A new study suggests increasing your daily water intake could help reduce the risk of bladder infections by as much as half.
In a clinical trial of 140 premenopausal women experiencing recurrent cystitis who report drinking less than 1.5 L of total fluid daily, researchers found that episodes of cystitis were significantly less frequent in women who drank more water for 12 months compared with women who maintained their usual fluid intake.
The meaning? “Increasing daily water intake protects against recurrent cystitis in premenopausal women experiencing recurrent cystitis who drink low volumes of total fluid daily,” the researchers reported in the Journal of American Medical Association.
Prior to the study, the participants reported their usual daily volume of fluid. This was approximately 1.5 liters, or around six 8-ounce glasses.
The new research, which was led by senior study author Dr. Yair Lotan, from the Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, divided the volunteers into two groups: they instructed one to drink an additional 1.5 litres of water each day, and they told the other group to consume no additional fluid.
Their study was conducted over a 12-month period and revealed quite a few findings.
For example, in the additional water group, the scientists found that 93 percent had two (or fewer) episodes of bladder infection, while 88 percent of those in the control group experienced three or more.
Overall, bladder infection incidence in the water group was around half of that in the control group — namely, 111 of the people who drank the extra water reported having had one, compared with 216 people who did not drink the extra water.
Also, if there was a recurrence of a bladder infection in a participant who had already experienced one during the study, those in the water group had a greater period of time pass between infections than did those in the control group.
The overall time period between bladder infections was about 85.2 days for the control group, compared with 142.9 days for those in the water group.
Overall, those in the water group were about half as likely to experience a bladder infection than those in the control group. “That’s a significant difference,” noted Dr. Lotan, the chief of urologic oncology at the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“These findings are important because more than half of all women report having bladder infections, which are one of the most common infections in women.”