“Make sure you pee after sex!” is the common advice for avoiding the nasty burn from a UTI, but it’s not the only thing that can cause this painful infection. At the beginning of a UTI, your cells produce siderocalin, a protein that fights bacteria by sequestering the iron the bacteria feed on. The lower the pH of your urine (the more acid), and the fewer you have of certain metabolites called aromatics, the worse you’ll fare. So, creating an alkaline ph level is essential for staving off a UTI. You can both raise pH (make it alkaline) and increase the presence of metabolites through diet, including calcium supplements, coffee, tea, berries, red wine, dark chocolate, and cranberries.

READ MORE: Surprising Causes of UTIs