When you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), finding relief from the pain and irritation is a top priority. Your diet can help or hurt this process, including beverages. But what drinks should you skip to avoid aggravating your symptoms — for instance, is Gatorade good for UTIs, or bad?
First things first, a UTI is a bacterial infection that affects your urinary system (which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra), according to the Office on Women's Health. Both people assigned male at birth and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) can get UTIs, but they're more common in people AFAB because they have shorter urethras.
Video of the Day
Some of the more common symptoms to be aware of include:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- An urge to urinate often
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
- Blood in the urine
- Fever, if the UTI goes untreated
Don't wait for UTI symptoms to go away on their own, per the Office on Women's Health. If you're experiencing one or more of these issues, call your doctor to get tested and treated for the infection. They'll test your urine for bacteria, and if the test is positive, a round of antibiotics are often the first line of defense.
Your doctor might also recommend lifestyle changes that could ease your symptoms while the antibiotics take effect, such as avoiding certain foods and drinks. To help you optimize your beverage choices specifically, here's what not to drink with a UTI.
What Drinks Help With a UTI?
It's also important to know what to drink with a UTI. Water is best, according to the Mayo Clinic. It helps flush out bacteria and keeps you hydrated while your body fights the infection.
1. Orange Juice (and Other Citrus Juices)
If fruity drinks are your thing, you may be wondering if orange juice is good for UTIs (along with other citrus beverages like grapefruit or lemon juice).
Unfortunately, no — drinking orange juice for a UTI can add to your discomfort. That's because citrus drinks can irritate your bladder and make you urinate more, neither of which is good for your infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. That said, citrus beverages like orange juice can't cause a UTI themselves, even though they may intensify your symptoms.
Instead, opt for plain water. Staying well hydrated can help dilute your urine and remove infection-causing bacteria from your system, per the Mayo Clinic.
Is Mango Good for UTIs?
Acidic fruits (including oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes) can irritate your bladder and are best avoided when you have a UTI, per the Mayo Clinic. But mango is less acidic than citrus fruits, and should be OK for most people to eat while they have an infection. If you're unsure, though, check with your doctor.
You may also be wondering if you can drink with a UTI. But UTIs and alcohol don't mix well, as alcoholic beverages can also aggravate bladder discomfort and increase your urge to pee, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Beer and UTIs may be an especially bad combination, as Brewer's yeast (the type of yeast used to make beer) can be especially irritating to your bladder, per the Cleveland Clinic.
The takeaway: Drinking alcohol does make a UTI worse in some cases. Your best bet? Skip the booze and drink plenty of water instead.
3. Caffeinated Drinks
Caffeinated drinks (like coffee and tea) can also distress your bladder and increase your need to urinate, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Though it may pain you to skip your morning cup of joe, it's best to lay off while your infection persists so your body has time to heal properly. Opt for non-caffeinated tea or plain water instead.
4. Carbonated Soft Drinks
It's also best to avoid sipping soft drinks when you have a UTI. Fizzy beverages like soda can mess with your bladder and provoke symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is especially true for soft drinks that also contain caffeine (like energy drinks).
Instead — you guessed it — stick to water.
5. Sugary Drinks
Similarly, drinks that contain lots of artificial sweeteners, sugar or other preservatives may contribute to your symptoms, according to a June 2013 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
What about sports drinks — for example, is Gatorade good for UTIs because it can help you stay hydrated while your body fights the infection? While there isn't evidence that directly addresses Gatorade's affect on UTIs, certain types of Gatorade do contain high levels of sugar.
As a result, it may be wise to skip it (and other sugary beverages) until your infection has passed. And as always, talk to your doctor to clarify whether a specific type of Gatorade is good for your UTI.
- Mayo Clinic: "Dehydration"
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health: "Urinary Tract Infections"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Urinary Tract Infections"
- Mayo Clinic: "Bladder control: Lifestyle strategies ease problems"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Bladder-Irritating Foods"
- American Journal of Epidemiology: "Intake of Caffeinated, Carbonated, or Citrus Beverage Types and Development of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Men and Women"
- Mayo Clinic: "Urinary tract infections"
Was this article helpful?
150 Characters Max
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for your feedback!
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.