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I want to start drinking more water. How long will it take for my bladder to adapt?

That’s a great question. Water is so important for weight loss, and health in general. But yes increasing it can have the less desirable side-effect of increased trips to the loo!

But the good news is you can retrain your bladder, and you can play an active part in this by not rushing off to the loo as soon as you feel you need to go, and making yourself wait a little longer each time, within reason of course. You should notice an improvement over a period of weeks.

You could also do pelvic floor muscle exercises daily to help your bladder to stay strong.

You could also try to limit caffeine and certain foods in the day to reduce irritating your bladder, it may be worth keeping a diary and monitor if anything triggers this.

As long as you are getting between 2-3 litres  of fluid a day you will be fine, it doesn’t all have to be water, that’s more of an ideal. Just be careful of how many calories are in your drinks other than water as it’s very easy to overlook this.

Also keep an eye on the colour of your pee – if it’s completely clear you are over-hydrated, if it’s dark you’re not drinking enough. If it’s light straw colour you’ve got it about right.

If you can get two thirds of your fluid from water that will be great, but tea and coffee and other drinks are ok as long as they are not irritating your bladder and making you want to go. As mentioned above, keeping a diary can help.

This article contains some useful information about what colour pee to aim for…

However, it is important to mention that if you usually only go to the loo 2 or 3 times a day because you don’t drink a lot you will probably feel like you’re in the loo all day long when drinking a healthy amount of water. It’s totally normal to go several times a day. It means your body is working properly.

So give it a few weeks and you will adapt, keep persevering.

Huge thanks to nurses Tasha and Nell for their contributions to answering this question.