Energy Foods for Performance

Energy02Nutritionist Sharon Zarabi Gives her Top 5 Diet Tips for Singers

There’s nothing worse than waking up on a beautiful sunny day, only to feel drained, fatigued, lethargic, and “hung over” from the night before – with show time only six hours away.

Did you know that there are foods that can help boost your energy levels?

Remember that food is fuel – so whatever you ingest will have a crucial role in your voice quality and moreover your emotions.

There is so much misinformation out there that we often become victims of fad diets, fast weight loss and improper nutrition.

It is far better to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and exercise to keep your body in peak condition for optimal performance.

Here are my Top Tips:

1) Avoid long hours without eating.
Performing on an empty stomach will only leave you feeling dizzy, and light headed.


2) Check your iron levels.
Without iron, your body cannot make red blood cells which are essential for energy. Remember high school biology? The hemoglobin which makes up the iron in our blood helps carry oxygen through other cells in the body. Deprived of this oxygen, your need for energy will wilt. You feel sluggish and your brain gets fuzzy. Some people react with symptoms of cold hands. You can find iron in mostly meat products. But vegetarians don’t feel neglected you too can find iron in various sources such as spinach and beans. Taking vitamin c can also enhance the absorption of iron so be sure to eat your citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, peppers and strawberries.

3) Hydration, hydration, hydration.
Although we all know we need to drink water we may not be drinking enough. So as just mentioned iron levels need to be high in our bloodstream, In order for blood to flow properly it needs to float around with…ding ding..ding…water!! Without adequate amounts of water, blood will not reach the brain barrier and you will feel dizzy and lightheaded.


4) Increase your intake of B12.
B12 is a water soluble vitamin that helps metabolize energy in our system. You can take a supplement, but you can naturally find this vitamin in shellfish such as oysters, mussels, liver, caviar, and octopus. Not a fan of ocean dwellers? try incorporating eggs, dairy and nowadays many cereals have been fortified with b vitamins.

5) Get those complex carbs for more energy. Avoid high sugar foods that will cause you to crash, but complex carbohydrates that are more filling and are loaded with vitamins. Think whole grains, oats, beans, sweet potatoes, colorful fruits and cruciferous veggies.

Remember, if you want to feel like a million bucks, you have to avoid ordering from the 99 cent value menu.


Sharon Zarabi

Sharon Zarabi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (RD, CDN) and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer with the International Fitness Professional’s Association (IFPA) and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA.) She is a contributor to The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health (Oxford University Press) and her work can be viewed at