How Can I Stop My Throat From Hurting When I Sing?

Whether you’re a professional vocalist or love singing in the shower, a hurting throat can damage your performance.

But fear not. I’m here to share tips and tricks for stopping your throat from hurting when you sing.

How Can I Stop My Throat From Hurting When I Sing?

If you love singing but often feel a sharp pain in your throat while doing so, there are some steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate this discomfort.

  • First and foremost, it’s crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. A dry throat is more prone to irritation and soreness.
  • Additionally, try warming your voice before singing by doing vocal exercises or humming. This will help relax and prepare your vocal cords for the strain of singing.
  • Pay attention to your posture while singing, and make sure you’re standing or sitting with good alignment to allow for proper airflow.
  • Avoid clearing your throat frequently, as it can cause further irritation. If these tips don’t provide relief, consider consulting a vocal coach or doctor for proper techniques and any underlying medical issues that may be causing the pain.

Remember, caring for your voice is essential for healthy and enjoyable singing experiences!

How Do Singers Take Care of Their Throats?

Singers are aware that their voice is their most important instrument. Thus, taking care of their throats is crucial in maintaining the quality and longevity of their vocal abilities.

Here are some key ways that singers can take care of their throats:

1. Staying hydrated: Singers must drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep their vocal cords lubricated. As a rule, they should aim to drink at least 8 small glasses of water daily.

2. Avoiding irritants: Cigarette smoke, pollution, and other environmental irritants can cause irritation and inflammation in the throat. Singers should try to avoid these as much as possible.

3. Practicing good vocal hygiene: It includes avoiding excessive screaming or yelling, talking for prolonged periods without rest, and straining the voice. Singers should also warm up their voices before performances or practice sessions.

4. Using proper singing techniques: Singing with appropriate posture and breath control can alleviate strain on the throat muscles and prevent unnecessary tension.

5. Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake: Alcohol can dehydrate the body and cause inflammation in the throat, while caffeine can dry out the vocal cords. Singers should moderate their consumption of these substances to keep their throats healthy.

6. Paying attention to diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides essential nutrients for overall health, including vocal health.

7. Resting when necessary: Just like any muscle in the body, the vocal cords need time to rest and recover after use. Singers should avoid overusing their voices and allow adequate rest between performances or practice sessions.

8. Seeking medical help when needed: If a singer experiences persistent throat issues such as hoarseness or pain, it is essential to seek professional medical advice from an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why Does My Throat Hurt When Singing?

There are several potential reasons why your throat may hurt when singing.

  • One of the most common culprits is straining your vocal cords by pushing too hard or singing outside your comfortable range. This can lead to inflammation and irritation, making it painful to continue singing.
  • Another possible cause is not correctly hydrating before or during a singing session, which can dry out your throat and make it more susceptible to strain.
  • Poor posture and breathing techniques can also contribute to discomfort in your throat while singing.
  • Additionally, allergies or a cold can cause mucus buildup in your throat, making it difficult to produce clear tones and straining your vocal cords.

It’s essential to listen to your body and take breaks when necessary while singing. It would help to incorporate proper warm-up exercises and vocal care routines into your practice.

Facts About Your Sore Throat

Feeling raw and inflamed throat muscles is a warning sign that your voice is in trouble. However, the shocker is that the vocal cords don’t have nerve endings. This means you can’t feel the cords, you can only feel the surrounding muscles and experience increased difficulty when singing.

Understanding this fact is crucial for realizing the importance of warming up and training your voice. If singing hurts, you may be using the wrong muscles.

For the average singer, a vital principle is: if it hurts to swallow, do not sing. Ignoring this advice can lead to vocal damage and prolong the underlying issue.

Why Is Vocal Health Important?

A singer’s voice’s quality heavily relies on the vocal cords’ health. Healthy vocal cords are crucial for maintaining vocal range, tone, and overall performance.

Firstly, having healthy vocal cords gives singers better control over their voices. Vocal range refers to comfortably hitting high and low notes without straining the vocal cords. This range is essential for singing various music genres and efficiently performing challenging songs.

When a singer’s vocal cords are not in optimal condition, they may experience difficulty hitting specific notes or achieving the desired sound quality. This can significantly hinder their performance and limit their artistic expression.

In addition to range, the tone of a singer’s voice also depends on the health of their vocal cords. The vibration produced by the vocal cords creates sound waves that give each individual’s voice its unique tone.

If the vocal cords are damaged or strained due to overuse or illness, it can result in a hoarse or weak-sounding voice. This can significantly impact a singer’s ability to connect with their audience and deliver an engaging performance.

Can You Harm Your Vocal Cords?

The vocal cords are delicate and can be easily damaged if improperly handled. Here are some ways that you can harm your vocal cords:

1. Speaking or singing too loudly: Yelling, screaming, or overexerting your voice can strain the vocal cords and cause them to become inflamed. This can lead to hoarseness, loss of voice, or even vocal cord nodules.

2. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can irritate the throat and cause inflammation of the vocal cords. This can result in chronic hoarseness and even lead to more severe conditions such as laryngeal cancer.

3. Coughing or clearing your throat forcefully: Forceful coughing or repeatedly clearing your throat can put undue pressure on the vocal cords, irritating and inflaming them.

4. Improper use of the voice: If you use your voice frequently for speaking or singing, it is essential to learn proper techniques to prevent strain on the vocal cords. Speaking too low or high in your range, using improper breathing techniques, or not taking breaks when needed can all harm your vocal cords.

5. Acid reflux: Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, often causing a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn). The acid can also irritate the throat and damage the vocal cords over time.

6. Dehydration: Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining healthy vocal cords as they require moisture to function correctly. When dehydrated, the mucus lining in our throat becomes thicker, making it harder for our vocal cords to vibrate freely.

7. Excessive caffeine intake: Caffeine is a diuretic that causes dehydration by increasing urine production in our bodies. This reduces moisture levels in our vocal cords. It can also cause acid reflux, which, as mentioned before, can harm the vocal cords.

Tips to Avoid a Sore Throat When Singing

These expert tips will help prevent a sore throat when singing and improve overall vocal health, resulting in better performances.

1. Warm up your vocal cords before singing:

Warming up your vocal cords is essential before you start belting out your favorite tunes. This can include simple exercises such as humming, lip rolls, and gently gliding through your range.

Warming up helps to loosen any muscle tension and ensures that you use proper singing technique.

2. Stay hydrated:

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to avoid a sore throat when singing.

Your vocal cords need moisture to function properly, so drink plenty of water throughout the day and sip on water during breaks in your singing session.

3. Avoid irritants:

Certain substances like caffeine, alcohol, and smoking can dry out or irritate your vocal cords, making them more susceptible to strain. Try to limit these before and during singing sessions.

4. Use proper breathing techniques:

Breathing is essential to singing. Proper techniques can help prevent strain on your vocal cords. Focus on taking deep breaths from your diaphragm rather than shallow breaths from your chest.

5. Practice good posture:

Maintaining good posture while singing is crucial for producing clear and strong vocals without straining your voice. Keep feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders relaxed, and head aligned with the spine.

6. Take breaks:

Like any other muscle in our body, our vocal cords also need rest! If you feel any strain or discomfort while singing, take a break and give them time to recover.

7. Consult with a voice specialist or coach:

Suppose you are experiencing constant sore throats while singing despite following these tips. In that case, consulting with a voice specialist or coach who can evaluate your technique and provide personalized advice for maintaining healthy vocals may be beneficial.

List Of Good Things To Eat And Drink When Singing With A Sore Throat

1. Warm water with honey and lemon: Honey has natural antibacterial properties, which can help soothe a sore throat, while lemon juice adds a refreshing flavor and contains Vitamin C to boost the immune system.

2. Herbal teas: Herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger, or peppermint can soothe a sore throat and contain beneficial antioxidants.

3. Broth-based soups: Soups made with chicken or vegetable broth are light and nourishing options that can provide hydration and nutrients to the body, especially when sick.

4. Smoothies: Blended fruits and vegetables can provide essential vitamins and minerals while gentle on the throat. Adding in some yogurt or nut butter can also provide protein for energy.

5. Oatmeal: A warm bowl of oatmeal provides comfort and contains soluble fiber that can help soothe an irritated throat.

6. Warm milk with turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and combining it with warm milk creates a comforting drink for a sore throat.

7. Soft, cooked fruits: Applesauce, mashed bananas, and other soft fruits are easy to swallow and contain essential vitamins and nutrients that support overall health.

8. Saltwater gargle: Gargling with warm salt water (mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) can help reduce inflammation in the throat.

9. Throat lozenges or sprays: Over-the-counter lozenges or sprays specifically designed for sore throats may offer temporary relief by numbing the area where you are experiencing discomfort.

10. Hydrating beverages: Staying hydrated is crucial when dealing with a sore throat, so drink plenty of fluids like water, herbal tea, or diluted fruit juices throughout the day.

Remember to listen to your body’s cues when singing with a sore throat and take breaks as needed. Resting your voice and staying hydrated can help reduce inflammation and allow your throat to heal faster.

What Do Singers Drink Before They Sing?

Professional singers must care for their voices before they perform. This includes choosing suitable beverages to drink before singing.

The following are some standard drinks that professional singers may consume before a performance:

1. Water: Keeping our vocal cords hydrated is vital for optimal singing. Drinking water helps to lubricate the vocal cords and reduce dryness or irritation that can affect our voice quality. We should sip on room-temperature water throughout the day leading up to a performance.

2. Herbal tea with honey: Many singers swear by drinking a cup of warm herbal tea with honey before singing. The warmth of the tea can help relax and soothe the vocal cords, while honey provides a coating effect and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory for the throat.

3. Lemon water: Adding lemon adds flavor and benefits singers. Lemon contains vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and fight off potential illnesses that could affect your voice.

4. Ginger tea: If you have any tension or inflammation in your throat, ginger tea can be beneficial as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relax and soothe the throat.

5. Apple cider vinegar and warm water: Some singers swear by drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water before performances. This mixture is believed to help clear excess mucus from the throat, promoting clearer vocals.

6. Warm milk with turmeric: For those who experience allergies or vocal strain, warm milk with turmeric can be helpful due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

It is important to note that all of these drinks should be consumed in moderation. Avoid anything too cold or sugary, which can irritate your throat.

Each singer’s body may react differently to certain beverages, so it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you before performing.

How Long Do Sore Throats Last?

The duration of symptoms of sore throats can vary depending on the underlying cause. Generally, a sore throat caused by a virus or bacteria can last 3-10 days. However, it is common for symptoms to persist for up to 2 weeks in some cases.

If your sore throat is accompanied by cold or flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, or congestion, it is likely caused by a viral infection. These infections typically resolve independently within a week or two without specific treatment.

On the other hand, if your sore throat is caused by bacteria such as strep throat, it may take longer to clear up and could require antibiotics for proper treatment. Typically, appropriate medication will improve bacterial infections within 7-10 days.


Taking care of your throat is essential for maintaining a healthy singing voice.

By following these tips and techniques, such as staying hydrated, warming up properly, and avoiding irritants like smoke and dairy products, you can prevent throat pain while singing and improve your overall vocal health.

Remember to listen to your body and take breaks if needed, as pushing through discomfort can lead to more severe issues.

With proper care and practice, you can continue to sing comfortably and confidently without worrying about throat pain.

Remember these tips next time you perform or practice, and see the difference it makes in your voice! Happy singing!

Leave a Comment