Why Are Coffee & Tea Bad for the Prostate?

The prostate is a gland found in men that is responsible for the secretion of semen. As a man ages, this gland tends to become enlarged, causing pressure on parts of the urinary tract such as the urethra and bladder. As a result, you may experience urinary frequency combined with an inability to fully empty your bladder. A chronically enlarged prostate can also lead to incontinence, pain when urinating and infection. While coffee and tea don't cause an enlarged prostate, they may make symptoms worse.

Increased Urinary Urgency

Drinking coffee and tea, which usually contain caffeine, can cause you to feel like you have to urinate more frequently than if you drink other beverages. Kaiser Permanente explains that if you have an enlarged prostate, it's important to drink plenty of beverages but to also avoid those that contain caffeine like coffee and tea. Eight to 12 glasses of water or other caffeine-free beverages help to clean out your urinary system and may make it easier to urinate.

Increased Urinary Frequency

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Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea can also cause irritation of parts of the urinary tract, including your bladder. In addition, caffeine acts as a mild diuretic that draws water from your tissues and increases urinary frequency. If you're concerned about having to urinate often and not having a bathroom available nearby, don't restrict your fluid intake, which is necessary for prostate and urinary health. Instead, avoid caffeinated beverages that can cause you to have to urinate more often than you normally would with non-caffeinated beverages.

Bladder Irritation

Caffeine is a mild stimulant that can cause irritation of the walls of your bladder. If you have pre-existing prostate problems, you may be experiencing discomfort from pressure on the bladder. In addition, if you are prone to bacterial infections of the urinary system due to an inability to fully empty your bladder, you may also experience pain due to infection. Caffeine can make this irritation and inflammation more uncomfortable by stimulating the lining of your infected bladder.

Increased Pain

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Drinking caffeinated beverages can worsen pain associated with prostate problems. Chronic prostatitis, which is the inflammation and enlargement of the prostate gland, can cause significant pain. This pain can radiate around the pelvic region, depending on the nerves that are affected by the enlarged gland. If infection is present, this too can lead to pain that can be made worse by caffeine.