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The Effects of Caffeine on the Bladder

author image Kent Ninomiya
Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.
The Effects of Caffeine on the Bladder
Coffee contains caffeine Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Caffeine is among the most commonly consumed drugs in the world. It is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks. The consumption of caffeine has several significant effects on the bladder. Since the drug is a stimulant, caffeine increases metabolic activity throughout the body. This often provokes the bladder to do unwelcome things.


Caffeine raises blood pressure by exciting the circulatory system. This increase in blood activity is the reason for the alert feeling experienced by people who take caffeine. The heightened blood pressure has a negative impact on the bladder by making it overactive. Caffeine consumption can contribute to several bladder ailments including increased urination, bladder infections and urinary incontinence.

Diuretic Effect

According to Vanderbilt University, caffeine has a diuretic effect on the bladder. The more caffeine that is consumed, the greater the desire to urinate. Caffeine does this by increasing the blood flow to the kidneys while reducing the absorption of water and sodium. This increases the body's urgency to pass liquid. The diuretic effect of caffeine contributes to dehydration. Many people drink coffee and soft drinks to quench thirst. The caffeine in these drinks actually makes them more thirsty.

Urinary Tract Infections

According to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois, caffeine use can contribute to urinary tract infections in the bladder. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that often spreads due to dehydration or inadequate evacuation of the bladder. Caffeine dehydrates the body by interfering with fluid retention. It forces the body to eliminate liquids before they can be adequately absorbed.

Urinary Incontinence

Caffeine consumption contributes to incontinence of the bladder, according to the Langone Medical Center at the University of New York. This is the loss of bladder control and an intense urgency to empty the bladder. This condition is often referred to as overactive bladder. One of the treatments of urinary incontinence is the elimination of caffeine from the diet.


Most people experience no adverse side effects from caffeine if they consume less than 250 mg at one time, according to the University of Michigan. This is equivalent to 2.5 cups of coffee or four cans of cola. Serious side effects from caffeine do not appear in most people until consumption rises to about 1,000 mg per day. This is equivalent to 10 cups of coffee or 16 cans of cola.

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