You are your vocal instrument --- body, mind, and spirit. Everything you think, eat, drink, and do affects how you let your voice come through you. When you have self-doubts, when you haven't slept or eaten well, when you're stressed about your job or your loved ones, when you consume much caffeine or you smoke or drink alcohol or do drugs, when you shout, scream, yell or whisper (!) excessively, when you cough or clear your throat too often or too vehemently, when you're ill or injured or less-than-fit, when your voice is untrained (or, under-trained), when you are dehydrated (if you drink less than 8-13 full glasses of plain water daily, you ARE dehydrated!), when your voice is often hoarse, then, your vocal production is compromised. You need to be taking care of yourself --- to be able to sing your best.
What do you want? How do you want to be? Do you want to record your singing? What are YOU doing to create your best singing? Once it's recorded, it is your moment in time --- for ALL time. What do you want your singing to say and to share about you, from you, for all time??
You, as a singer, are a vocal athlete. You need to be fit, healthy, strong, well-trained, and balanced in body, mind, voice, and spirit to be able to sing and communicate your passion from your very heart, mind, and soul. Drink lots of plain water day and night (increase gradually), as well as 100% fruit and vegetable juices; the respiratory system and voice need to be well-hydrated all the time to be healthy and vital when you most need/want to perform well. No matter what you've heard or read anywhere, very hot or very cold beverages are NEVER, NEVER appropriate just before or during singing and heavy voice usage, and, never drink hot beverages right after singing. Hot leaves tissues too soft, swollen, and lethargic for the fine-tuned powerful work singing requires, and cold leaves you too tight and constricted. You need to be warm (not hot) and limber for your best/healthiest performing. After singing, especially if you've strained at all, cool/cold healthy drinks may slow down or ease swelling. Generally, room temperature (or slightly warmer/cooler) water or juices or cooled herbal teas may be good choices for you. Some lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit in your water may help cut that "dry mouth feel" we often get when we're nervous or excited before performing! Even those of us who maintain excellent, regular hydration may experience the effects of possibly having less than optimal amounts of a particular element in our natural mucus secretions that lubricate our vocal mechanism, and may find using some "Entertainer's Secret Throat Relief" occasionally or even regularly (it has no medicinal ingredients that cause unwanted side effects or addiction) helps our voice feel smoother and more trustworthy when practicing and performing.
Limber and stretch your whole body as well as your voice regularly. T'ai Chi, Chigong, and Yoga are truly wonderful for singers, helping you limber and find your "center of gravity", your inner core from which your depth of creativity, communication, and passion come. Aerobic exercise increases your stamina on-stage. Remember: You are a singer every moment of every day, not just when you are singing. Warming-up and limbering yourself every day keeps you ready to sing whenever the opportunity may come, and allows you to use your voice with health, safety, charisma, power, and endurance throughout your day, and, throughout your performances.
It is best to avoid antihistamines, decongestants, aspirin, most medical/chemical throat and nasal sprays, milk products, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, dehydration, and defeating self-beliefs around your singing. Adapt lifestyle changes and more natural alternatives. Invest in your own ability to communicate and share your real SELF through your singing! Record at YOUR best time for your voice and your singing personality. Singers too often get told when is best for the band members, the engineer, the studio, the budget, etc…, and then may be extremely tired, strained, dehydrated, and/or just at the wrong time of day for their own voice for powerful expressive singing. Respect yourself enough to engender respect from others for the greater good of the whole recording project!! Prepare yourself mentally and physically. Use posture that encourages great singing: upright, chest open, head aligned and back on neck, chin in, jaw and tongue relaxed, and, have your mic reaching close to you instead of you reaching out or up to the mic! And, if possible there are throat sprays at your local health food stores to help soothe and lubricate your voice whenever desired or needed --- you may be glad to have it with you!
Prepare, plan, visualize, imagine, and EXPECT your expressiveness, your creativity, and your success !!