Are you a sparkling water lover like me? I can’t get enough of the tiny bubbles and refreshing flavors! In fact, as I write this post, I find myself enjoying a delicious pineapple strawberry sparkling water. But did you know that your sparkling water (a bladder irritant) could lead to the pesky leakage that you’ve probably been told is “just a part of being a mom”?
In my personal motherhood journey since having my son 5 months ago, I have truly experienced the effects that my beloved fizzy drink can have on my bladder. Prior to pregnancy I could slam back a few sparkling waters in a row and think nothing of it. But ever since the events of pregnancy and childbirth wreaked havoc on my pelvic floor, I find myself with a stronger urge and more frequent need to pee after consuming a tasty LaCroix.
But I thought sparkling water was supposed to be healthy?
Yes, sparkling water is a much healthier option when you are looking for something other than a plain bottle of water. It can be a great alternative to soda or sports drinks since it doesn’t contain all the refined sugar, additives, or artificial sweeteners. However, sparkling water can still cause some of the same bladder issues as soda simply because of the carbonation. The carbonation in the water is considered a bladder irritant, meaning the bladder doesn’t like to hold onto this type of liquid and will attempt to rid itself of these contents at any chance it gets. Other common bladder irritants include: caffeine, alcohol, highly acidic liquids/foods, and items containing artificial sweeteners. Basically, anything that isn’t water has the potential to irritate the bladder.
So should I stop drinking my beloved Spindrift?
No! I am someone who likes variety and I know that if I only have plain water to drink throughout the day I will not drink enough to be well-hydrated. So I’m not telling you to give up the fizz altogether. Instead, it’s important to be aware of any symptoms of incontinence when you consume bladder irritants. Know that when you consume an irritant, your bladder doesn’t like to hold onto liquid that is bothering it, so leakage is more likely to happen. You may also find that you need to urinate more frequently until your body rids itself of this irritant. You can lessen the effect on your bladder by diluting its contents: Consume water at the start of each day as well as after consuming a bladder irritant like sparkling water.
It is normal to urinate 6-8 times per day, about every 3-4 hours. However, you should not need to run to the bathroom in order to make it on time and you shouldn't find yourself leaking on the way to the bathroom. It’s also important to note that it’s NOT normal to have leakage, even after having a baby! Be sure you are staying plenty hydrated, as dehydration can actually lead to more leakage. Here is a guideline to know if you’re drinking enough water: aim to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of fluid per day. Plus, at least 2/3 of the beverages you consume each day should be water!
Physical Therapy Can Help!
If you have issues with leakage during activity, have difficulty making it to the bathroom on time, or your bladder just doesn’t seem the same since having a baby, physical therapy can help! A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you figure out exactly why you are having issues with incontinence and how to fix them quickly. Remember, while it might be common for women to have bladder issues, it's not something you have to deal with. If you’re tired of peeing your pants every time you run, jump, cough, or indulge in a Bubly, download our FREE guide, 7 Easy Steps to END Incontinence to get started right away!