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Prevention - Kidney stones

The best way to prevent kidney stones is to make sure you drink plenty of water each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.

To prevent stones returning, you should aim to drink up to 3 litres (5.2 pints) of fluid throughout the day, every day.

You're advised to:

  • drink water, but drinks like tea and coffee also count
  • add fresh lemon juice to your water
  • avoid fizzy drinks
  • do not eat too much salt

Keeping your urine clear helps to stop waste products getting too concentrated and forming stones.

You can tell how diluted your urine is by looking at its colour. The darker your urine is, the more concentrated it is.

Your urine is usually a dark yellow colour in the morning because it contains a build-up of waste products that your body's produced overnight.

Drinks like tea, coffee and fruit juice can count towards your fluid intake, but water is the healthiest option and is best for preventing kidney stones developing.

You should also make sure you drink more when it's hot or when you're exercising to replace fluids lost through sweating.

Find out more about preventing dehydration

Depending on the type of stones you have, your doctor may advise you to cut down on certain types of food.

But do not make any changes to your diet without speaking to your doctor first.

Page last reviewed: 30 April 2019
Next review due: 30 April 2022