s day is still long. This means NO SALAD for lunch, NO RAW VEGETABLES. They get your blood to your stomach and will use your energy for breaking those down. Vegetables are better cooked, maybe steamed, and of course NOT FRIED. Go with the whole grain version of whatever you choose and add high value protein (fish, eggs). Avoid beans and lentils for lunch, your neighbor in the orchestra will thank you! Same goes for onions and garlic. As desert go with another fruit. I usually finish with an espresso, but I live in Italy. You might go with tea or warm water option. The warm water is another trick I learned from the Asian world. A glass of warm water can work miracles. They also use it first thing in the morning. You might want to try that!
In between meals go with the fruit and nuts options, dark chocolate and fruit juices if you need more energy. Cut down on sugar. Drink a glass of warm water or tea to calm your cravings.
Food for flutists – in the evening
At dinner and I’m talking about having finished playing the flute, studying, performing or rehearsing, go with the good stuff that takes all night to digest: Salads, raw vegetables, beans and lentils. Make sure you take in more protein at lunch than at dinner. As dinner is for integrating good fats (olive oil, fatty fish) and carbs. Yes, carbs in the evening helps you digest what you eat and the energy valley after the first peak will get you to sleep more deeply and fast.
A cup of tea or a glass of warm water is always beneficial, unless you can’t go to the restroom in the hour after consumption!
Be sure to check which foods to avoid and what a healthy food pyramid looks like ——> here.
A flutist’s menu – food for flutists
So what is your ritual before going out there on the stage? Chocolate like I do, strictly 90%?
What do you eat in the mornings? Would you like a link to organic coffee and an espresso moka?
The Moka is what we use in Italy when we are not with George Clooney… 😂
Also check out my article on life design for musicians, as living healthier starts with more time and satisfaction. ——-> life design for musicians.
Is there any advice you can give us?
I’d be more than happy to know how you do it and maybe learn and add something to my list
of food for flutists.
Thank you for sharing your experience below in the comment section.
Have a happy flute meal,