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Bladder and Bowel Health

Foods and drinks that affect your bladder health

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What you eat and drink can affect your bladder. Some foods and drinks can irritate the bladder lining and cause the bladder muscle to contract. This creates a strong urge to empty your bladder (urgency). These foods include:

  • acidic juices and fruits, like apple, cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, and pineapple
  • spicy foods, like dishes with hot peppers, chili powder, or cayenne pepper
  • tomato products, including sauces, juices, and fresh tomatoes
  • artificial sweeteners
  • carbonated drinks, like pop and bubbly water
  • corn syrup and honey

If you think you might have this problem, limit how much of these foods and drinks you have for 3 to 4 days to see if your symptoms improve.

Even if you don’t have problems now, eating or drinking too much of these items may irritate your bladder lining.

As well as being an irritant, some foods and drinks can act as a diuretic. This means they cause your body to make large amounts of urine and can fill your bladder quickly. Alcohol and caffeine, including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate, are common diuretics. Limit or cut down these diuretics slowly.

Foods that are good for your bladder health

  • eggs
  • white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams
  • lean beef, chicken, turkey, and fish
  • pears and bananas
  • vegetables like green beans and squash
  • whole grains
  • nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts
  • garlic
  • herbal or fruit-based teas

Why fibre is good for your bladder health

Straining to have a bowel movement puts pressure on your pelvic floor (the muscles and ligaments across the bottom of your pelvis) and weakens the muscles and tissues that support your bladder.

When you prevent constipation, you help your bladder stay healthy.

Eating 25 to 30 grams of fibre each day and drinking enough water can prevent constipation and straining with bowel movements.

Good sources of fibre are:

  • bran
  • fresh vegetables and fruits
  • grains and whole-wheat products

You may also consider taking a fibre supplement. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist and follow the instructions on the label.​​​

Current as of: May 17, 2023

Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services