Diet/nutrition for performance

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tpter1, May 31, 2006.

  1. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    Inspired by Manny's comments in the caffein thread, I began to wonder what dietary considerations one should make when preparing for a performance or an audition. I've read many things that have at least seemingly differing advice, such as "carbo-loading" or eating a light meal an hour or 2 before performing.

    What are some of the things that work for you or don't work for you?

    A trip to the salad bar about an hour before an audition really helps me to not feel overly full, but not starving; whereas going to a deli and having a huge sandwich or eating a rather heavy meal from somewhere like Olive Garden...well, that's just no good.

    Should we alter our dietary intake on the day of an audition or prior to a performance? How about the old "banana to help performance anxiety" trick?
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    A good question: I'm sure that if Liad were posting regularly and still had his "health" column he'd be on this one like fleas on a junkyard dog.

    I HATE having to perform or even practice on a "full gut". But equally important, the stomach rubbing the backbone doesn't help matters neither. My preference is a relatively light meal (fish, chicken) about two hours before. No booze (takes the edge off). No "gassy foods" (you know what I mean! I keep telling my wife, NO CAULIFLOWER WITH CHEESE SAUCE ON REHEARSAL NIGHTS! AND NO ONIONS NEITHER!)

    I don't know about the banana story... whether that's an "urban myth" or not. I've tried it but perhaps it is more placebo than science? No idea. I have found that PREPARATION is much more important than SUPERSTITION. If you are ready then you know it, you're confident, "you're on the ball"; otherwise you are just going through the motions and hoping there isn't going to be a wreck.
     
  3. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Yes Toots, preparation is the best nerve zapper, I agree.

    The bananas, turkey sandwiches, etc. never worked for me. My appetite is not the greatest on those days, so I usually eat granola bars, protein bars or shakes, yogurt, or fruit smoothies.

    For those who have dry mouth problems, putting a little lemon juice on your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, is a good idea. If you can't get the saliva flowing, just take a quick lick from your hand. I personally do not have this problem, but have known several players who do and say this does the trick.

    I posted this in the caffeine thread and thought it appropriate for this one as well.

    Natural remedies
     
  4. HoboTrumpet

    HoboTrumpet Pianissimo User

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    Glenn,

    Just thought I’d offer some advice from a different perspective. I’m a marathon runner and there are a few guidelines that I’ve found to be very helpful for race day, which is essentially the running version of a performance. Personally, I think long-time athlete Hal Higdon’s advice on nutrition is great for anyone: eat a wide variety of lightly processed foods. In other words, chicken breast vs. nuggets, or an orange vs. canned fruit. Or eating things as close to their natural state as possible. You get more nutrients, no bad additives and you’ll digest everything a lot easier, which saves energy for other things. I know I feel better both mentally and physically when I follow these rules.

    We runners swear by carbo loading (who doesn’t love whole-wheat pasta and Prego for weeks straight?), but you have to remember that it takes time for a body to adjust and actually store meaningful energy. I usually start official carbo loading two weeks before race day. This doesn’t mean eating a lot of extra food, but simply adjusting your diet so a higher percentage is carbs. When I was in college our band and orchestra conductors always preached carbo loading the meal before a concert, but I think that’s probably too late to do any good. I think you would see some benefits if you started a day or two before, though. The same goes for hydration. It takes time for your body to benefit from additional fluids.

    Just my two cents . . .

    Andy
     
  5. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    Oh noooooooooo,

    Now I have to worry about diet here!

    :shock:
     
  6. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    FYI everyone......here are some helpful remedies for stress and anxiety.

    Futurebiotics makes an herbal supplement called Chill Pill.

    A natural, non-addictive formula intended to assist with calming; not intended as a sleeping aid.

    Ingredients: Valerian Root Powder; Chamomile Flower; Oat Straw; Kava Kava root; Hops Flower; Skullcap Leaf; Spearmint Leaf; Nettle Leaf; Hawthorn Berry; Fennel Seed; Horsetail Leaf; Peppermint Leaf; Motherwort Herb.

    Another product is Hyland's Calms Forte

    Ingredients: Passiflora incarnata (passion flower) HPUS 1x triple strength, avena sativa (oat) HPUS 1x double strength, humulus lupulus (hops) HPUS 1x double strength, chamomilla (chamomile) HPUS 2x, calcarea phosphorica (calcium phosphate) HPUS 3x, ferrum phosphoricum (iron phosphate) HPUS 3x, kali phosphoricum (potassium phosphate) HPUS 3x, natrum phosphoricum (sodium phosphate) HPUS 3x, magnesia phosphoricum (magnesium phosphate) HPUS 3x, in a base of lactose, N.F., calcium sulfate, starch (corn and tapioca), magnesium stearate.
     
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    OK... time to pop on down to the Chinese grocery/drugstore and stock up. Hmmm... better drop in on the local Exxon refinery while I'm at it (save gas by combining trips).


    :D

    Glenn, it's starting to look like your textbook on "Spells and Potions" is going to come in handy!
     
  8. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    lol, Toots. But you'll have to consult Severus Snape for the potions...

    In all seriousness, now, it's been very intersting reading so far. What we take in our bodies is tremendously important, and can do more than we think.
     
  9. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    My monies on Hermione Granger when it comes to spells. :D

    Actually this has been a good read... Nice post Glenn.
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't know if the banana helps with anxiety, but it does give you sugar for quick energy and carbs for the long slow burn, plus you can put the peels in a viola player's case to help humidify their instrument--a thoughtful gesture!
     

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