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Fluid advice for UTIs

When you have bladder issues, you might feel less encouraged to drink a lot of water, because you feel that this increases your problem. On the contrary, not drinking enough can make your symptoms worse. You should instead time your intake as well as your bathroom visits to gain better control.


Drinking lots of fluid can help flush out bacteria. Water is best but fruit juices can count for some of your fluid needs. Most people should try for 1.5–2 litres per day – unless your doctor says otherwise. 

When you travel or do sports you might feel like drinking less, because you might be afraid of leakage or don’t want to catheterise at inappropriate times. But it is even more important then: if you travel in hot climates or sweat during physical exercise you risk dehydrating. Not drinking adequately can also result in constipation, which affects your general health and may also affect your bladder. 

When you’ve got a urinary tract infection (UTI) 

Increase the amount of water you drink when you’ve got a UTI. Fluids perform two jobs: they help flush out bacteria from your bladder and they thin (dilute) your urine. It is less painful to pass diluted urine than concentrated urine, which is more irritant. Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, or fizzy drinks. Caffeine can irritate your bladder even more when you have an infection. 

What about cranberry juice? 

You might have heard about the wonders of cranberry. Some people may benefit from drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extract tablets, but there is no clear proof of efficacy. Ask your doctor first, as treatment with some medication is affected.