If you've set a conscious goal to hike up your H2O intake, you've probably prepared yourself to pee more often. But water notwithstanding, sometimes the other things you eat and drink can unintentionally up your urination or intensify your need to go number one.
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Here, gut health dietitian Amanda Sauceda, RDN, CLT, shares the most common diuretic foods that make you pee more.
Noticed your bathroom trips become more frequent when you have booze? "If any food on this list is going to make you pee a lot, it's going to be alcohol," Sauceda says.
That's because alcohol affects your bladder and your urge to urinate.
Here's why: "When you drink, a hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH) [which regulates water in your kidneys] is inhibited," Sauceda says. "What this means is that your kidneys aren't reabsorbing the amount of water they normally would, so water gets flushed out with your pee," she explains.
After a cup of joe, you'll likely have to take a leak. You can thank the caffeine in coffee for this, Sauceda says.
Yep, caffeine is a diuretic, which means it helps your body excrete salt and water (and makes you pee more as a result).
A February 2013 study in the International Journal of Urogynecology found a link between higher caffeine intake (greater than 204 milligrams per day, which, for reference, is equivalent to about two cups of coffee) and urinary incontinence in people assigned female at birth (AFAB).
What's more, "caffeine can also be an irritant for those with bladder pain syndrome," Sauceda says.
3. Cranberry Juice
While you might have heard that some compounds in cranberry juice can be helpful to prevent urinary tract infections, this tart drink may also bother the bladder for some people, Sauceda says.
"Cranberry juice can be an irritant to the bladder, especially if you have interstitial cystitis," a chronic condition that causes pressure and pain in the bladder (and sometimes pelvic pain), Sauceda says.
Sipping on soda may be the source of your excessive urination. There are a couple of reasons why soda makes you pee more, Sauceda says. First, it may contain caffeine. And, as we know, caffeine is a diuretic.
Secondly, "the fizzy part of soda (i.e., the carbonation) might also be an irritant for some people's bladders," Sauceda says.
And if you're drinking a lot of soda daily, these factors just get compounded, she adds.
Certain acidic fruits and fruit juices can make you produce more pee. Case in point: oranges. An acidic food, oranges can act as an irritant or a trigger for people with a sensitive bladder, Sauceda says.
Still, it may have the opposite effect on others. A September 2020 systematic review in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found that drinking orange juice decreased urine production.
6. Spicy Foods
Piquant foods can also amplify your urge to pee. That's because spicy foods can sometimes irritate your bladder, Sauceda says.
Plus, you're more likely to reach for a glass of water to wash down hot, peppery foods, Sauceda says. And hydrating with more H2O will inevitably lead to more bathroom trips.
"Tomatoes fall under the acidic food category," Sauceda says. And remember: Acidic foods can aggravate your bladder.
Eating acidic products is especially problematic for people with an overactive bladder, Sauceda adds.
While this juicy fruit is hydrating (it contains 92 percent water), watermelon can also make you pee more, Sauceda says.
In addition to its hefty H2O content, preliminary research in animals also shows that watermelon might exhibit a diuretic effect (and help with kidney stones) due to its effect on salt excretion, Sauceda says. Still, more studies in humans are needed to confirm this theory, she adds.
"Like watermelon, cucumbers also have a very high water content," Sauceda says. Indeed, these crisp, fresh veggies (technically a fruit) are made up of 95 percent water.
Because cucumbers are loaded with liquid, they'll increase the volume of urine in your bladder, ultimately leading to more pee sessions.
Celery is another watery food that can fill your bladder. That means that if you're crunching on a slew of celery sticks, you'll likely be compelled to pee more than usual.