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Over the last few years, I’ve become particularly UTI-prone. My gynecologist hasn’t really been able to give me answers as to why this has occurred. So far, I’ve just had to take as many preventative measures as possible. The usual culprits such as not peeing after sex or not drinking enough water are bad habits I’ve remedied, but I still feel that familiar twinge of bladder irritation about once a month.
Enter CRANEL. This super-shot cranberry supplement was sent my way, and initially, I thought, “I already take these.” But CRANEL is more than your usual drugstore UTI preventative. With 3,000 cranberries packed in a single shot — it’s the equivalent of drinking 60 liters of cranberry juice — this supplement is a step above. Beyond flushing out UTI-causing bacteria, the shot comes with myriad other health benefits. It balances your vaginal pH, acts as a probiotic for your digestive tract, and can even make your skin glow with its antioxidant properties.
I tried my first shot of CRANEL to see how it would help my (apparently very) sensitive urinary tract.
How Does CRANEL Work?
Described as a “one stop shot” on their site, a single capsule shot means you’re getting 500 milligrams of proanthocyanidins (PACs), the active ingredient in cranberries that inhibits the growth of UTI-causing bacteria. Studies show that for a supplement to be effective, it needs at least 36 milligrams of PACs, which many cranberry supplements do not have. This means that in a single shot, you’re consuming just over 13 times the suggested amount to fight UTIs. Despite being packed with cranberry goodness, there’s no added sugar and it only has 17 calories.
The health benefits of this cranberry super-shot extend beyond your urinary tract. Cranberries are high in antioxidants and unique plant compounds that have numerous health benefits, including reducing/protecting against free radicals, repairing body tissue, reducing chronic inflammation, and promoting the formation of collagen. The fruit is also bioactive (similar to yogurt), which means it’s good for your gut health. To ensure they extract the full benefits of the cranberry, they also use the whole fruit, including the skin and seeds.
Trying My First CRANEL Shot
My first box of shots — the Feel Fresh Bunch — came at an ideal time. I was on the last two days of my period, a time when my pH feels out of whack and more acidic. It’s also warming up in New York, and running around the city sweating had me feeling less than fresh. My body was very ready to try my first shot.
Small thing, but I loved the design of the capsule; it looks sleek, almost futuristic. Taking my first sip, I was immediately impressed by the taste. The shot wasn’t nearly as bitter as I expected, given that it had almost no sugar. The CRANEL shot is unsweetened, but in a way that tastes light and refreshing — similar to a juice or herbal iced tea.
Does It Work?
I paid attention to how I felt the weekend after my first shot. CRANEL seemed to be doing its job. During that post-period time when I would be prone to UTIs, my vagina stayed feeling balanced and irritation-free. There was a moment or two after sex when I began to feel that familiar twinge of bladder irritation, but it went away quickly.
Last month, I had to treat a case of bacterial vaginosis (BV). This meant a week of antibiotics and no drinking — during a friend’s wedding weekend nonetheless! — so I’m actively trying to avoid a recurring case. This was why CRANEL also stood out to me. BV happens when the bad bacteria outnumbers the good bacteria in the vagina. The ingredients in these shots not only inhibit UTI-causing bacteria, the low pH of the cranberries can also bring down your pH if it’s too high. The bioactive shot also contains lactobacilli, the good bacteria that balances your vaginal flora. I appreciate that these shots truly are all-encompassing support systems of vaginal health.
Glowing Reviews From Other Users:
Aside from my experience, other users had high praise:
“I have had numerous bladder infections, leaking bladder, constant urinating particularly at night. Since I have been taking Cranel it has all stopped. It has changed my life. Thank you Cranel 👏👏” — Anonymous
“The four pack attack has helped big time with my UTI’s. I haven’t had one since I’ve started using!” — Julia S.
“I have been getting recurrent UTI's for years and nothing seems to help long term, I have tried EVERYTHING. I started taking the weekly Cranel shots five months ago and literally haven't had a UTI since.” — Allahna C.
Taking The Test
A few days after my first CRANEL shot, I tried one of the FDA-approved pH test strips. The two-step instructions are “jargon-free,” though, admittedly, this part was a little vague for me. I hadn’t used a pH test strip before, and I wasn’t quite sure I was applying my sample correctly to the strip. According to the color chart, it appeared that my pH was somewhere between 5.0 and 6.0. This wasn’t quite the 4.0 — an ideal vaginal pH level — I wanted, but I wasn’t surprised considering I was finishing my period. Period blood has a higher pH level of 7.4.
Is It Worth It?
If you’re prone to UTIs, like I am, CRANEL really may be worth trying. For $48 a month, the Feel Fresh Bunch — four weekly shots plus pH test strips — will be delivered to your door on whichever day you choose. And this month, you can use the code “HOT22” for a 15% discount on your first month.
If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription, you can order packs individually, like the Four Pack Attack or the Happy Health Haul that come with pH test strips and UTI test strips. It might be one extra thing to factor into my budget each month, but if it keeps me UTI-free, it’s an expense I’m more than happy to add.
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