Millions of women have an overactive bladder, resulting in accidental leaking of urine along with a strong, sudden urge to go. Changing some behaviors helps control bladder issues, and one thing that can greatly affect your symptoms is what you eat and drink.

Here are some foods and beverages you’ll want to consume or avoid.


A well balanced diet can help you lose extra weight. Excess weight can put added pressure on your bladder, so if you have an overactive bladder, losing a few pounds may help. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein-rich foods and limit excess sugar and processed foods. A diet rich in fiber from whole foods can also help prevent constipation, which is a known trigger for urinary incontinence.

Some foods that can irritate your bladder and make symptoms worse include:

  • Spicy foods
  • Salty foods
  • Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits
  • Chocolate, or any other food that contains caffeine

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You may think you need to limit how much you drink if you have an overactive bladder, but it’s still important to get enough fluids so you don’t get dehydrated. This can lead to urinary tract infection, constipation and bladder irritation, which all increase the urge to go. When you drink, water should be your go-to beverage.

Limit or avoid the following because these can all irritate the bladder:

  • Caffeinated drinks – Studies show that limiting daily caffeine intake to 100 milligrams can help reduce symptoms. That’s about the amount in one cup of coffee.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Artificially-sweetened drinks
  • Acidic fruit juices

The best way to get in your daily fill of fluid is to spread it out throughout the day. Sip small amounts at a time and limit how much you drink before bed. Your urine should be almost colorless or a pale yellow – this means you’re getting enough fluids.

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