Bladder Irritants

No specific diet will cure your bladder symptoms.  However, there are certain foods that may affect your bladder and avoiding them may help.  Please note that reducing the amount of fluid you cosume will not help your bladder and may be potentially harmful.  Reducing your fluid intake causes concentrated urine which can be irritating to the bladder lining and may worsen your symptoms. Good hydration and regular bladder emptying are your best defences against bladder infections as well.  Water is the best beverage to drink. Other non-irritating choices include herbal tea, milk, dilute apple or grape juice, pear and peach nectar.


Certain foods and beverages are thought to contribute to bladder problems and are classified as possible bladder irritants. The reasons are not always understood. You may wish to eliminate some of the following to see if you symptoms improve. Eliminate one at a time for at least a week to see how it affects your symptoms.


  • Coffee, tea – even decaffeinated (herbal teas are okay)
  • Caffeine – soda, coffee, tea, medicines containing caffeine (Excedrin)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Acidic fruit juices - lemonade, orange juice (try diluting as well)
  • Spicy foods
  • Canned, cured, smoked and processes meats
  • Sugar, honey, corn syrup
  • Chocolate – it contains caffeine
  • Artificial sweeteners (NutraSweet) – especially in diet soda


Remember that the above lists of foods are only possible bladder irritants. You may find that many of these foods do not affect your bladder symptoms.  Cutting out all these foods and beverages may lead to a boring and over restricted diet without sufficient variety and may even be deficient in important
vitamins and nutrients.