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GoodRx HealthThe 4 Best Things to Drink When You Have a UTI (Plus 3 Drinks to Avoid)

Understanding the optimal and detrimental fluid choices for UTI recovery highlights practical strategies for managing symptoms and preventing recurrence, with implications for broader urinary health management.

When managing urinary tract infections (UTIs), appropriate fluid intake can significantly influence symptom relief and recovery speed. Although antibiotics are the primary treatment, certain drinks can aid the healing process, while others may exacerbate symptoms. This article discusses the best beverages to consume and those to avoid during a UTI, providing practical guidance for enhancing patient care.

Key Points:

  • UTIs are bacterial infections affecting the bladder, urethra, or kidneys, typically requiring antibiotic treatment.
  • Hydration is crucial for UTI recovery, aiding in flushing out bacteria from the urinary system.
  • Recommended drinks include:
    • Water: Essential for hydration, helping to reduce the risk of fever-related dehydration, and potentially lowering UTI recurrence.
    • Electrolyte drinks: Beneficial if experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, though regular hydration should primarily be through water.
    • Unsweetened cranberry juice: May help prevent UTIs, though its efficacy in treating active infections remains unclear. Avoid cranberry cocktail juice due to high sugar content.
    • Probiotic yogurt drinks: Support the natural microbiome and may prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Ensure the product contains Lactobacillus.
  • Drinks to avoid during a UTI:
    • Caffeinated beverages: Can irritate the bladder and increase urinary frequency, worsening symptoms.
    • Alcohol: Causes bladder irritation, dehydration, and can interfere with antibiotic efficacy, prolonging infection.
    • Acidic fruit drinks: Bladder irritation can be exacerbated by acidic juices such as orange, grapefruit, and lemon or lime juices.
  • Antibiotic treatment for UTIs typically leads to symptom improvement within 1-2 days, though the full course (3-14 days) must be completed.
  • Practical patient advice includes maintaining hydration, avoiding irritants, and completing prescribed antibiotics to ensure full recovery and prevent recurrence.

Approximately 60% of women will experience symptomatic acute bacterial cystitis in their lifetime. An estimated 20-40% of women who have had one previous cystitis episode are likely to experience an additional episode, 25-50% of whom will experience multiple recurrent episodes. (AUA)

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