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Jude logoWe all know that a healthy, well-rounded diet can have a whole host of health benefits. But very few of us think about how what we eat and drink impacts our bladders.

Although there’s no dietary ‘cure’ for a weak or irritated bladder, eating foods and drinks that support your urinary health — and limiting ones that aren’t so good — can be an easy way to manage bladder irritation or incontinence.

If your bladder is keeping you up at night, has you rushing to the bathroom every two seconds, or you constantly get urinary tract infections (UTIs), it can be helpful to know what food and drink can support bladder health (or make symptoms worse!).

Rest Less has partnered with Jude to pull together a list of some of these below. Jude is a community-led healthcare company whose mission is to normalise discussions around bladder health, offer holistic and preventative solutions, and help people thrive.

The best nutrients for bladder control

The best nutrients for bladder control

If you’re looking to improve your bladder health, there’s certain food and drink you might want to consider adding to your diet – or simply consume more of.

Fruit and veg with a high water content

One of the best ways to look after your bladder is by drinking enough water. But if you struggle to chug down those eight glasses a day, you can also turn to fruit and veg with high water content. Just double-check they’re not too acidic!

Some bladder-friendly fruit and veg to include in your diet are…

  • Coconut (and coconut water)
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Cucumbers
  • Courgette
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots

Fibre-rich foods

The other thing we all need in our diet is fibre. A high-fibre diet is beneficial for several reasons, including helping to prevent bladder weakness. That’s because an overly full bowel caused by constipation can increase pressure on the pelvic floor and bladder, as does excessive straining during bowel movements.

A weak pelvic floor can make you more likely to experience an overactive bladder or unwanted leaks.

Foods rich in fibre include…

  • Whole grains like oats, barley, and rye
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lentils
  • Artichokes
  • Leafy greens
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas

Superfood supplements for bladder health

Another great way to support your bladder is with Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements, which contain pumpkin seed and soy germ – two natural ingredients clinically proven to help strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incontinence symptoms.

Pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fibre, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, folate, and vitamins A, B, E, C, and K…to name a few! These nutrients have been proven to help with an overactive bladder by strengthening it.

Meanwhile, soy germ extract contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived chemicals that have similar (or opposite) effects to the oestrogen your body makes. Oestrogen plays a key role in bladder, pelvic floor, and urinary tract health.

As you age, your body gradually stops producing oestrogen, which can cause your bladder and pelvic floor to become weaker. The oestrogen-like effects of soy germ extract may help to combat this, keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong and healthy.

Jude’s clinical trial showcased that 9.2 out of 10 participants experienced an improved quality of life after adopting their supplements formula, with 66% reporting fewer daily leaks and 70% experiencing reduced nocturnal bathroom visits.

Hear what Karen has to say about Jude…

Jude supplements changed my life. No more getting up to the loo in the night and no more looking for toilets when out and about during the day. I will continue to take two a day, one at night, and one in the morning, for the foreseeable future, purely for the confidence they give me to live life to the fullest.

Get 20% off Jude's Bladder Strength Supplements

We’ve teamed up with Jude to offer you an exclusive discount on their award-winning supplement. Made from 100% natural ingredients, Jude’s supplement is clinically proven to reduce leaks by 66%, as well as the feeling of urgency. Get 20% off with code LESS20 applied at checkout.

Learn more

The worst food and drink for bladder health

the worst drinks and foods for bladder health

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but some of the food and drink you consume daily might be contributing to leaks and irritation.

Some of the most commonly known bladder irritants are…

Coffee, tea, and…asparagus

Both coffee and tea contain caffeine – a stimulant that can have diuretic effects. Caffeine increases urine production by stimulating the kidneys to produce more urine. This can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom and a feeling of bladder urgency.

In fact, a study published in Current Urology found that nearly 50% of people over 60 who drink more than a cup of coffee each day (300mg) suffer from overactive bladder symptoms. This percentage was significantly higher when compared to people who consume less caffeine. 

If coffee is one thing you can’t give up, and decaf isn’t really giving you what you need, try to choose low-acid coffee (see more on why acidity can have negative effects on your bladder below).

Surprisingly, asparagus, which is full of antioxidants, also has a mild diuretic effect, contributing to increased urine production.

Fizzy drinks, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners

Alcohol, aside from being a diuretic, can have an irritant effect on the bladder lining. It can cause inflammation and increased sensitivity in the urinary tract, resulting in a feeling of urgency and discomfort.

Some alcoholic beverages – like wine and certain cocktails – have more acidic properties that can contribute to extra bladder irritation, especially if you’re already prone to bladder sensitivity or conditions.

Alcohol can also lead to dehydration, which can make urine more concentrated and potentially more irritating to the bladder lining. Dehydrated bladder tissues are more susceptible to irritation and discomfort.

If cutting down is a gradual process for you, sipping water as you’re having a pint or a glass of wine can help dilute the effects of alcohol – you could even try a 0% or low alcohol alternative.

It’s also worth avoiding fizzy drinks with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and
saccharin – as well as other foods containing them – as these are known to irritate the bladder.

Citrus fruits, onions, and spices

Citrus fruits like tomatoes, pineapple, and oranges can increase urine acidity, which can irritate the bladder lining.

Many spices contain compounds like capsaicin, which is responsible for the spiciness in foods like chilli peppers. Capsaicin can irritate sensitive tissues (including the lining of the bladder), leading to discomfort and potential irritation.

Onions are also acidic and can irritate the bladder lining, especially if you already have a sensitive bladder or urinary condition. However, experts recommend cooking them, as this can reduce their irritating effects.

However…

It’s important not to restrict yourself too much – meaning there’s no need to cut these foods out of your diet altogether unless advised to by your doctor. So you won’t have to give up G&Ts or your morning cuppa entirely!

Instead, try being mindful of how often you consume food or drinks that may irritate your bladder and note whether symptoms improve after cutting back on these.

Introducing healthier swaps (for example, herbal tea instead of black tea) could also be a good idea, as this is a much more sustainable way to make long-term changes.

Get 20% off Jude's Bladder Strength Supplements

We’ve teamed up with Jude to offer you an exclusive discount on their award-winning supplement. Made from 100% natural ingredients, Jude’s supplement is clinically proven to reduce leaks by 66%, as well as the feeling of urgency. Get 20% off with code LESS20 applied at checkout.

Learn more

4 bladder healthy recipes for you to try

4 bladder healthy recipes for you to try

Learning what foods are good and bad for our bladders is easy. However, finding simple and delicious ways to add them to our diet can be tricky. So, to give you a hand, we’ve pulled together a few bladder-healthy recipes for you to try…

1. Healthy high-fibre breakfast smoothie

Looking for a nutritious, energising, and refreshing breakfast that’s quick to make? Then you could try Jude’s bladder-friendly high-fibre breakfast smoothie.

The spinach, pear, and banana pair perfectly together, and they’re all great sources of fibre (so your bladder will thank you). Plus, as we’ve already mentioned, research suggests that pumpkin seed oil may relieve symptoms of an overactive bladder.

To read more about the benefits of pumpkin seeds, check out this blog post from Jude.

2. Roasted squash and chickpea korma

If you’re a lover of Indian cuisine, you might have been a bit disheartened to learn that spicy curries and tomatoes can irritate our bladders. However, Jude has created this roasted squash and chickpea korma so you can taste all your favourite flavours of India, without the negative effects on your bladder.

The squash and chickpeas are high in dietary fibre. Plus, the recipe contains cumin, which research has shown possesses antibacterial properties and might be able to help ward off UTIs.

3. Kale Salad

Just because we’re heading into the colder months, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on light and refreshing salads. This kale salad from Pelvic Health Support is perfect for getting your daily nutrients in throughout the winter – plus, it’s bladder-healthy.

Like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, kale is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are all excellent sources of fibre. Plus, the carrot and beetroot in this recipe will give you a healthy helping of hydration, as well as provide some sweetness and colour.

To be extra easy on your bladder, try using tahini or olive oil as a dressing instead of lemon juice.

4. Gluten-free banana muffins

Artificial sweeteners, as well as normal sugar, can irritate our bladders. Though many of us won’t be able to stay away from them entirely (and we might not want to!), so it’s worth having some sweet alternatives in your recipe arsenal for when you’re in the mood for a bladder-friendly treat.

This gluten-free banana muffin recipe from Pelvic Health Support is not only fibre-rich, but it’s also relatively low in sugar. Plus, the sugar it does use (coconut sugar) is actually less processed than regular sugar and has a slightly higher nutritional value, so it’s a good substitute.

Final thoughts...

If you deal with leaks or UTIs regularly, you can hopefully take comfort in knowing that your diet can help manage your symptoms.

If you think your diet may be exacerbating your bladder symptoms, keeping a food diary can help you stay on top of things. And try to remember not to overdo it on the coffee and fizzy drinks!

For more tips and advice, take a look at our article; 5 tips to improve bladder health.

Rest Less Members can also get an exclusive 20% off all Jude products – including bladder strength health supplements, biodegradable incontinence pads, and leak-proof incontinence liners – using promo code REST20.

Have you noticed that any of the foods or drinks above have made your bladder health better or worse? Do you have any additional tips on how to improve your bladder health that you’d like to share with our readers? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.