There are some things I just don’t want to know about, like the fact that my favorite carbonated water might not be the best choice because it can irritate my bladder.
Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, DPT, CLT, a pelvic floor physical therapist in Boston, says sparkling water is a bladder irritant that may “contribute to bladder urgency and frequency.” She recommends keeping your consumption of sparkling water (and other non-water beverages) to just 25 percent of your daily fluid intake for optimal bladder health. But urologists have to agree with her. Drinking mineral water all day, every day is definitely not a great idea.
It may not be too surprising that coffee and alcohol make the list of bladder irritants. “Caffeine is probably the most common and worst offender,” says Lamia Gabal, MD, a urologist in Santa Ana, California. “It’s a diuretic, so it makes your body produce more urine. Caffeine is also a bladder stimulant, so it makes your bladder contract harder and in smaller volumes.” And according to Austin DeRosa, MD, a urologist and urologic oncologist at UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch in Colorado, the same goes for alcohol, spicy and/or acidic foods, even chocolate.
…But what’s wrong with a little sparkling water?
Why does mineral water irritate the bladder, according to a urologist?
The problem, according to Dr. DeRosa, is the carbon dioxide content of mineral water. “The carbon dioxide in sparkling water tends to irritate the lining of the bladder,” he says. “Carbonated beverages do not harm the bladder per se, but they can exacerbate underlying bladder symptoms.” Therefore, drinking sparkling water instead of regular water could lead to bladder pain and urgency and frequency to urinate, especially for anyone who already has an irritative or sensitive bladder or symptoms of urgency.
If you think your love of mineral water might be affecting your bladder health, Dr. Gabal recommends eliminating it, along with other common bladder irritants, from your diet. “Then add things slowly, one at a time, to see if her bladder is sensitive to these things,” she says. But if you can’t go a day without it, just make sure you don’t drink it. everybody long day Dr. DeRosa says that if you drink two to three liters of fluid, preferably water, per day, drinking a little mineral water shouldn’t be a big deal.
It’s also worth noting that if you suffer from bladder irritation on a regular basis, the fact that foods and drinks can work for or against urinary health should be good news; it gives you some element of control. But both urologists say it’s always a good idea to work things out with a urologist or primary care doctor. It’s literally their job to make sure people live lives free of bladder irritation. And they can help you do it in a way that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods and beverages, too.
Here’s what a registered dietitian wants you to know about fortified carbonated water: