Keep Your Bladder Healthy

There are steps everyone can take to improve bladder health.

Drink enough fluids -- especially water.

Drink enough fluids so that the bladder needs to be emptied every 3 to 4 hours. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. 

(Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions. For example, if you have kidney failure or heart disease, you should not drink this much fluid. Ask your health care provider how much fluid is healthy for you.)

Limit alcohol and caffeine.

Alcohol and caffeine can make bladder problems worse. Cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated foods and drinks -- such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and most sodas -- may make it easier to hold more urine.

Quit smoking.

If you smoke, take steps to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

Avoid constipation.

Eating plenty of high fiber foods (like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits), drinking enough water, and being physically active can help prevent constipation.

Keep a healthy weight.

Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help you keep a healthy weight. Make a plan with your health care team to get to (or stay at) a healthy weight.

Do pelvic floor muscle exercises.

Pelvic floor muscles help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to keep them strong. Strong pelvic floor muscles can help keep you from leaking urine when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate.

Use the bathroom when needed.

Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles. Holding urine may also make a bladder infection more likely.

Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating.

Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely.

For women, be in a relaxed position while urinating.

Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. Hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax. To allow your muscles to relax, it is best to sit on the toilet seat.

From NIHSenior Health.  Click here for more information about Bladder Health.