Did you know that the color of your urine can be a handy measurement tool for your general health? Yes, assessing the color of your pee can tell you if you’re severely dehydrated, if you’re on medication or if something deeper is going on in your body. The color of your urine will change daily and often hourly so it’s worth to paying attention to it, especially if you have other symptoms as well.
But better let’s analyze the pee color chart we’ve made and see what’s healthy and what requires special attention from a health care provider.
Read on and learn why these colors are happening:
- 100 percent transparent
Although hydration is important, there are people that drink more than the recommended amount of water and that causes a totally transparent urine that misses that yellow hue. So if you’re sleeping on the toilet the whole night or peeing became your full-time job, again you are taking hydration too seriously.
An average adult visits the toilet to pee 4-10 times during the day so if your pee trips are more often, you might have an excess of water in your body. And the problem is that this water is diluting your electrolyte content and in rare cases it can even lead to water intoxication. If you believe that your pee is too diluted, limit yourself to small sips of water until your pee becomes yellow again.
But for most of us, overhydration is not a problem so let’s see what does this pee color chart says when the urine looks:
- Like lemonade or light beer
When the color of your urine looks like a colored lemonade or like a bright shade of light beer, it means you’re well hydrated. In fact, this color should be considered your #peegoal in the pee color spectrum. If you find it difficult to drink water, you can add in your diet fruits and veggies like strawberries, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini or lettuce to increase your hydration level.
- Concentrated amber to copper
If your pee has a darker shade of blond or it looks like amber, you probably need to drink some water. You’re not yet severely dehydrated, but you have great chances to head into that direction. Because your body loses more water than you drink. When this happens the chemicals and minerals in your pee are less diluted and the urine achieves a more concentrated color.
- Light roast coffee to burnt orange
If your urine has a shade of brown and you also experience symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting or fever, you are severely dehydrated. You can easily rehydrate by drinking consistent amounts of water or fluids that are high in electrolytes like a homemade tonic or Gatorade. There are also some over-the-counter solutions like Pedialyte that can help you restore your body’s electrolyte balance.
But to make sure you won’t be in this situation you can always carry with you a reusable water bottle, limit foods that are too sugary or too salty, make your water more appetizing by adding lemon in it, drink enough liquids before workout and limit your intake of alcohol and coffee.
On the other hand, you must know that there are certain foods like rhubarb, aloe, fava beans or foods coloring that can make your pee look burnt orange.
Some medical conditions like porphyria, liver or kidney disease are also causing brown urine so if you experience other symptoms and you know you don’t have a hydration problem, it’s better to consult a doctor to rule out a more serious health problem.
What’s causing my rainbow pee?
Did you ever glanced in the toilet and had a moment of panic when you saw your pee any other color than yellow? We totally get you! So if your toilet bowl looks like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, think if you’ve eaten any of these foods or taken any of these meds:
If your pee color is pink or red wine, it can be a medication related cause, if you took thioridazine (Mellaril), senna (Ex-Lax) or chlorpromazine (Thorazine). Fruits and veggies like blackberries, rhubarb and beets can lead to similar effects but the red color can also be caused by a medical condition like a bladder or kidney issue, an infection of the prostate, a tumor or internal injury.
An orange, copper color can be caused by meds like warfarin (Coumadin), phenazopyridine (Pyridium) and rifampin (Rifadin), can be associated with eating too many fruits or veggies rich in beta-carotene or it can a sign of liver problems or bile duct.
If you pee blue, you might be an alien. We’re joking. You probably took some methylene blue and propofol or some meds that contain amitriptyline, indomethacin (Indocin), cimetidine (Tagamet), and promethazine (Phenergan). Asparagus and food coloring can also change the color of your urine in blue. But it can also be a sign of urinary infection with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
If your urine color is lavender you either have UTI or a highly alkaline urine, either you ate some food coloring.
Sometimes, several sexually transmitted infections, vaginitis or kidney stones can lead to a cloudy opaque urine color.
However, if you suspect your urine color is linked to a medical condition related cause and you also experience abdominal pain, nausea, fever, a frequent urge to pee or vomiting, you should see a doctor because the situation might be more serious than it seems. If your urine is extremely dark, make an appointment as soon as possible to rule out a malfunctioning of the liver.
So, just how much water should I be drinking?
The general guidelines recommend 9 cups of water a day for women and 13 for men. But if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or exercise a lot you might need more water. Never wait to drink water until you’re thirsty but make sure you always have a refillable water bottle close to you. You can also set reminders so ensure you’re getting enough water. The important thing is to always stay hydrated.