Incontinence Advice

Bladder Friendly Drinks - The Best Drinks To Stay Hydrated and Help Incontinence

The NHS states that you should drink at least 6 to 8 cups of fluid per day, which equates to about 1.2 litres. But what are the best bladder friendly drinks to choose? Here are the best drinks to help with incontinence, plus some that you should avoid to keep your bladder healthy.

Glass With Water And Lemon

Best Bladder Friendly Drinks

There’s plenty of advice for dealing with symptoms of incontinence - from wearing the right incontinence pads to exercising regularly - but have you ever considered that what you drink is having a major effect on your incontinence symptoms? Your diet can seriously affect your incontinence, leading to an irritated bladder and worsened symptoms, and drinking the wrong liquids can have equally adverse effects.


Ensuring you drink plenty of liquids is vital to managing incontinence, but you must make sure that you are drinking beneficial liquids. Here are five of the best bladder friendly drinks that you can choose to hit the recommended fluid intake without irritating your bladder.


Water

Water is almost always the best drink to reach for. Drinking water can bring so many benefits to the body, including:


  • Flushing the bladder of bacteria
  • Aiding digestion
  • Preventing constipation
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Protecting organs and body tissue

 

However, one of the main benefits of drinking water is that it keeps you hydrated and ensures your urine isn’t too concentrated. Concentrated urine can irritate your bladder, leading to an increased urge and frequency to urinate. Drinking enough water will help decrease the risk of leakages and the amount of urine you produce, making your incontinence management easier.

 

If water is too plain for your taste, you can try adding some fruit to add flavour. For example, slices of lemon, lime or cucumber are great for adding some extra taste to plain water.

 

Diluted Fruit Juices Or Cordial

Although some experts generally recommend you don’t drink fruit juices due to their sugar and calorie contents, diluted fruit juices or cordial can be beneficial in other ways.

Drinking certain diluted fruit juices can provide your body with plenty of beneficial antioxidants and help to balance the bacteria levels in your bladder. You should enjoy diluted fruit juices in moderation, though, since having them too much can be as bad for you as drinking regular fruit juices.
  Some of the best fruit juices to dilute and drink with incontinence are:

  • Pear juice
  • Apple juice
  • Pomegranate juice

However, try to avoid acidic fruit juices, as these can irritate the bladder. Some common acidic fruit juices are:

  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Orange juice
Diluted fruit juices and pieces of fruit on a table

Decaffeinated Tea and Coffee

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can lead to an increase in the frequency of urination. Plus, if you drink it excessively, it may also increase your urge to urinate. So, it’s best to avoid drinks with high levels of caffeine, such as tea and coffee. However, you don’t have to completely remove them from your diet – you can opt for decaffeinated versions instead. Decaffeinated drinks are less likely to increase the frequency and urgency of urination and will not be as irritating to your bladder.


Herbal Tea

Certain herbal teas can help to clear the bladder of any irritants, ensuring that your bladder remains healthy and functions properly. Many herbal teas are naturally caffeine free, so they may not irritate the bladder or increase urination. However, some herbal teas such as yerba mate tea are naturally caffeinated, so it’s best to avoid this. Some of the best herbal teas that you can drink to help your incontinence include:


  • Mint
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Horsetail
  • Corn silk
  • Saw palmetto

Green Tea

Studies have explored the benefits of drinking green tea when you have incontinence, and results indicate that green tea can have favourable effects on the bladder. However, green tea does contain caffeine, so you should drink it in moderation. Additionally, the supplements in green tea have been proven to reduce inflammation of the urinary tract, and experts believe that it could therefore be a possible option for other inflammatory bladder conditions.

 

Drinks To Avoid With Incontinence

Unfortunately, if you don’t want to irritate your bladder when you have incontinence, there are some drinks that you should avoid. Some popular drinks are diuretics, which can affect the urgency and amount of urination, while others can severely irritate the bladder. If this is the case, it’s best to remove these drinks from your diet altogether.

Glasses of white and red wine on a table

Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the worst drinks for incontinence, since it is both a diuretic and an irritant to the bladder. This means that it can heighten the urge to urinate, increase the production of urine and make symptoms of an overactive bladder worse. Additionally, as a diuretic, alcohol promotes the loss of liquid through urine, leading to the body getting dehydrated. Due to its negative effects, it is best to completely avoid alcohol all together.

 

Read More: Alcohol & The Impact It Has On Your Bladder & Bowels

Alcohol

Carbonated drinks, including fizzy pop and sparkling water, contain an acidic solution due to the dissolved carbon dioxide in the drinks. This acidity often leads to an increased urge to urinate and an irritated bladder. Also, carbonated drinks can make it harder for the body to control bladder spasms, increasing the risk of incontinence if you have overactive bowel syndrome.  It may help you to drastically limit your intake of carbonated drinks, if you drink a lot, or even completely remove them from your diet.

Caffeinated Drinks

We touched on the disadvantages of caffeine earlier, including the fact that it is a diuretic that can lead to an increased need to urinate and a higher production of urine. Drinking caffeine can lead to confusing signals through the brain-bladder connection, meaning you may find it difficult to differentiate between when you do and don’t actually need to use the bathroom. For example, you may feel as though you need to use the bathroom only to find that your bladder is empty when get there. So, it’s important to limit your caffeine intake, whether this be from tea and coffee or sodas and energy drinks.

Milk

Dairy is a common trigger for urinary incontinence as many people have trouble processing lactose. Undiagnosed dairy sensitivities are common, so drinking milk and consuming any dairy products can trigger or worsen symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Milk may not affect urinary incontinence in everyone, but if it is having adverse effects for you, it’s best to experiment removing milk and other dairy products from your diet. Fortunately, there are several dairy-free milk alternatives that you can drink instead, including soy milk and almond milk.

 

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate might seem like an ideal alternative to caffeine. However, hot chocolate contains caffeine too, and chocolate is a well-known acidic ingredient. This means that hot chocolate will likely irritate your bladder, leading to discomfort and an increased urge to urinate. You could try reducing this beverage down to enjoying occasionally, and seeing how that affects you and your bladder.

Foods To Avoid If You Have Incontinence

Although ensuring you drink the right bladder friendly drinks is vital, monitoring your food intake and possibly reducing foods that cause adverse effects is just as important. Just like drinks, there are some foods that you should avoid if you have incontinence, since they can irritate your bladder. These foods include:

  • Chocolates
  • Citrus fruits
  • Cranberries
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Spicy foods
Women holding a donut and an apple

Make Beneficial Changes To Your Diet Today

There are plenty of bladder friendly drinks that you can drink to help manage your incontinence. From water to green tea, increasing your intake of these beneficial drinks and cutting out drinks that can irritate your bladder will help reduce negative side effects of incontinence. So, make these small changes to your diet today for big differences in the future.

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