Urinary tract infections are the bane of many lives. And unfortunately they often crop up with a vengeance this time of year, when we're out most nights, drinking booze and not getting the rest we need.
Your tactics for preventing UTIs such as cystitis might range from buying a pre-emptive stock of cranberry juice to ensuring you're regular when going for a wee. But new research reveals there's really only one thing that will do the trick when it comes to reducing your chance of getting a UTI: drinking lots of water.
The study, which was published last month in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, found that women who drank an additional six glasses of water (equating to an extra 1.5 litres) every day had half the risk of developing a UTI than women who didn't keep as hydrated.
While this has long been a theory among medical practitioners, this research is the first concrete study that appears to prove it.
While the findings of the study have only just been published publicly, the lead author of the study, Dr Thomas Hooton, initially presented the findings in 2017 at a conference in San Diego. There, he said: "There's lots of things we recommend to women to reduce the risk of UTIs, but none have really been studied.
"It's good to know the recommendation is valid, and that drinking water is an easy and safe way to prevent an uncomfortable and annoying infection."
According to the researchers, 25% of women will suffer more than one UTI in their lifetime. So if we can be armed with information about how to reduce the likelihood of it happening, we can hopefully spend a lot less time in pain on the toilet.
It's worth noting that the study in question is a small one, using just 140 healthy women under the age of 45 who had experienced at least three UTIs in the past year as subjects. But the results at least back up medical thinking and, anyhow, it's not as if you'll do yourself any harm by upping your intake of water each day, is it?
[H/T Live Science]
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