If you’ve had a UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection, you know how uncomfortable they are. You feel the constant urge to use the restroom, but when you do, you may feel pain, or simply have no urine to pass. When you’re in this relentless discomfort, you will be eager to feel better as soon as possible. As you take to the web, you’ll be flooded with countless at-home remedies to ease your pain. The moment you search for “UTI treatment”, you’ll be sure to see articles and advice about cranberry juice. So, is it truth or myth? Let’s break down the truth about cranberry juice and UTIs.
Truth or Myth?
Unfortunately, cranberry juice as a cure for UTIs is mostly a myth. Cranberry juice isn’t going to cure your UTI. The anti-inflammatory benefits of cranberry are what draw people to it as a cure. The burning sensation you can feel during a UTI is due to the inflammatory infection, so it makes sense that you want to reach for something anti-inflammatory. While some people have reported symptoms being slightly lessened after having cranberry juice, these results are minimal. Cranberry juice may help minimize the symptoms long enough for you to get to a doctor or urgent care, but it will absolutely not get rid of your UTI for good. The only way to completely eliminate a UTI is by using antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Before you can get your prescription, it can be helpful to up your liquid intake. So, this is a way that cranberry juice can help you. In addition, having more vitamin C while you have a UTI can also be beneficial. This is one more benefit of cranberry juice, however, it still doesn’t make it a cure. Think of cranberry juice as a loose band-aid on the issue at hand.
While cranberry juice can’t cure your active UTI, it can help prevent new ones from coming on. It’s crucial to take other precautions, too, such as urinating after sex, showering after sex, and using the restroom when you feel the urge to do so. In particular, cranberry juice can be helpful for women with a history of UTIs (1). The reason cranberry juice can help prevent UTIs is that it can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. Cranberry can also help fight the number of bacteria in the bladder that then lead to UTIs. It is important to note that for some people, cranberry extract is more effective at preventing UTIs than juice. This is because cranberry extract is a more concentrated form than juice, so it is thought to have a more beneficial effect.
Bottom line: Cranberry juice won’t cure your UTI, but it may help prevent future ones. So, if you like cranberry juice, incorporate it into your diet, especially when you are sexually active. However, if you don’t enjoy the flavor, you don’t need to worry. The results are so minimal, you may be better off drinking an extra glass of water per day.