Wondering why you can’t enjoy alcohol because of UTI? You have landed at the right place to discover how alcohol impacts your urinary tract and UTI condition as you drink it.
Generally, alcohol consumption is not advised in UTIs as it worsens the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and delays healing. It can irritate the bladder and aggravate the pain and discomfort of UTIs.
However, if you can resist drinking alcohol while dealing with a UTI, this blog helps you find out the best type of alcoholic beverage that has a lower likelihood of worsening UTI symptoms than others.
Also, learn how to minimize the risk of aggravating the infection and when you must avoid alcohol altogether after a UTI. Let’s get started!
What Does A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Our body has different types of bacteria that play an essential role in the functioning of different systems in our body. The urinary tract is an exception where it is not normal to find bacteria. A urinary tract infection is caused when bacteria enter through the opening of the urethra and infect the urinary tract.
How Does Alcohol Cause UTI?
To understand this, let us look at how alcohol is linked to the development of UTIs.
- Dehydration is the primary cause of UTI, and substances that are diuretics, like alcohol, lead to the infection. Excess alcohol consumption causes the kidneys to work harder to excrete toxins and too much fluid from the body, which causes dehydration. So, if you constantly consume alcohol, then it can increase the risk of several health issues, including UTI.
- Alcohol suppresses vasopressin, a hormone that triggers the ability to reabsorb water when the body is dehydrated. Alcohol inhibits the secretion of this hormone, and that causes the body to excrete all the fluid it can.
- Alcohol weakens the immune system’s function, which makes it harder for your body to fight against infection. It increases the chance of multiplying bacteria that can develop a urinary tract infection.
- Most alcoholic beverages are rich in sugar. The presence of sugar in the urine causes bacteria to thrive in the urinary tract. Such bacteria irritate and inflame the tract, which causes infection.
- Alcohol irritates the bladder that worsens UTI symptoms. So, someone who already has UTI and consumes alcohol regularly and/or in high amounts can lead to frequent infections.
What Happens When You Drink Alcohol With UTI?
As we have seen, alcohol is a primary reason contributing to urinary tract infections in a person. When you abuse alcohol, it may increase your chance of getting infections. The acid in the alcohol irritates the lining of your bladder, and you might experience intense bladder pain after drinking it. That’s why reducing acidic drinks like alcohol can improve your urinary health.
Common symptoms you may see after consuming alcohol in UTI condition:
- Urine that contains blood
- Urine that stinks a lot
- Pelvis Pain
- Feeling a burning feeling while urinating
- Unusual-colored urine, such as brown, red, or bright pink
- A constant urge to urinate even after urinating
Impact Of Different Alcoholic Drinks With A UTI
Patients with UTIs must drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and release infection. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether or consume alcoholic beverages that have the least proportion of alcohol in them.
Below we have discussed the common types of alcoholic beverages – their alcoholic content and their impact on UTIs.
93% of beer is made up of water. It is anti-inflammatory and contains several essential vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, vitamin B3) and minerals (Mg, Ca, K, Fe, Zn, silicon, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, riboflavin) that support human health.
Due to high water content and low alcohol, beer helps continuously eliminate the bacteria that cause UTIs, preventing them from growing and staying in the urinary system.
Beer contains more potassium than sodium, which helps maintain the right balance of fluids in the body and prevents kidney stone formation. It is beneficial for UTIs.
Since beer is a diuretic, it helps treat UTIs. Where limited intake prevents dehydration, kidney stones, and worsening UTIs, excess consumption can worsen UTIs by causing frequent urination.
2. Red Wine
Besides being a well-liked beverage worldwide, red wine offers numerous health benefits. Red wine contains the most water, carbs, organic acids, minerals, polyphenols, alcohol, and aromas.
Red wine contains a lot of antioxidants, like polyphenols, flavonoids, etc., that strengthen immunity and protect the body cells from damage. Due to this property, the intake of red wine can effectively treat UTIs and lessen their symptoms.
As diabetes is one of the critical risks for developing UTIs, moderate red wine consumption can help prevent diabetic complications and the occurrence of diabetes.
Vodka is pure alcohol. The large amount of alcohol in its composition harms UTIs and can worsen the symptoms.
Though it doesn’t contain sugar and many minerals and nutrients, adding it to some sugary mixers may adversely impact UTIs.
Also, drinking a lot of vodkas can disturb sleep and adversely affect UTIs. Consuming it in excess can increase your calorie intake and cause obesity and weight gain. It can pose a risk for diabetes and worsening UTIs.
Which Is The Best Alcohol To Drink With UTI?
The worst alcohol for a UTI is the one that has the highest percentage of alcohol in its composition.
When ranking the best and worst alcoholic beverages for UTIs, beer and red wine in moderation is beneficial. In contrast, vodka and whiskey are the worst options as they irritate the bladder and worsen UTI symptoms.
Moderation is the key. For women, it could mean an average of 1 drink per day and up to 2 drinks per day of 0.25-0.3 dl for men. One drink is considered to be 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
When Must You Completely Abstain From Alcohol After A UTI?
While on antibiotic therapy to treat your UTI, you should avoid drinking alcohol for 3-4 days after you finish the antibiotic courses. UTI Patients with acute infection should stop all types and forms of alcohol.
The best way to ensure a rapid and smoother recovery from UTI is to avoid alcohol consumption. However, if you choose to drink alcohol, exercise caution while selecting the type of alcohol and its amount. Moderate consumption of low-acidity and low-sugar alcoholic drinks like dry wine and light beer is recommended, along with ongoing medical treatment.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.