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Thomas

Why collagen matters for singers

Collagen serves as the foundational support system for our bodies. It is crucial for maintaining the health and flexibility of connective tissues, cartilage, and joints. For singers, collagen plays a particularly vital role in the strength and quality of their vocal cords.

Understanding collagen, the vocalist’s ally

Vocal cords rely on collagen for structure and mass, with higher collagen levels contributing to enhanced vocal strength and resonance. While individuals may be born with varying vocal cord mass, collagen levels can significantly impact vocal performance.

Collagen is abundant in various foods, including animal skin, ligaments, and bone marrow, as well as select vegetables. Understanding the different types of collagen, such as Type I for skin and Type II for joint support, is essential for optimizing its benefits for singers.

Top collagen sources

Here are a few of the top collagen sources that are found in many diets (my favourite is chicken!):

  • Chicken and beef (with connective tissue): Rich in Type I collagen, crucial for skin and bone health.
  • Fish bones: Provide Type I collagen and minerals like calcium and phosphorus, supporting bone density.
  • Egg whites: High in proline, an amino acid necessary for collagen production.

Types of collagen and their functions

There are 16 different types of collagen. Some of them are more commonly found than others. Here are the top five:

  • Type I: Provides structure for skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Type II: Supports elasticity in cartilage, essential for joint health.
  • Type III: Found in muscles, arteries, and organs, contributing to tissue flexibility.
  • Type IV: Forms layers of the skin, contributing to its integrity.
  • Type V: Present in the cornea of eyes and skin layers, playing a role in tissue strength.

Essential nutrients for vocal health

Certain nutrients are crucial for collagen synthesis and overall vocal health.

Nutrients for collagen production

There are other nutrients that aid the process of collagen production. I’ve listed some of these nutrients below, which are essential for aiding in collagen production:

  • Vitamin C: Acts as a cofactor in collagen synthesis, essential for converting proline to hydroxyproline.
  • Proline: A key amino acid in collagen formation, found in mushrooms, asparagus, and cabbage.
  • Glycine: Supports collagen structure and has anti-inflammatory properties, abundant in turkey and chicken.
  • Copper: Required for the final step of collagen formation, linking collagen molecules to form strong connective tissue.
  • Zinc: Supports collagen synthesis and bone formation, found in oysters and red meat.

Maintaining vocal strength through diet

A balanced diet rich in collagen-promoting foods can support vocal health and performance. Here are some important foods for vocal health:

  • Garlic: Boosts immune system and collagen production, aiding in vocal cord repair.
  • Leafy greens: High in chlorophyll and antioxidants, protecting vocal cords from oxidative stress.
  • Beans: Provide protein and collagen-promoting amino acids like proline and glycine.
  • Cashews: Rich in zinc and copper, supporting collagen synthesis and tissue repair.
  • Cottage cheese: Contains casein protein for muscle growth and repair, crucial for vocal muscle maintenance.

Protecting your vocal investment

As singers age, declining collagen levels can lead to vocal cord deterioration and reduced vocal strength. There are some particularly bad habits that can accelerate this process.

Habits to avoid

  • Smoking: Damages collagen and impairs vocal cord function.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Dehydrates vocal cords and accelerates collagen breakdown.
  • Poor sleep routines: Disrupts collagen production and vocal cord repair processes.
  • Late-night snacking: Leads to acid reflux, irritating vocal cords and inhibiting collagen synthesis.
  • Frequent fast food intake: Severely impairs collagen production.

The role of supplements in vocal health

Supplements offer a convenient way to ensure consistent intake of essential minerals for vocal health. Products like Neocell Super Collagen, paired with zinc, magnesium, and multivitamins, can complement dietary efforts to support collagen levels and overall vocal performance.

If you’re like me and your goal is to maintain or add additional mass to your vocal cords, then we need to get serious about finding the easiest and most effective ways to supplement our collagen intake. This is because we don’t always eat the right things.

I personally use collagen supplements as a way of being able to top up my body’s collagen levels. I combine this with zinc, magnesium and multivitamins, which include vitamin C. The brand I personally use at the moment is called Neocell Super Collagen (available in different sizes for delivery from Amazon), but any reputable vitamin brand will suffice.

Neocell Super Collagen

If you’re looking for some of the other supplements mentioned, here are my top picks:

Another supplement I use to promote collagen synthesis is bone broth, which I make into a soup by mixing with hot water and stirring. Here are a few links to bone broth products, which is a good way to add variety to your collagen intake:

Chicken bone broth
Beef bone broth

Disclaimer: The provided supplement links are Amazon Associate links, which support the site at no additional cost to you. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I will never recommend any product that I wouldn’t personally use.

Empowering singers for longevity

For singers experiencing vocal strength loss or concerns about overuse, a personalized vocal routine and strategic collagen supplementation can be invaluable.

Conclusion

Collagen serves as the cornerstone of vocal strength and resilience, making it essential for singers to prioritize its production through diet and supplementation. By understanding the importance of collagen and adopting proactive measures to support vocal health, singers can ensure their instrument remains strong and vibrant throughout their careers.

I recommend a multidimensional approach to your collagen boosting strategy:

  1. Eat foods that are rich in the components that help the body to produce natural collagen.
  2. Consume a high quality multi-type collagen powder. Add it to your drinks and smoothies to maximise collagen production.
  3. Drink bone broth (delicious soups high in collagen).
  4. Reduce excessive sun exposure.
  5. Reduce your body’s exposure to nicotine.
  6. Get more sleep, or a better quality of sleep.

For personalized vocal health guidance or consultations, feel free to reach out and book a consultation today.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

This post is a tribute to the one and only true Prince of Darkness and his incredible contribution to the world of rock music that almost single-handedly inspired the creation of the heavy metal and other black metal genres.

Off stage, Ozzy (as he’s known to his adoring fans) stutters and struggles to string together a coherent sentence. But on stage, or in the recording studio, put a mic in his hands and his singing voice sparks up loud and clear. Bless you Ozzy for all of the inspirational music you’ve made throughout your career.

As a vocal coach, Ozzy deserves special mention as one of those singers that has explored every kind of excess that the rock and roll lifestyle can provide, yet somehow through it all, he has managed to maintain both his unique vocal tone and his vocal range for almost the entire duration of his career.

Due to numerous health issues, Ozzy is planning two final concerts as a farewell to his fans. Ozzy has announced that he will be retiring at the end of this tour.

Ozzy Osbourne has sold approximately 100 million records worldwide across both his solo career and as his days as the front man for Black Sabbath. Just because Ozzy has finished touring, don’t be surprised if the Prince of Darkness continues to release new music up until his last breath.

They broke the mold when they made Ozzy Osbourne. He truly is one of a kind and a hard act to follow.

To learn more about Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary music career and many of his most famous escapades/adventures, I highly recommend picking up a copy of his incredible biography. It’s well-written and the story flows amazingly well. It is 100% Ozzy, in his own words.

If you are a rock and metal music collector, and you love your music on vinyl, check out some of these legendary records by Ozzy. Somehow after all these years, Ozzy’s music on vinyl just sounds better than ever.

If you want to learn how to sing in Ozzy Osbourne’s style and/or vocal register, let’s chat about a vocal coaching session.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

Luke-W

Luke-W – Singer, rapper and producer

“Before meeting Paule I’d been writing, recording and performing music for almost 8 years as a singer/rapper and producer. My singing was all self taught and when I noticed that during live shows I would find my voice losing strength and pitch as my set progressed I knew I wanted to find a coach that could help me to improve my vocal stamina and if possible improve my range.

I was looking for someone who was more than a singing teacher and could be an all-round vocal and performance coach. So when I found the RVR page I decided to reach out. I wasn’t sure what to expect but from the first few sessions, I was all in. Paule’s approach is super genuine and no BS which I rate highly, and most importantly, it works.

I’ve now been doing weekly sessions with Paule for 6 months now and I can genuinely say that I’ve had huge improvements in my vocal freedom, ease and ability to sing comfortably. This along with working on RVR breathing has improved my lyric delivery and stamina in studio and live. 

I’m excited to continue to work with Paule in 2024 and highly recommend anyone who wants to invest in their own vocal and performance growth to hit up Paule!”

Check out Luke-W’s Spotify, or subscribe to him on YouTube (sample below) to catch his next single release!

Tiras Amadeo Verey – Musical theatre performer

I had been singing since quite a young age, but it was something I hadn’t pursued as a potential career path alongside my other creative endeavours. That was, until I was given the opportunity for more major roles in musical theatre. I knew I had to up my game and actively sought out the best tutor I could find. After reading through reviews and watching some of the videos on the site, I decided to give Paule a try. I had never imagined that so much could be taught and put into practice in such a short space of time, and I had very little time to really get to grips with such a serious expansion of my vocal range and quality of sound. I had always struggled to reach the higher range without straining, and now can with ease.

There were inhibitions I knew existed, but had no idea just how deep they ran. After several weeks spent with Paule, I experienced a vocal breakthrough like no other. His vast expanse of knowledge on the mechanics are truly noteworthy. But far more than that, his ability to understand his student’s ways of learning, mental processing, and how to dig deeper so as to allow the release of whatever setbacks may have settled are absolutely phenomenal.

A huge part of the journey was learning how to give myself permission to project not only when in the role of a main character, but generally (I had always been very softly spoken).

About a month or two after I began with Paule, I auditioned for the role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in an original adaptation with musical numbers. I do not think I would have landed this role if it weren’t for Paule. He has helped me with the singing aspect ever step of the way and continues to inspire me to give it the best I can. The show has received most excellent feedback, and I have been approached by a number of people from the audience who were extremely complimentary of my voice and singing! 

I also find Paule’s sessions extremely therapeutic, and helpful in so many more ways than just the singing aspect (although that is the main). His mind movies, visual thinking stance (which he gaged I would benefit from the most almost immediately) and physical exercises all connect to allow for greater confidence and belief in the self, and understanding of how we can work with the voice to achieve the most desirable results.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Paule to anyone, whether a veteran or someone looking to take their passion for singing further! His absolute enthusiasm, commitment and support are all qualities that make his unique teaching style among the very best there are to offer!

Balpreet Masaun

“Paule is a great vocal coach! He helped me reach high notes without pushing and he explained how important diaphragmatic support is in singing.

I really appreciated that he took the time in every lesson to make sure I understood everything. Every lesson was an experience and Paule showed me some amazing tips to aid me in my singing journey.”

I’m so proud of Balpreet’s progress. Check out what Balpreet’s capable of here: https://www.facebook.com/reel/985564875983654
– Paule