We all know that shot of energy from a couple of Twinkies or a super-double-crunk-mocha-latte-with-a-twist-of-B-12 are two ways for any drummer to keep up the momentum during the hours of practice required to be great, up on a stage or in the throes of a drum circle. But, there is also a lot of talk about how drumming can be just as much exercise as running a marathon. Hours of drumming has an impact on your body – you sweat, you burn calories, you thirst and you hunger.
Marathon runners seem to be pretty healthy people, should drummers live the “healthy life,” too?
Probably. Fortunately, we’re not medical or wellness experts, at all (so, this is not any type of medical advice or anything that you should absolutely follow based solely on the advice of a blog… unless your own doctor demands it).
We aren’t here to lecture anyone about health, wellness, fitness, diets (we prefer, “food plans”) or supplements for drummers. Every drummer has his or her own way of staying in a personal health groove in order to pound the skins as desired, right? Usually, yes. But, we do want to bring up a few points to ponder and possible beneficial additions to your Twinkie plan that will increase your stamina and maybe decrease the effects of drumming on your body.
Drumming is physical. You may be a hand drummer, banging away on your djembe during a never-ending drum circle or in a band with a whirlwind tour mapped out and little to eat but that which vending machines can provide. Maybe you’re into one of the drumming fitness classes that are aerobic exercise with the glorious addition of sticks and pounding on things. No matter what, you can’t drum if you’re not moving; a drum only makes noise when something hit it, and that requires movement. Since movement requires energy from processes like eating (true story!), we insist you keep reading.
Runners swear by foods that replenish muscles, especially those that contain magnesium or potassium. That’s pretty great advice for anyone who is active more than the average desk jockey, really. Your muscles are taxed when you drum, and you need those muscles to be in top form so that you can keep drumming. You also need food for your brain, because as much as drumming benefits your mind, your mind also needs to work at top capacity for you to drum. Then, there’s your heart, that supplies blood to all sorts of place and it is your inner metronome… it needs food love, too.
Unfortunately, in any aspect of the music world, there are temptations to live off of the land (vending machines!), smoke cigarettes or drink way too much alcohol. If we were doctors (we aren’t) we’d tell you to lay off all of that garbage. Adopt a totally organic, whole food “plan” that allows you to drum for 16 hours a day until you drift off into an uninterrupted 8-hour sleep pattern without once smoking or drinking with the other musicians and/or fans in your world.
No really, do that. You’ll thank us later.
Your body is your vehicle for a lot of important things in your life, and just because you’re already a super-evolved human (read, “drummer”), that doesn’t mean you can take your carbon-based packaging for granted. It is pretty important to fuel yourself appropriately, so that you can stick around for a while and keep making music and rhythm for the universe. That’s going to start with what you put into your body. So, maybe instead of that Twinkie or your sixth energy drink today, you should grab a banana instead.