How to Keep Too-Frequent Urination from Ruining Your Workouts

Gotta Go at the Wrong Time

Restroom Sign and Arrow
Where's the Restroom?. Martin Diebel/fStop/Getty Images

Do you avoid going on a walk, run or hike because you'll need to urinate too often? You don't really have an ongoing bladder control problem, but you don't want to have to look for a toilet or use a porta-john when you are out for a walk. This is a walking excuse that some use to avoid participating in a walking event or going for a walk with other people.

You're Not Alone in Needing to Urinate More Often than is Convenient

How often is too often to need to urinate?

You probably have already defined that for yourself and limited your walks to the time you can go without needing a toilet.

Walking event organizers plan for walkers wanting to have access to a restroom at least once per hour, which is approximately every two to three miles of a walking route. Women, especially, need more frequent restroom breaks, while most men can skip a stop for two hours or more.

Common Causes of Needing to Urinate Frequently

Past pregnancy and childbirth, pelvic surgery, prostate enlargement and prostate surgery, menopause, urinary tract infection and your diet and drinking habits can all contribute to needing to urinate more often than is convenient.

Too-frequent urination may be a sign of diabetes. Tell your medical care provider so you can be screened. Early detection and control of diabetes are essential to preventing the long-term health consequences of the disease.

How Can You Reduce Your Potty Stops on Your Walks?

  • Avoid the known irritants that stimulate your bladder and urethra. These include caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • Avoid non-prescription drugs and supplements that make your kidneys more active and producing more urine: water pills, antidepressants, antihistamines and cough/cold preparations including herbal supplements such as ma huang. Discuss any prescription drugs that may be causing this with your doctor before you change any dosage or timing.
  • Drink a large glass of water one hour before you go on your walk, then urinate immediately before beginning the walk. This ensures that you are well-hydrated but you will have eliminated any extra fluid before you start.
  • Do not be afraid to drink water as you walk - you will be eliminating it through sweat and it will not produce extra urine.
  • Limit coffee and other caffeine to the bare minimum in the 2 hours before you walk. That means no energy drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Urinate immediately before the start of your walk.
  • Double urinate - wait a few seconds after urinating and urinate again to ensure complete draining.

What is Healthy for Urination?

Urination is natural and the sign that you are drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration. If your urine is dark yellow, you are not getting enough water. If it is straw-colored to colorless, you are are drinking enough water. Dehydration is dangerous and unhealthy. Having to urinate is merely inconvenient.

Other Urinary Problems:

Plan Ahead for a Restroom Break

Listen to your body and know how often you will need to urinate. Plan your walking route to include a restroom at the needed interval. When attending walking events and races, ask where the rest stops will be along the route.

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