If you’re currently dealing with bladder leaks, it might be tempting to think, “Well…if I limit how much liquid I drink, it’ll help reduce bladder leaks.” The less you imbibe, the less there is to leak out. Seems logical, right?
Well…sort of. But not exactly.
Unfortunately, skipping your daily dose of H2O isn’t a great idea. Decreasing the amount of liquid you drink can lead to UTI’s, kidney stones, migraines, and a host of other issues that will have you up late on WebMD. And no one’s got time for that.
Up to 60% of an adult body is water, and water helps with everything from digesting food to lubricating joints to acting as a shock absorber for your brain. Protect that noggin, it’s the only one you’ve got. Plus, cutting down on liquids doesn’t guarantee the incontinence will stop either – something we here at Lily Bird know a bit about.
But, to be 100% honest with you, drinking too much water can increase bladder leaks and hurt kidney function.
So how much liquid, especially water, should you drink a day?
Call The Myth Busters
You’ve probably heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day, but this actually isn’t true. According to Kaiser Permanente, there’s no benefit to drinking exactly 8 glasses a day. Let that soak in for a second.
This fact is quoted all over the internet and in real life, but the amount of water you need actually depends on things like exercise (how much do you sweat?), the climate you live in, and your lean body mass.
Non-pregnant women should make an effort to drink around 3 cups of water a day. The rest of what you need comes from the food you eat. But if you feel thirsty, of course it’s fine to head on over to your favorite watering hole.
If you’re pregnant, on the other hand, you’ll need approximately 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluid per day. But that doesn’t mean you need to stock up on water bottles. You also get water from the foods you eat, so make it a point to pay attention to how you’re feeling and drink up if need be.
The Easiest Way To Check If You’re Hydrated
Real talk: an easy way to check your hydration is to monitor the color of your urine. We here at Lily Bird think there’s no shame in checking out the toilet bowl. It’s all in the name of good health. If you’re urine is a light yellow, you’re likely well hydrated. Dark yellow urine or urine with an orange tinge is a sign you’re probably dehydrated.
Types of Drinks And Foods To Watch Out For
While staying hydrated is super important for your overall health, there are beverages that can increase bladder activity and bladder leaks. Here are a few to watch out for if you want to stay hydrated while minimizing leaks:
- Caffeine: Yes, your beloved Starbucks can cause bladder leaks. Bummer, we know. Caffeine is actually a “diuretic,” which means coffee will have you running to the bathroom more than usual.
- Alcohol: Have you ever been to a wine or beer tasting, and needed the little girls room right after? It’s because alcohol is a diuretic and it can also irritate your bladder. So if you’re prone to leaks, watch how much alcohol you’re drinking down and stay close to a bathroom.
- Fruit Juices: Acids from lemonade or orange juice can irritate your bladder and cause leaking. While cranberry juice can treat UTIs and lemonade can help with kidney stone, the acidic content can irritate your bladder and bring on the unexpected spritz.
- Carbonated Beverages: Fizzy drinks like Coca Cola or Pepsi have both caffeine and carbonation, neither of which your bladder appreciates. The artificial flavors and colors can also irritate your bladder. Triple whammy.
Because everybody is different, it can help to keep a bladder diary to track how your bladder reacts to different beverages and which foods might be irritating to you. And if you need a little back up protection while you figure that out, Lily Bird has lots of options.
All Things In Moderation (Even Moderation)
Declaring that you’ll “Never have (beverage type) again!” is tempting, but doesn’t work. It’s just not realistic. Instead, be mindful of what you’re drinking.
To recap, you don’t need to drink 8 cups of fluid a day, and you don’t have to drink only water. But, you may want to consume acidic, alcoholic, caffeinated, and carbonated beverages in moderation.
And if you need a little extra peace of mind when you imbibe, Lily Bird has you covered with pads and underwear for leaky laughs and dribble dilemmas delivered right to your door. Start your free trial today.