Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fueling the Performer

In the Autumn issue of Muso, Hazel Davis has an article called "Food, glorious food." It is about what musicians should eat (and shouldn't eat) before a performance. Some things, like avoiding mucus-forming foods, are learned in high school or earlier. Those evil foods? Dairy, wheat, soya, tomatoes, oranges, and eggs. Other things aren't so well known to musicians but are common to athletes, such as avoiding simple sugars in faLinkvor of complex carbohydrates. The former (bananas and chocolate) give a quick energy boost, but can lead to a sugar crash in the middle of a long concert. But the latter will keep energy levels up for the long haul. Water is very important, something the vocal students here certainly know. They all carry around 50 gallon Nalgene water containers, explaining why students take bathroom breaks in the middle of class. When I was a student we weren't so health-conscious, sacrificing our bladders on the altar of knowledge.

A nutritionist offers "Dream performance fuel" to be eaten two hours before stage time:
  • chilled melon with Parma ham
  • Creamy tagliatelle with chili beans and field mushrooms, served with a mixed leaf salad
  • Fresh Fruit salad sprkinled with toasted sesame seeds
And for the pre-concert snack? Peanut butter on rye or porridge with seeds and apple (yes, it is a British magazine).

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