Performing on stage can generate a unique type of stress, and preparing your body for that stress will help you put your best foot forward on recital day. But, some things you put into your body may actually turn into annoyances if you’re not prepared. Learn the best and worst things you can eat and drink before a live performance:
What to Eat Before a Piano Recital
- Do eat a light, healthy meal before a recital, like a protein-rich salad or soup. It’ll give you a steady stream of energy without the discomfort of a full stomach.
- Do avoid spicy foods before you go on stage. They increase perspiration – which can make you uncomfortable or self-conscious – and sweaty hands can make you slip up on the keyboard.
- Don’t binge on sugar for energy. It’s difficult to give your best performance during a sugar high … or crash! Instead, choose slow-burning carbohydrates to keep you focused and fueled through a long piece.
- Don’t eat too much. Make sure you don’t feel full, just satisfied. Otherwise, you could end up feeling groggy and sleepy at the keys while you digest.
- Do stay hydrated. Hot stage lights are even more uncomfortable when thirsty, and dangerous when dehydrated.
- Do keep a glass of water near the piano; a quick sip can help you regroup if necessary.
- Do calm your nerves with warm honey water, decaf/herbal teas, coconut water, or light fruit juice.
- Do avoid caffeine. It can cause shaky, clumsy hands, and can worsen nervousness. If you’re addicted to caffeine and worry about withdrawal, get your fix well ahead of time so that the jittery effects wear off before your spot on stage.
- Don’t go on stage with a full bladder!
- Don’t opt for carbonated beverages, which can cause stomach discomfort or thirst. However, a small amount of ginger ale or mineral water can help ease a nervous stomach.
- Don’t try to calm your nerves with alcohol; it decreases coordination, agility, and concentration, and hot lights are dehydrating enough without it.
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