Ladies, drink up. A steady supply of water throughout the day significantly reduces bladder infections, new research shows.
Women who drink an additional 1.5 liters of water — or about a half-dozen eight-ounce glasses — had 48 percent fewer bladder infections than those who didn’t consume the extra water. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said the water-consumption findings are significant because more than half of all women report having bladder infections and up to three-quarters of them will have a recurrence within a year.
The findings from the 12-month study of 140 women revealed that 93 percent of those who consumed the additional water had fewer cases of cystitis, a type of urinary tract infection, compared with those in a control group. Ultimately, antibiotic use for cystitis was about half as common among those who drank more water, the researchers found. Less antibiotic use also means fewer instances of resistance to those drugs, they noted.
Flushing your body with water every day also appears to keep infections away for longer periods of time: Among those who drank more water, the mean time between cystitis infections was about 20 weeks — about 40 percent longer than the control group.
Physicians believe the additional fluid helps to reduce bacteria and prevent it from attaching to the bladder. Symptoms of cystitis include frequent urination, tenderness in the lower abdomen and painful urination that may be accompanied by blood. Cystitis is one of the most common infections among women.
So if you want to keep painful infections away, keep a water bottle handy and hydrate throughout the day.