One topic that most people want to know more about without even realizing it is…. peeing! Yep, we’re going to talk about peeing. We all do it…but no one really knows if their body is working well. How often should I go? How much is too much? Is it bad if I don’t go if I feel the urge? Should I stop drinking coffee? What if I drink a lot of water?
Have you been in a situation where you feel like you just can’t hold it anymore? Or maybe you are going to the bathroom every single hour? How about the “just in case” pee where you don’t really have to go but you don’t know if you can hold it when you’re about to work out, or go on a trip.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Then check out these 3 tips that can help you take control of your bladder, have healthier peeing habits, and not worry about running to the bathroom every chance you get.
Tip 1: Improve Your Bladder Capacity
First off, how do you know if you are peeing too much? For some people, it is obvious as it starts to interfere with their day to day life. However, if you are unsure…let's talk about what is the norm.
The normal amount of time to pee during the day is 5-8, and 0-1 at night. And you should be able to wait 3-4 hours before having to pee again. Now, we know for some people this may seem crazy. And if that is the case, working on your bladder capacity can help this become more of a reality.
If you find yourself going to the bathroom every 30 minutes, we don’t suggest suddenly starting to wait 3-4 hours. Start by waiting at least 45 minutes and slowly increase from there.
When you first feel the urge to go to the bathroom, your bladder is only 50% full. So if you go to the bathroom every time you feel the urge, you are telling your bladder that is all you have the capacity to hold. So if you train your bladder to hold beyond that, it will get easier and easier.
Think about it this way: if you feel the urge, and have gone to the bathroom in the last hour or so, try waiting 20 minutes. If you still feel the urge, then go! But what happens for many is that they end up forgetting about it, which helps them learn that they don’t always need to go when first feeling the urge.
Tip 2: Eliminate the “Just In Case” Peeing
You know what I mean! When you are about to leave the house and don’t have to use the bathroom but go “just in case.” If going to the bathroom every time you first feel the urge decreases your bladder capacity, going to the bathroom when you don’t even feel the urge confuses your bladder even more. Cutting out those instances of peeing just in case will make it easier to determine when you really need to go and decrease those instances of “nervous peeing.” And, it will help the above tip of increasing your bladder’s capacity to hold in urine.
There are times when it is okay to go to the bathroom just in case. Some of them are before going on a long car ride (more than a few hours), before going to bed (but only once), and after intercourse.
Tip 3: Understanding Water Intake and Bladder Irritants
Are you someone who says “well I drink A LOT of water” in response to going to the bathroom a lot? That is fine!
You should be able to drink the right amount of water without frequently going to the bathroom. However, you also don’t want to limit your water intake in order to go to the bathroom less.
If you are purposely limiting your water intake in order to not go to the bathroom as often, first start by slowly increasing fluid intake and try to drink the right amount throughout the day, rather than drinking a large amount at once.
Your urine color can also help determine if you are drinking an appropriate amount of water. You want to aim for a pale yellow color. If it is bright yellow, you may be dehydrated and want to drink more. If it is clear, your urine may be too dilute and you may not need to drink as much as you are. Too much water is a thing!
There are also certain foods or drinks that can annoy the bladder, called bladder irritants. They may cause more urination or lead to more urgency, frequency, and leaking. Some common examples are alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and acidic food such as citrus or tomatoes.
This does not mean you have to delete these from your life, but find out what your bladder is allergic to and adjust consumption accordingly in order to not let it interfere with your life (i.e not have coffee or seltzer right before a long car ride or big meeting).
Give Them a Try!
Now while some of these tips may seem kind of simple, they are extremely effective! The bladder can get very confused sometimes. However, with some training, it can learn more than you think, as long as you are teaching it the right things.