How to stay healthy as a touring musician or engineer?

After some time passed as a live sound engineer, I realized that it is tough to stay healthy while I’m touring with bands. Everything is okay when I’m at home with my daily routines, but I get smashed after a couple of shows, and it takes at least one day to recover.

I must say, it’s not an easy thing to stay healthy while touring because we’re working in the entertainment industry; therefore, alcohol and drugs are usual and mostly free for us. However, I’ve learned something so far by trying and searching. So here are seven headings for you.

1. More water, please…

Yes, it’s a simple thing, and we need water to live as a human (are you?), but we even forget to drink it while we’re working as fu*k. It costs so many things. First of all, you can get a headache. You could get angry with people no reason. You can’t think clearly, so you can’t perform your act well.

Take a big bottle with you and drink at least 3 liters per day. I drink like 4 liters while I’m working because I get thirsty so much. A bottle of water is with me from the beginning of the show till the end. The only bad thing about water is peeing. Go and pee to the bathroom before the show starts, or you can get in a bad situation, like asking the audience to take a little break to get the water out of your system. So, it’d be better to organize your pee.

2. Walk, run, exercise or do anything that you have to move physically

It’s a scientifically proven thing, and I think everybody knows it, but I have to say that: Any movements are perfect for your body and your brain. People tend to think about exercise is just for our bodies, but it has so much power on our brains. If you don’t do any physical activity in your daily life, you have to try it.

You don’t need to go to a gym and do hard stuff that muscular guys do. Full-body workouts with no equipment are okay. If you don’t like fitness stuff, you can run outside. If you go out and run, you will give your brain some space to move away from your daily problems. At least, this what happens while I’m running. If you don’t like running, you can walk.

I walk when I’m in a city that I don’t know because you can discover different places and people. Also, it’s nice to spend some time alone and go away from work mentality.

Also, I always keep a swimsuit with me so I can swim when I find a hotel pool. Swimming has a lot of fun instead of exercise.

3. Don’t get drunk like there’s no tomorrow

I got so many nights that I got drunk, but I had to wake up at 6 AM to catch my flight. It feels exhausting. I try to lie down wherever I can rest that day.

I said billion of times, “I will drink just a couple of beers, and I will go to my room and get some sleep.” But I couldn’t keep myself to get drunk because it is tough to control alcohol. Some people can, but mostly, I can’t. I realized after hundreds of mistakes, I can say it’s easier to not to drink instead of drinking a couple of beers.

I do my job because it’s not a job for me. So, there will be times that I will get drunk as hell and get more enjoyment from it, but I try to don’t get drunk if I have a tide schedule.

I got surprised after my first non-alcoholic 4-night shows. I remember I said, “I can easily go for 5 or 6 with this lifestyle because I have so much energy in me.”

4. Vitamins in / junk food out

Maybe you realized that most of the things that I’ve said you could use not just in touring life but in daily life too. This one is one of them also.

Sometimes I can’t find anything but fast food at venues or festival menus, but I try to find the least harmful thing on that menu. I try to select which is more green than others or which is least risk-free. Because if I get stomachache while I’m working, it will be tough to concentrate.

Most of the time we have fruits in the backstage, but nobody eats them. So I eat them all because we need vitamins from them to stay energetic.

5. Find some alone time

This one is crucial for me because I tend to be happy when I’m alone. When working with tons of people, I get confused and forget who I am. I figured out that it feels so good if I can get alone even just for 15 to 30 minutes.

You can walk, nap, or do your hobby at that time to stay sane, but it’s better to not to use social media because the point is being alone, not to interact with another way.

It would be tough to concentrate on a book or an art movie because of the hard work, but I’ve found that it feels nice to watch easy things on Netflix or Youtube.

6. Keep a bag of mixed nuts in your bag

Sometimes I get hungry, but break time is 3 hours away. I can’t focus my work if I’m hungry, and all I can think about is food. I keep a bag of mixed raw nuts in my pocket, and I eat it while I’m working. It gets me the energy that I want, and I can focus my work instead of food. It’s also good to have some nuts to serve friends visiting my mixing desk.

I hope you all a tide and healthy touring schedule!