How Food and Nutrition Can Affect Catheter Use

You don’t need to revolutionize the way you eat and drink when you are using a catheter, but there are some ways you can adjust your diet to ensure the process is as easy as possible. 

A healthy diet helps to keep your body running its best, and when you are regularly cathing what you eat and drink is even more important. You don’t need to alter your diet dramatically when you cath, but there are a few things to consider as you plan your meals.

Stay Hydrated

While you might be tempted to drink less, it’s important to consume a regular amount of liquid. Typically, you should have a between 1.5-2 liters of fluid per day to keep your urine flowing clear and to prevent infection. That works out to roughly six 8 ounces glasses.

To help ensure you hit those goals, you can keep large jugs with your allotted daily amount in the fridge. The water will be extra cold—and you can keep an eye on the level throughout the day. 

Adjust your intake throughout the day. If you are exercising or in the heat, drink more. If you want to minimize your intake before an outing or before you go to bed, that’s fine. The goal is for your urine to be a light yellow or straw color all day long. If you notice your urine becomes orange or dark (concentrated) it can be a sign you are getting dehydrated. If you notice blood in your urine seek medical attention.

Skip Caffeine

Drinks that are high in caffeine, like cola, coffee, tea, and energy drinks can irritate your bladder. Carbonated beverages are fine in moderation, but watch how they affect you.

Alcohol does not affect your catheter, but might alter your usual schedule. Your doctor may also advise against drinking if you are recovering from surgery or certain medications.

Stay Regular

Constipation can complicate the process—the pressure of a full bowel on your bladder can obstruct the flow of urine or cause leakage through the urethra. Straining can also cause issues with leakage both from the drainage bags and catheter valves. Drinking lots of water and eating a well-balanced diet can help. Opt for wholemeal grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, and plenty of fiber.

If you are prone to constipation, chat with your doctor about the best methods for prevention. 


Fiber can help keep you maintain regular stools. The American Heart Association suggests taking in 25 to 30 grams a day from food, not supplements. Opt for whole grains, fruits, and veggies as your main sources.

If You Get a UTI

If you get a bladder infection, you’ll want to increase the amount of water you drink, as it will both flush out bacteria and dilute your urine. The more diluted your urine, the less painful it will be to pass.

Because cranberry juice can make urine more acidic, it’s long been considered an effective way to prevent UTIs. However, there’s no clear proof that cranberry juice or cranberry extract tablets are incredibly effective. Check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet, as it may interact with certain medications.

At Medipply, our mission is to make buying and using catheters easier. Find out how we make the process of purchasing catheters and supplies more transparent. In a few easy steps, we can help you purchase catheters with insurance, connect you with the providers you prefer, and streamline the process of getting the medical supplies you need. Have questions? Check out our list of frequently asked questions and learn about how Medipply can help.

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