We all do it from time to time. After using the restroom, we make a mental note of the color of our urine. As we stroll back to our desks, we begin using that color to diagnosis the current state of our body. Whether or not you knew it, looking into the toilet bowl can be like looking into a crystal ball for health.
Your pee color changes depending on your hydration levels, the foods you’ve eaten, and even from a medication’s side effect. Want to know what your urine color says about your health? Use these quick tips below and you’ll find yourself paying more attention to your pee than you ever thought
If your urine is clear and looks like water, it often means your overhydrated. This is common in athletes and those who are dieting and taking in a lot of water. You likely aren’t doing your body any harm says Jane Miller, MD of the University of Washington, you’ll just wind up spending half your day in the bathroom.
According to urologists, this is the color we should all strive for. A light yellow pee somewhere between clear and the color of apple juice indicates that you are still likely sufficiently hydrated. While it doesn’t mean your health is perfect, it does mean you are in the right area for hydration.
When your pee looks like a bright neon pool, you can blame that on your B vitamins. Vitamin B2 is naturally fluorescent when it is exposed to UV light. It’s nothing to worry about as it’s the result of your body getting rid of excess B2. For those who see the bright yellow pee, many of you likely take a multivitamin or supplement, which is a common cause for the neon pee.
Pee that is brownish-yellow appears similar to apple juice. It is the darkest end of the “normal” urine spectrum. While many interpret this as being super dehydrated, it really just means your pee is super concentrated. Concentrated urine doesn’t necessarily mean dehydration. That said, if your pee is this dark, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab a drink of water as it means your kidneys are working to retain water in your body.
Brown pee indicates myoglobin – a protein found in muscle – is in your urine. It’s most commonly associated with rhabdomyolysis, which is a form of muscle damage that results in the death of muscle fibers. This requires medical attention as it can lead to lasting kidney damage.
Pink or Red
Crimson pee could mean a few things. The least worrisome of those things would be an excessive intake of beets. The pigments in beets are known to turn your pee red. Bloody urine on the other hand is a sign of UTI (urinary tract infection) or urinary stones. These are associated with pain and discomfort. Other things that come with red urine could be kidney, ureter, or bladder cancers. Essentially, red urine without eating beets is worthy of a doctor’s visit to get things check out.