Good Cycling Habits to Avoid Urinary Problems

Good Cycling Habits to Avoid Urinary Problems

While there have been prior suggestions that men who frequently cycle maybe more prone to developing prostate issues and erectile dysfunction, recent studies have ascertained that cycling does not negatively affect men’s urinary function or sexual health. On the other hand, female cyclists have been found to be more susceptible to getting urinary tract infections compared to the average woman. The benefits that can be had from cycling, however, can often outweigh the health risks it may present. Cycling is an excellent form of exercise and can be a way to improve cardiovascular health, increase fitness, and reduce the risk of developing a range, or chronic diseases.

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Good Cycling Habits to Avoid Urinary Problems
[ photo: pexels by nubia navarro ]

To avoid urinary problems, especially for women, here are some good cycling habits you can start forming:

1. Drink plenty of water
Drinking lots of water benefits not only the urinary system but essentially all parts of the body. It flushes out toxins, keeps the body temperature cool, and keeps you hydrated. In terms of urinary tract infections, or UTIs, water moves things through the urinary tract, diluting urine, and inhibiting bacterial growth. So if you’re going cycling, never leave home without a bottle of water.

2. Opt for cranberry juice
Not everyone likes the taste of cranberry juice, but when given the choice between it and, say, beer, opt for the cranberry. It prevents infections inside the bladder by gently coating the bladder walls with a slippery film that bacteria can’t attach to. Cranberry juice is also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which aid in infection and its accompanying inflammation.

3. Urinate and rinse off your privates after every ride 
If you’ve diligently kept yourself hydrated throughout your ride, you should have enough bladder output that needs to be eliminated from the body after a bike ride. This will aid in flushing out whatever bacteria may have made its way to the urinary tract while cycling. For ladies, always remember to wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anal area to come into contact with the vaginal area. After urinating, be sure to wash and rinse off your privates and change out of your chamois shorts.

4. Go fragrance-free 
When cleaning and rinsing your privates after a particularly good cycling workout, reach for that fragrance-free soap. While those flowery fragrances smell really good on the skin, they can cause dryness and irritation. This in turn can leave the urethral opening more prone to attracting dirt and bacteria.

5. Choose the right saddle for your bike
Athletes who acquire injuries during training or competitions might use bandages or an elastic sports tape to provide support and prevent further injuries. In a similar way, investing in a good bike can help prevent further problems for both men and women alike. A correctly positioned cut-out saddle can help cyclists avoid situations that can cause urinary problems from arising.

6. Always use clean chamois shorts
It’s the same concept with underwear. Urinary tract infections often start with moist and dirty surfaces, so no matter how tempted you are to reuse the same pair of unwashed chamois used during a ride the previous day, opt for clean ones. Also, try going without underwear under the chamois, as the added padding under the shorts can contribute to an environment that’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

7. Put on breathable underwear
Have you ever thought of going commando after cycling? No? When you need to wear underwear, choose those with breathable fabrics, such as cotton. Silk and lace are great for when you’re going out for a night of fun and want to feel fancy, but if you’ve just finished a long ride, give your private parts some time to breathe.

8. Apply chamois cream
Power meter cycling can cause your chamois to come in contact with certain areas of your inner thighs and outer vagina with more force or friction. A chamois cream can help lubricate the areas of the chamois that comes in contact with the labia and vulva, thereby preventing irritation, which can lead to an opening for bacteria to enter. If there isn’t any chamois cream available, a roll-on Vaseline is a good substitute. 

Urinary problems aren’t the end of the world for cyclists. Often, it’s not even the cycling activity that causes these problems; rather, it’s the hygiene practices or lack thereof. Avoiding situations that could cause bacteria to grow and thrive in the urethral opening is the key to staying healthy while cycling. 

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