Does Coffee Irritate Your Bladder? (Shocking)

Coffee is a stimulant that contains caffeine, the substance responsible for irritating your bladder. It may cause increased urinary activity which includes higher urination frequency and urgency, as well as an increased risk of incontinence.

People all over the world drink coffee. Coffee has many health benefits that many enjoy. Like the kickstart of electrifying energy and better mood. But does it irritate your bladder? Do you feel like taking more bathroom breaks than usual after consuming coffee?

Let’s find out!

Will Coffee Make You Pee More?

Coffee is a diuretic. It makes you pee more by stopping the production of the antidiuretic hormone in the body. 

Coffee is consumed worldwide. It is even taking the place of other beverages because of its high caffeine content. It is loved by people due to its boosting effects. The caffeine in coffee combats fatigue and lassitude and accelerates energy levels. 

Caffeine does this by diversifying levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain. This boosts the levels of other neurotransmitters including dopamine and administers the levels of energy in the body.

Coffee is useful for lowering the risk of some types of cancers, heart diseases, and type2 diabetes. It also reduces stress and despair.

It also lowers the risk of the human body getting Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Coffee improves gut health and burns body fat which is why it is often considered helpful in losing weight. 

When you drink coffee you may feel some changes in the body. Sometimes you may urgently feel the need to go to the washroom. So is it because of coffee?

The US coffee market earns billions of dollars annually and there is no wonder in that. An American drinks more than three cups of coffee each day. It is essentially a part of every American’s morning routine. If you have started drinking coffee recently you must have noticed that you feel the urge to pee right after you finish your coffee. Well, no need to worry if it happens as coffee makes everyone pee more.

This is because of the presence of caffeine in the coffee. When caffeine starts reacting with your body it not only makes you alert but also hinders the production of an antidiuretic hormone.

Our pituitary gland in the brain secrets this antidiuretic hormone (also known as ADH). It sends the hormone to the kidneys through the bloodstream. ADH hisses the kidneys to generate aquaporins. 

realistic kidney model

Aquaporin performs two kinds of functions. Firstly it absorbs water within the kidneys. Secondly, it distributes water into the bloodstream to rehydrate other parts of the body. The release of ADH indicates that the body is dehydrated and needs water. 

But caffeine is a diuretic which is why it influences the process of hydration. Caffeine in coffee causes the inhibition of ADH by signaling the pituitary gland in the brain. As a result, the water in the kidneys is not reabsorbed. So it has to be excreted as urine.  

Coffee can also stimulate peristalsis which can lead to diarrhea. You can read more about that here if you’re interested.

Can Coffee Irritate Your Bladder?

Coffee can irritate your bladder due to its acidic and diuretic effects. The main symptoms of bladder irritation are frequent urination, abdominal distress, and pelvic pain. Pain in the bladder is more common in women. 

Pain in the bladder can be really disturbing. It can affect everything from your social life to your working life. You cannot bear it for a long time. Coffee is one of those beverages that can irritate your bladder. In medical terms, we call this condition Cystitis. 

The major signs of cystitis are frequent urination and discomfort in the bladder. Other symptoms can be: 

  • low-grade fever
  • pelvic affliction 
  • often passing a small fraction of urine
  • the feeling of burning while urinating 
  • passing smelly urine
  • blood in urine  
  • the feeling of coercion in the lower part of the belly

Coffee can ignite bladder irritation because of two reasons. First of all, it is a diuretic. It causes intensified passing of urine by restricting the production of antidiuretic hormonal that absorbs water from kidneys maintaining the hydration in the body. 

Secondly, it is acidic in composition. Drinking coffee during urinary tract infections (UTIs) worsens the symptoms. The bladder pain is increased accompanied by severe irritation and a feeling of urgency.

Senior adults and women of every age are more at the stake of encountering urinary tract infections. More than 13 million Americans are affected by urinary incontinence among which the majority are women. Women with menopause or pregnancy are more likely to have bladder discomfort due to weakness of pelvic muscles. 

How Do You Calm an Irritated Bladder?

An irritated bladder can be calmed by limiting coffee intake and restricting acidic and sweet foods in the diet. 

An uncomfortable bladder is certainly big suffering. It affects our daily activities and ultimately leads to apathy. Before you move to medications it is advisable to calm the irritated bladder at home. Below are some tips:

Restrict the intake of coffee. Coffee is one of the main reasons for bladder irritation because it is acerbic and a diuretic.

If you cannot survive without it, limit your intake to one small cup daily. Choose a coffee that has less caffeine. The FDA suggests not to consume caffeine more than 400 mg in a day. You can also go for decaffeinated coffee although it also has caffeine but in a very minute amount. Decaf coffee has only 3% caffeine.

a cup of coffee

Below is a list of caffeine content in single servings of popular brews of coffee. 

CoffeesContent Level
Espresso70 mg
Nespresso65 mg
Instant60 mg
Latte80 mg
Decaffeinated20 to 25 mg

Besides coffee, you should also avoid other drinks that are high in caffeine like coke and tea. 

Magnesium reduces bladder muscle twinges by improving nerve function.  So foods rich in magnesium mainly fish, almonds, whole grains, and green vegetables should be consumed. 

Staying hydrated is the key to reducing the symptoms and calming bladder discomfort. Some people may cut down water to get rid of bladder infections which leads to dehydration. Dehydration concentrates the urine and gives rise to infections in the bladder. You can also try pelvic floor muscle exercises. Such exercises lessen the amount of urine leakage thus reducing the symptoms. 

The foods that should be highly avoided because of their sweet or acidic nature are soy sauce, raw onion, chocolate, honey, sour cream, vinegar, corn syrup, strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and artificial sweeteners. Besides this, certain medications that contain caffeine should also be strictly avoided. 

You can continue eating the foods mentioned below even with an irritated bladder. These foods would not discomfort your bladder.

  • Popcorn
  • Rice 
  • Oats
  • Eggs
  • Pretzels
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Yams and white potatoes
  • Vegetables like zucchini, peas, squash, sprouts, Brussels, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, and broccoli
  • Tuna fish
  • Shrimp and salmon
  • Fruits like watermelon, raisins, pears, honeydew melon, bananas, and blueberries

If you do not recover from this condition even after following different remedies and precautions then it’s time to see a doctor. You should confer with a doctor especially when the symptoms start worsening. If you feel severe fever and chills, vomiting, nausea, side and back pain, and blood in urine then you should immediately consult your doctor.

Here is a helpful video about home remedies to calm UTIs. 

Will Coffee Cause an Inflamed Bladder?

Coffee causes inflamed bladder by irritating the bladder lining and producing muscle spasms. 

Yes, coffee causes an inflamed bladder. The lining of the bladder is responsible for acclimating large amounts of fluids by stretching. It prevents the feeling of urgency. But when a person consumes too much sweet food or highly acidic substances the bladder lining gets irritated leading to muscle spasms. These muscle spasms arise from the feeling of frequent urination along with urgency. 

How Does Coffee Affect Your Bladder?

Coffee has caffeine that inhibits the production of ADH which is responsible for absorbing water. When it is not produced all the water is forcibly excreted out in urgency as urine. 

Coffee is acidic and serves as an irritant to the gall bladder. When consumed in large amounts it halts the production of the antidiuretic hormone.

This hormone is accountable for the absorption of water inside the kidney and then transferring it to other parts of the body. But when this hormone is not secreted the water has to be excreted out which results in frequent urination. 

Coffee itself is not a bladder irritant but it has caffeine which is a diuretic. Caffeine is also found in other beverages like green tea, black tea, and coke. So the person who has urinary tract infections should not only avoid coffee but also restrict other such drinks which are caffeinated. 

My Final Thoughts

coffee with latte art

Coffee sure has many benefits to offer. But the caffeine which is found in abundance in coffee can also irritate your bladder.

If consumed heavily it can make you take bathroom breaks more than usual. It increases the frequency and can even dehydrate you.

It can also irritate the bladder lining and can cause muscle spasms if not drunk in limited quantities. The acidic properties of coffee also act as the fuel to this. So, it’s better to consume caffeine at moderate levels and not excessively.  

Marty Spargo

Caffeine aficionado and coffee student (if there's such a thing!). I've come to love coffee in recent years and share what I learn along the way on this website.

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