And we don’t mean alcohol! But, let’s start there. Post-show drinks, riders, opening night and closing night parties… the accessibility of alcohol while on tour can lead to challenges. If your touring party is keen to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol, start by looking for ways to shift the culture of drinking in the performing arts.
For example, offer plenty of interesting non-alcoholic beverages at special events, find other ways to celebrate or wind-down with the team, and give opening/closing night gifts that aren’t centred on alcohol.
If you do drink alcohol, it is important to consider the additional load it can place on your already stressed system when on tour. The health risks that accumulate over a lifetime from alcohol increase progressively – the more you drink, the greater the risk.
No level of drinking alcohol can be guaranteed as completely safe.
It is recommended that healthy adults:
- Drink no more than two standard drinks on any day.
- No more than four standard drinks on a single occasion.
Be honest about why and how often you drink. If you feel you have a problematic relationship with alcohol, please seek the advice of a health care professional.
Good alcohol alternatives
- Cold bubbly drinks: Lime and soda, ginger cordial and soda, non-alcoholic beer and wine.
- Herbal tea: Try a relaxing herbal tea blend to unwind. Kombucha tea: a nice alternative for a nightcap.
- Non-alcoholic beverages for functions: Mocktails, iced tea, fresh juice, homemade lemonade, ginger beer, natural soft drinks, milkshakes, spiders, smoothies, icy drinks (e.g. snow cones).
- Wind-down without alcohol: Post-show games night, meet for a cup of tea in the hotel lobby, share a big jug of iced water and rehydrate together, take turns at creating a themed post-show mocktail, check what else is open late (e.g. ice cream shops, cafes, comedy clubs) and focus on shared experiences and conversations.
- Get the facts
There’s nothing wrong with a few. But, are you relying on it to get started for the day or to get you through a show?
Everyone metabolises caffeine differently. If your dependence is strong, it’s likely your energy, mood and health would benefit from reducing your intake.
Caffeine increases the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. In small doses, it can make you feel refreshed and focused. In large doses, you are likely to feel anxious and have difficulty sleeping.
Consider when you want to get to sleep and make sure you have your last coffee at least six hours before. Even if you fall asleep easily with caffeine in your system, it’s unlikely you will get essential restorative quality sleep.
Good coffee alternatives
- Green tea: Contains a small amount of caffeine, so it takes the edge off withdrawals.
- Peppermint tea: Promotes focus and alertness.
- Dandelion root tea: If you rely on coffee to promote bowel movement, try this instead – it’s a digestive, liver tonic and mild laxative.
- Find out more and check your caffeine intake
Water is essential to most bodily functions – in fact, the body is made up of 50 to 75 per cent water! The best way to hydrate is by drinking small amounts of water or other fluids frequently throughout the day. Food usually makes up 20% of our water intake. Fresh fruit and vegetables, smoothies, soups, and vegetable juices are all great for hydration.
How much water do you need?
- Aim for 8 to 10 cups of water a day – or, approximately 2.1L for women, and 2.6L for men. You might need to increase this during times of physical activity – think bump in, bump out, or if you’ve got a particularly physical role in a show.
- Read more about staying hydrated