What Does Your Pee Say About Your Health?
We’ve written before how your poop can explain a lot about your health — it turns out pee offers another (hopefully clear) window into how your body is doing. There’s a reason why your doctor asks for those pee samples. We’ve come a long way from when doctors had to taste their patients’ pee to test for diabetes — yes, they actually used to do this.
The color and smell of your pee, along with how often you are going are the three factors you want to keep an eye on as you’re letting your lizard drain. (If you’re the type of dude that gets pee shy, we show you how to put an end to that here.)
Most people pee around six to eight times to day and you’re supposed to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. And no, bubbly drinks with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in them don’t count because they actually work to dehydrate you.
The easiest way to glean important health info from your pee is to check its color in the bowl before you flush. Here’s an explainer on what each color means:
Doctor dudes say you know your pee is right when it’s the color of lemonade or pale straw—almost clear, but not quite.
Nearly two-thirds of your body is made up of water, so it’s built to regulate your water and sodium levels. If something is off in the color or smell of your pee it means one of two things: you ate some colorful food or you’re dealing with a potential health issue.
If your pee is crystal clear, it means you’re probably overhydrated (yes that’s a thing called hyponatremia). In most cases this is fine, it just means your electrolyte balance is a little off. However, if you’re urine is always crystal clear and you’re going thirty times a day you might want to lay off the Pepsi, Fuller.
If your pee is the color of lemon-lime Gatorade, you probably just started taking a daily vitamin or ate asparagus last night. An excess of B vitamins, particularly B12, contributes to the fluorescent yellow color of your pee.
If your urine is a darker shade of yellow or even dark brown, you’re probably dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys become afraid there isn’t any water around, so they conserve water and produce less urine, hence the darker color when you do pee.
Dehydration can cause all sorts of things, like cramping, bad moods, fatigue, headaches, and a lack of short-term memory or focus. The easiest way to counteract this is to drink more water.
No need to worry, orange pee usually means you overdosed on carrots and there’s a lot of beta-carotene going through your system.
It’s understandable if you were to freak out if you saw red pee, but it’s likely just because you ate beets, blackberries rhubarb, or blackberries. The red color should clear up by the next day, but if it doesn’t it could be a sign of a bladder or kidney tumor. The antibiotic rifampin can also turn your pee orangish-red. If you haven’t eaten red foods or taken antibiotics and your red pee remains, you should get it checked out by a doctor dude.
Guys rarely get urinary tract infections (UTIs), but the surest sign of one is that your pee is a cloudy and it's painful to go. This could mean anything from a UTI, a different kind of infection, or kidney stones. Cloudy pee basically means you are peeing out pus, so you should definitely go straight to the doctor.
Just like dropping a deuce, peeing can reveal multitudes about your health. Not only can you instantly monitor your hydration levels and spot more serious health issues such as kidney disease or liver disease, but you can also see all the colors of the rainbow if you eat a healthy diet of colorful veggies.
So remember to look before you flush, and stay fresh out there, DUDES.