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Tackle Your Cold or Flu

With the right strategies in place, you’ll have every chance of optimizing the quality of your voice and performance –says Sharon Zarabi

Ever feel like a band member is always missing practice, has a hoarse voice, or just hasn’t gotten over a lingering cold…

Could that be you?

It’s the middle of the flu and cold season.

Flu season usually occurs during the fall peaking in January and February, but can occur as early October and as late as May.

Do you feel like you have been overdosing on NyQuil and Theraflu but just not feeling any better?


Western and Eastern Approaches

Unfortunately as history has proven there is no magic pill to help cure any disease, you are what you eat.

The Western approach to treating illness involves using more pharmaceutical methods which tend to cover up symptoms than treat the disease, where Eastern practices consider health as a balanced state using everyday nutrients and plan based herbal remedies.

There is no conclusive evidence to say one works better than the other but our western counterparts have agreed with the following natural practices and herbal remedies:

* Drink lots of fluids: water helps cool down the interior temperature of your body and will increase the rate of perspiration to help get all toxins out.

ColdText02* Vitamins: yes you all knew this was coming, but I’m not advocating synthetic-over-the-counter pills that can sit on shelves indefinitely. The most natural source are fruits and vegetables. Dark colored berries and greens contain the highest vitamin and mineral content. Specifically Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and the anti oxidants in Vitamin E.
Click here to see my list of some natural sources of important vitamins.

*Tea: Not only do warm liquids loosen up the mucus to help with your tone in singing, but the polyphenols found in the leaves of tea help stimulate the production and activity of specific cells that are associated with combating viruses. Remember that caffeine depletes your body of water, so herbal teas are the best.

*Probiotics: these are small micro-organisms within the body that help maintain the balance of organisms within the body (Pro- meaning beneficial). They are the healthy bacteria to protect the gut! Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut. Keep the balance of beneficial bacteria to prevent stomach issues such as bloating, irregular bowels, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections.
Don’t expect that taking these things will magically cure you – but do expect that they will help prepare the body for defense.
With these strategies in place, you’ll have every chance of optimizing the quality of your voice and performance.

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 www.sharonzarabi.com/