Urine has been a useful tool of diagnosis since the early days of medicine. The color, density, quantity, and smell of urine can reveal much about the state of our health. You can use your body as a tool to gauge your inner wellbeing every time you pee.
The color of your pee can be impacted by certain foods you eat, beverages you drink, vitamins ingested, and various internal imbalances. Urine consists of excess water and waste products that your kidneys filter from your blood. Its color usually ranges from pale yellow to deep amber, depending on its concentration — the proportion of waste products to water. Healthy pee is a light yellow/slightly clear color. When your pee is dark amber color – it is usually is a sign you aren’t drinking enough fluids. If one day your urine is on the darker spectrum of what it normally looks like, there’s typically no reason to suspect you are sick. All you need to do is first drink more water.
The clearer your urine is, the healthier you should be. Light yellow to clear colored urine is a sign that your body is properly hydrated, and is typical of those who regularly drink water. However, clear urine can also appear in those who are taking in too much water, and may be dangerously close to over-hydration, or water intoxication. An increase in frequency of urination and larger quantities of, clear urine with a sweet-smell to it can be a sign of diabetes and should open a discussion with your physician.
When you drink lots of alcohol your urine usually turns clear. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases the rate you have to urinate. Because alcohol forces an increase in urination, your body is required to extract water from other organs along with other important electrolytes in your body. This is why too much alcohol makes you sick and leaves you with a bad headache. So if you are drinking a lot make sure you are drinking lots of water too!
Simple guide to decoding other urine colors
Green or blue urine: typically caused by something you ate or medicine you are taking. Asparagus is known to make your pee green and smell.
Red or pink urine: certain foods you ate that are naturally red-beets, blackberries and rhubarb. Some laxatives and prescription drugs may lead to this pee color. If you see blood in your urine consult your doctor for further evaluation.
Orange urine: Certain medications, dehydration and food dyes may cause this, as well as, medical issues involving the liver and bile duct.
Murky or cloudy urine: this can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones. For men, semen left in the urinary tract can also cause urine to be cloudy or murky.
Foamy urine: this doesn’t affect the color or your urine. Excessive foam in your urine may be a sign of ingesting too much protein. If it continues consult your physician.
Knowing your pee color is a good habit to get into. My kids know their pee color. When it is not a light yellow color I get summoned to bring them more water. I am proud that they know how to use their body as a metric for their health. If they can do it so can you!
If interested in more information on the urine chart check out the Viver guide. Enjoy peeing and looking.