health

3 Easy Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Prevent UTIs

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

More than half of the female population has either already had a urinary tract infection or will have one in the future, according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Chances are that you already know — or will soon — just how unpleasant and annoying they are to deal with.

That burning sensation when you go to the bathroom is the worst, and the fact that you have to make your way there around 20 times a day doesn’t make it any better. A trip to the doctor’s office and a round of antibiotics may be the best route, but there is also a natural, body-friendly option that will help with the symptoms in the meantime. It can also help prevent UTIs from happening in the first place — so what could this miracle elixir be?

It’s apple cider vinegar, of course!

It turns out that apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is not only helpful for weight loss and removing skin tags; it can also help treat UTI symptoms.

Keep reading to learn how apple cider vinegar can change the way you fight UTIs.

What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?

Kidneys and bladder
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

As The Mayo Clinic explains, the urinary tract consists of the kidneys, the bladder, and the tubes that run between them (better known as the ureters and the urethra). The urinary tract’s job is to get rid of excess water and waste from your system. However, due to the nature of its job and where it’s located on your body, getting an infection in the urinary tract is not uncommon, especially in women.

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is when microbes overcome the body’s natural defenses in the urinary tract. A UTI is mostly harmless, but, left untreated, it could lead to something a lot more serious — like kidney failure. Therefore, if the UTI doesn’t clear up on its own within five days, you need to go see your doctor.

What Causes UTIs?

Woman going to the bathroom
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

There can be a few causes of a UTI. However, according to WebMD, the most common cause for women is wiping from back to front after using the bathroom. This is because the anus is located very close to the urethra (the entrance and exit part of the urinary tract).

When wiping from back to front, you can transfer the bacteria (such as E. coli) from your anus right onto the urethra, which can climb upwards, toward your bladder and even your kidneys.

Prevention.com points out that UTIs can also be caused by having sex, dehydration, or constipation. Fortunately, there are also plenty of ways to prevent these infections.

What Are The Symptoms Of A UTI?

back pain

There are many symptoms that can indicate that you are suffering from a UTI, and they can easily be dismissed. According to WebMD, you may experience all or some of the following:

  • A burning feeling when you urinate.
  • A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though only a little comes out when you do.
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine.
  • Feelings of tiredness or shakiness.
  • Fever or chills, which is a sign the infection may have reached your kidneys.

How To Prevent UTIs

Drinking water
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The best way to fight a Urinary Tract Infection is to prevent it from happening in the first place. According to WebMD, there are a lot of small steps you can take to make sure you don’t have to go through this unpleasant experience:

  • When you feel the need to go to the bathroom, go straight away.
  • Drink lots of water to flush your urinary tract continuously.
  • Wash your genital area before and after having sexual intercourse.
  • Always try to use unscented hygienic products.
  • Keep your private area dry and clean by wearing cotton underwear and looser-fitting clothes.

These tips are a good place to start, but always remember to talk to your doctor in order to get the most accurate advice.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For UTI

Gets rid of bad bacteria and provides good enzymes
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Drinking apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural ways to keep the UTIs away. As Livestrong explains, drinking apple cider vinegar on a regular basis can increase the acidity levels in your urinary tract. 

The potassium, enzymes, and other minerals in apple cider vinegar will make your urinary tract slightly more acidic. This can discourage the growth of bacteria connected to infections.

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar For UTI

Looking at apple cider vinegar bottle
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Even though it’s an excellent way to prevent a UTI, apple cider vinegar is not exactly the best-tasting natural remedy. That’s why we’ve included a few recipes below to make the apple cider vinegar taste a little better while keeping bacteria at bay.

Recipe #1: Apple Cider Vinegar With Lemon And Honey

Apple cider vinegar with lemon and honey remedy for UTI
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

According to the National Library Of Medicine, vitamin C helps prevent UTIs because it acidifies urine, and lemons have plenty of it. Mixed with honey, it also helps neutralize ACV’s taste. Here’s a great recipe to try, courtesy of top10homeremedies.com:

Step 1: Fill up a glass with lukewarm water.

Step 2: Pour 2 tbsps. of apple cider vinegar into the glass with water.

Step 3: Add 1 tsp. of lemon juice to the glass.

Step 4: To sweeten the drink mix, add 1 tbsp. of honey.

How often should you drink this?

If you are drinking apple cider vinegar as a prevention method, having one glass of this concoction is enough to keep the bacteria away. If you are already feeling the unpleasant symptoms of a UTI, drink two glasses a day.

Recipe #2: Ginger And Apple Cider Vinegar Mocktail

Apple cider vinegar mocktail
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

According to livestrong.com, ginger has been shown to treat E. coli, “which frequently causes urinary tract and bladder infections.” Drinking it with ACV, as suggested in the recipe below, will help you double down on protective properties. 

Step 1: Fill up a glass with ice.

Step 2: Add 3 tbsps. of ginger concentrate (or ginger tea).

Step 3: Squeeze in the juice of one fresh lemon.

Step 4: Add 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.

Step 5: Fill the glass up almost full with sparkling water.

Step 6: Add raw honey to sweeten (adjust the amount up to taste).

How often should you drink this?

This mocktail is not only very beneficial for your body, it is also wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Having one or two every day does wonders for your body. After all, ginger is just as magical as apple vinegar cider!

Recipe #3: Cranberry Juice And Apple Cider Vinegar Super-Drink

Cranberry juice and apple cider vinegar for UTI
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

There has been evidence that shows properties in cranberry juice can stop E. coli from sticking to your bladder wall, according to the Cleveland Clinic. So adding it to your diet definitely won’t hurt in the pursuit of UTI prevention. Try out this recipe, courtesy of isavea2z.com.

Step 1: Fill up a glass with ice.

Step 2: Add freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon.

Step 3: Add 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar.

Step 4: Add 4 oz. of unsweetened cranberry juice.

Step 5: Mix in 1 tsp. of honey.

Step 6: Top it all up with mineral water.

How often should you drink this?

Seeing as this drink has not only the powerful apple cider vinegar as an ingredient but also natural cranberry juice, it is a powerful method for UTI prevention. Having one or two glasses a day should definitely help curb unpleasant symptoms.

Precautions To Take When Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Throat burns
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

As with any ingredient, using apple vinegar cider includes potential risks. Although none of them are seriously dangerous, it is still important that you are aware of the possibilities. As authoritynutrition.com explains, ingesting too much apple cider vinegar for long periods of time could lead to:

  • constipation
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • low potassium levels
  • weak dental enamel
  • throat burns
  • skin burns

If you are nervous about potential side effects, talk to your doctor in order to get the most accurate information.

When To Talk To A Doctor About UTI

In bed with thermometer under tongue
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

According to The Mayo Clinic, if not treated properly, UTIs can lead to more serious problems like kidney damage, urethral narrowing, or sepsis. Pregnant women may have a higher risk of delivering low birth weight or premature infants. If you experience any one of these symptoms, contact your doctor, as it could indicate your infection has worsened:

  • fever and chills
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain in the flank

These symptoms may be an indication of an upper UTI — a more serious urinary tract infection. In this case, emergency actions may be in order.

If we have helped you gain a better understanding of how urinary tract infections work, and why apple cider vinegar should be one of the first things you should try, make sure to SHARE this article with your friends!