Why Coffee isn’t Water

Why Coffee isn’t Water

July 12, 2021

For a long time now, many of us have heard from medical professionals, friends, and family to drink more water. Why? Because water keeps us hydrated? Because most of our body consists of water? What if one of the reasons is that drinking more water will actually prevent you from going to the bathroom so often?

All the beverages that we consume throughout the day in one shape or form end up in our bladder. All beverages, outside of water, contain products that can actually irritate our bladder; like a pebble stuck in our shoe.


Some of these can be:

  • Caffeinated beverages (coffee and tea- even decaffeinated tea and coffee still have caffeine in them)
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus

Check out the list of all the aggravating irritants here

This “irritation” in our bladder can actually then become so strong that we may take it as a sign that we need to use the bathroom.

If our body is sensitive to some of these beverages, it can irritate one’s bladder, creating a sensation that we need to go use the bathroom, even when we don’t need to. This occurring once in a while is not a problem, however if this keeps occurring frequently you can soon start to create a problematic cycle. There are two signals that we receive from our bladder.

  1. When your bladder is about half full and it is being stretched with fluid.
  2. We feel it when our bladder is full, and at this point it would be appropriate for us to use the bathroom. However, when we’re getting these “irritating signals” we can’t really tell the difference, so we go to the bathroom just the same.

Doesn’t seem like such a big deal, Right? It actually can be. If we start using the bathroom more frequently than normal, and at every signal that we feel, your body soon starts to assume this is the norm. Therefore, every time you start to have a sensation, your body assumes you will be going to the bathroom, and you can actually start to lose the ability to hold in your urine!


How can you prevent this?

Well there’s a few key points that you should keep in mind.

  1. DRINK MORE WATER! Seems like a contradiction. Well water will actually dilute anything in your bladder that could potentially irritate you. When your urine is less concentrated, there’s less of a chance of you getting a “fake” signal. By water we mean plain water, even though coffee has water in it, the caffeine in regular coffee and decaf coffee or tea can irritate your bladder.
  2. On average most adults should only be using the bathroom about 6-8 times a day (That is about every 2-5 hours). You can keep a log of what you’re drinking, and see if there’s anything you’re having throughout the day that is making you go to the bathroom.
  3. When you feel a sensation like you have to go to the bathroom, don’t immediately run to the bathroom, first stop to see if the urge to go continues, or if it’s not a “true” signal.
  4. Come see a Pelvic Floor Therapist!! We can happily address these and any other concerns you may have.

Dedicated to restoring your health,

Dr. Daniela Escudero at Universus Physical Therapy and Wellness

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