TMI – UTIs & exercise

Remember, these posts are all TMI Posts – read with caution!
A reader wrote in about UTIs and exercise, and I thought that would be a great topic to cover today. I have had two UTIs in my entire life and they were absolute HELL. I had one in high school during basketball season and one a few years ago during a heavy training cycle for running. I had NO clue exercise could bring on UTIs until I spent a little time researching and talking with my doctor. One of my UTIs was so painful I couldn’t stand up straight. It was the worst. I couldn’t get into my doctor right away, so I was drinking cranberry juice, taking cranberry pills, and taking AZO. Those things helped a little, but finally getting medication was what helped the most.  

Reminder: I am not a medical professional in any way – I’m just sharing information from personal experiences, friends’ experiences, and research I have found. If you have any UTI tips, send them my way and I’ll add them to this post!

If you’ve had a UTI, you know how terrible they are. The burning, the constant urge to pee…While there are a lot of things that can cause UTIs, this post will focus on preventing UTIs caused from exercising. 

Did you know there are two types of UTIs? (I didn’t.) The two most common types of UTIs: infection of the bladder (cystitis) or infection of urethra (urethritis) (SOURCE). 

Common symptoms of a UTI:

  • Cloudy, discolored, and/or off-smelling pee
  • Pressure, cramping, or pain around your bladder/pelvis
  • Extreme fatigue or feeling shaky
  • Burning while peeing, especially in the initial start of the stream (SO TERRIBLE). 

Don’t do these things if you have a UTI:

  • Put off going to the doctor – go right away so you can get started on antibiotics. If you can’t get in right away, AZO is a life saver. I used it each time I had a UTI and it helped so much. 
  • If you’re given antibiotics, finish the bottle. Don’t stop taking your meds just because you feel better. The infection could still be present. 
  • Drink ALL the water. Staying hydrated can help flush out the bacteria. 
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, caffeinated sodas, acidic fruits, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners. Apparently those items can make symptoms worse. I couldn’t survive without coffee…but it might be worth it not to deal with UTI pain. 
  • Don’t hold in your pee – if you feel the urge, try to go. If you hold the urine in, you’re also holding the bacteria in…get rid of it. 
How to prevent an exercise induced UTI:

  • Drink ALL the water. Staying hydrated is key. 
  • Change clothes. Don’t sit around in damp, sweaty shorts when you finish a run or workout. Talk about bacteria and the perfect conditions for a UTI to form…(I think this is why I got both of mine. Lesson learned!)
  • If you have cleansing wipes, use them. (I haven’t done this, but a few girls mentioned it as being a game changer!)
  • Make sure you’re always emptying your bladder when you use the restroom.
  • Wipe front to back!
  • Drink Uqora. (Another suggestion from a few ladies.)
UTIs are the WORST. If we’re able to make small changes to avoid one, sign me up. If you have any other tips, send them my way!
Happy Wednesday, friends! 


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