What to Eat (And What to Avoid) During a UTI

September 26, 2022
Woman with a UTI talking to virtual doctor

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common and notoriously uncomfortable bacterial infection that often results in several days of painful symptoms. If you’ve developed a UTI, you may be wondering if certain foods or beverages can help you feel better—or make your infection worse.

Contrary to popular belief, no type of cranberry juice, healthy snack, or special tonic can cure a UTI. Antibiotic medication is necessary to completely clear bacteria from the urinary tract and eliminate symptoms. A UTI can spread to the kidneys and cause potentially serious complications—in addition to more pain—without proper and timely treatment from a medical professional.

Nevertheless, it’s true that certain foods and beverages can promote a strong immune response and enhance urinary health, while other options can irritate the bladder and exacerbate UTI symptoms. Let’s take a closer look.

What to Eat (And Drink!)

First and foremost, it’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated if you’re battling UTI symptoms. Drinking six to eight glasses of water (about 48 to 64 ounces) per day can help flush some bacteria out of the urinary tract and streamline the recovery process.

It’s also a good idea to consume foods that contain probiotics, such as sauerkraut, pickles, and kefir or probiotic yogurt. Probiotics contain good bacteria that aid the immune system, support digestive health, and can help the body fight off infections like UTIs. Eating non-acidic foods that contain plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C, including bell peppers and broccoli, can also be helpful when dealing with a UTI.

What to Avoid

Unfortunately, there’s a relatively long list of foods and beverages to avoid if you have a UTI. Try to steer clear of the following items, which can cause bladder irritation, until your infection has cleared and you’re feeling better:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sugary or caffeinated sodas
  • Fruit juices that contain high amounts of sugar (including most cranberry juices!)
  • Citrus-based beverages such as lemonade
  • Acidic fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and tomatoes
  • Desserts and candy
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Spicy foods such as hot peppers and chilies

Same-Day UTI Treatment From PhysicianOne Urgent Care

PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s experienced medical practitioners can’t do your grocery shopping, but we can provide the fast and effective UTI treatment you need to find relief. UTI treatment plans typically involve a regimen of antibiotics, which will be tailored to your specific needs, as well as recommendations that can help ease symptoms as your infection clears.

Visit a PhysicianOne Urgent Care location in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York to receive timely treatment for a UTI. Our urgent care centers are open 365 days per year during convenient hours and welcome patients on a walk-in basis. Appointment scheduling is available for those who’d rather reserve an appointment time, and patients who’d like to consult with a medical professional from home can take advantage of our 24/7 telemedicine service.

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