Get Back in the Game!
Whether you’re counting your steps, hitting the gym, playing sports, hiking with friends, or jogging solo, you probably already know the many health benefits of exercise. But did you know that keeping your body moving can also help to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)? That’s right; sitting (or lying) around for long periods of time is actually bad for your urinary health.1 So get out there and have fun! And while you do, keep these other tips in mind for keeping UTIs at bay.
- Stay hydrated. Most experts recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, more if it’s hot or you are sweating heavily. Drinking enough water helps to keep urine dilute and keeps you peeing frequently enough to flush out potential UTI-causing bacteria.*2
- Avoid caffeinated drinks including “energy” drinks. Caffeine can irritate your bladder.3 Choose natural pick-me-ups – like getting enough sleep, healthy snacks that combine protein, good fats, and carbohydrates, and – get this – exercise, which is what you wanted to do anyway.4
- Take time-outs to use the bathroom. Holding your urine can over-stretch your bladder and make it more vulnerable to bacteria. Try to pee every 2-3 hours to flush out microbes and, even though you hate to miss a play, don’t rush. Empty your bladder completely so urine and microbes don’t hang around.2
- Wear loose, breathable clothing and cotton underwear. Bacteria love to grow in warm, moist environments so make sure your workout wear allows for air flow. Avoid tight pants if possible; snug styles tend to keep moisture trapped inside.2,5
- Be a quick-change artist. Change out of damp, sweaty clothing as soon as possible, including underwear.2,5 If you can shower post-workout, that’s even better. Speaking of…
- Hit the showers – not the baths.6 Bath water can quickly become contaminated with bacteria from your skin and can allow germs to enter your urethra – better to wash those little buggers down the drain!7
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene and bath products “down there.” You really don’t need perfumey bubble baths, bath oils, douches, powders, and sprays and they can do more harm than good – irritating your urethra and increasing UTI risks.5,6
- Tell your back you’ve got it’s back. Exercise with care, go slowly when trying new things, learn proper technique, and avoid straining your lower back. Lower back injury can affect urine flow.8
- MVP prevention? Proper wiping. Always wipe front to back to keep bacteria away from your urethra and vagina. Use a clean piece of tissue for each wipe.7 Coaches’ honor – this is a must.
- Help maintain your urinary health by adding Cystex Urinary Health Maintenance to your daily routine. One tablespoon is loaded with ingredients that can benefit your urinary system including a prebiotic to help promote healthy bacteria, an anti-inflammatory to help to prevent tissue damage, an anti-adherent to help keep bad bacteria from hanging around, and an anti-oxidant to generally help protect your body.
Sadly, though, as good sporties know, you win some, you lose some. Sometimes, no matter how carefully you prepare, you might get a UTI anyway. Here’s the play-by-play to get back to your game safely:
Know the symptoms of a UTI:
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Strong smelling urine
- Pelvic pain
Gear up and be ready to call your doctor or advice line. Keep appropriate phone numbers handy. The only way to cure a urinary tract infection is with a doctor-prescribed antibiotic so you’ll want to talk to your doctor’s office as soon as possible.
Make the most of your bench time. Don’t just sit there, get some relief with an over-the-counter product such as Cystex® Plus Urinary Pain Relief Tablets. Cystex can help relieve the pain associated with a UTI and keep the infection in check while you wait for your appointment or prescription.
Most people start to feel better after about 1-2 days of taking their doctor-prescribed medication.1 Follow your doctor’s recommendations about returning to exercise and completing your course of antibiotics and you’ll be going for gold again before you know it.
*Talk with your healthcare provider if you can’t drink this recommended amount of water or other fluids due to health problems, such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, or kidney failure.
- Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. U.S. National Library of Medicine/MedlinePlus website https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000521.htm. Accessed August 8, 2016.
- Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed August 8, 2016.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI); Lifestyle and Home Remedies. Mayo Clinic website http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20037892. Accessed August 8, 2016.
- Better Ways to Get More Energy. WebMD fit website http://fit.webmd.com/teen/recharge/article/fit-get-more-energy. Accessed August 8, 2016.
- Your Guide to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs); How to Prevent Re-Infection. WebMD website http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/your-guide-urinary-tract-infections?page=3. Accessed August 8, 2016.
- Urinary Tract Infection in Women – Self-Care. U.S. National Library of Medicine/MedlinePlus website https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000391.htm. Accessed August 9, 2016
- Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Women. Medscape website. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1958794-overview. Accessed August 9, 2016.
- Nerve Disease and Bladder Control. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/nerve-disease-and-bladder-control/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed August 9, 2016.