A guide to the best and worst drinks if you suffer from UTIs

Which drinks should you avoid and which are safe to include?


Emma Thornton
Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
@EmmaThornton
Ask Emma


26 March 2018

Top 5 worst offenders

Not only are there certain drinks that could be making your symptoms worse, but if you are drinking more of these, then it’s most likely you’re drinking less of what you should be drinking! Let’s run through some of the drink options you’re better off avoiding:

1. Fizzy drinks – even the diet varieties!

Most people know by now that fizzy drinks are loaded with sugar, but the diet varieties are fine – right? Wrong! Fizzy drinks aren’t recommended at all if you suffer from recurrent cystitis. With all the sugar in the regular varieties you’ll risk boosting the bad bacteria at the root of the problem – these will happily feast on all that refined sugar. Then, when it comes to the diet varieties, they often contain a whole host of artificial sweeteners and additives not to mention caffeine in many cases which can all irritate the bladder making it much more susceptible to infection.

2. Coffee

Coffee is loaded with caffeine so not a good choice if you suffer from recurrent infections. Caffeine acts as an irritant to the urinary tract, but it also acts as a mild diuretic which can leave you running to the loo more often.  Opt for tasty coffee alternatives such as Bambu if you’re in the habit of a morning brew. 

3. Fruit Juice

We’ll discuss cranberry juice in more detail in the next section, but generally, your morning glass of fruit juice could be doing your bladder more harm than good. Fruit juices are often loaded with sugar as all the fibre has been removed, so, this sugar spike could potentially encourage bacteria to grow which isn’t good news if you suffer from recurrent UTIs. Have some whole fruit instead, or opt for lacto-fermented juice varieties instead such as Biotta.

4. Wine 

For a number of reasons, your favourite alcohol tipple could be causing havoc with your bladder. Again, alcohol acts as an irritant to the bladder but it also dehydrates you super fast, so you could wake up the next day feeling a little worse for wear! Concentrated urine certainly won’t help to keep those infections at bay, and many varieties of alcoholic drinks have lots of added sugar too, which will only add to the problem.

5. Cow’s Milk 

The jury’s out on dairy, but generally it can be classed as pro-inflammatory in the body and many people are sensitive to milk. If cystitis symptoms are getting you down, try decreasing your consumption of milk and see how you get on.

Top 5 to include more of...

Now that we know what to avoid, what should you be drinking more of to help keep those symptoms at bay?

1. Water

I can’t stress enough the importance of water. Out of everything, water is most likely to make the biggest difference to your symptoms and we need to drink more of it – simple! Aim to drink 1.5l of water a day, and not the fizzy varieties as mentioned above. If you aren’t used to the plain taste why not try adding some sliced fruit such as lemon (this isn’t ‘acid producing’ contrary to popular belief so will be just fine), or pop in a sachet of our Balance Mineral Drink to help further support the pH balance in the body. 

2. Molkosan 

Talking about adding things to water, Molkosan is one of my firm favourites! By adding a splash of Molkosan to your water you’ll be ensuring you get a good dose of L+ lactic acid which will help to support the balance of bacteria throughout the digestive tract. A strong force to be reckoned with when it comes to those strains of bad bacteria trying to settle in! By supporting your gut, you can help prevent infections in and around the urinary tract too.

3. Cranberry juice 

I’ve explained why you need to be wary of fruit juice but, when it comes to cranberry juice, this is the exception. Watch out though, some varieties still have added sugar which we don’t want, but a good quality juice, or even better a cranberry supplement, may help to protect against recurrent infections. 

4. Herbal Teas

As we’ve mentioned, caffeine is a no-go, so coffee and even tea should be limited if you’re struggling to keep those infections under control. But, don’t worry, I know how comforting a warming cuppa can be so there are other options out there. Opt for Roobios for a nice caffeine-free alternative to regular tea or why not try some Golden Rod Tea if you want a combination of herbs that are more directly going to help support your urinary tract.

5. Apple cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a number of proposed benefits and supporting your bladder and urinary tract could be one of them. Choose a good quality product that contains the ‘mother’ for best effects. The combination of the fermented goodness (think good bacteria again) plus lots of vitamins and minerals that can help support the pH of the urinary tract and keep those infections at bay. Again, dilute a spoonful or two and in a big glass of water to make a drink and enjoy sipping it throughout the day.

Uva-ursi and Echinacea – for cystitis

50ml

£ 10.50

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Fresh extracts of uva-ursi and echinacea to help maintain bladder health and comfort.
More info

Biotta Wild Mountain Cranberry Juice

500ml

£ 5.99

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A combination of the fresh juice of organic cranberries together with birch and agave nectar.
More info

Our expert's top picks for a healthy bladder and dietary advice

1

£ 36.48

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Key products for bladder health and cystitis management: Uva-ursi and Echinacea Complex, Cranberry …
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Here’s what I recommend

Emma our women's health advisor recommends Uva-ursi complex to help ease symptoms of cystitis and cranberry to maintain bladder health.

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Did you know?

Cystitis is sometimes known as ‘honeymoon cystitis’. Why? Well, during sex, bacteria can spread from the perineum to the urethral opening. The risk of developing cystitis is therefore increased depending on the frequency you have intercourse (sorry honeymooners!).

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