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What your urine tells you about your health

dehydration hydration urine

Water

One of the most impactful things we can do to make us live healthier lives is to be well-hydrated. We can do this by monitoring our urine, as it can tell us a lot about our health. We don't have to inspect it closely or anything, a quick glance can give us plenty of clues to work on.

Staying hydrated helps improve every function in our bodies, both physically and mentally. We literally become weaker when we are dehydrated, even slight dehydration can cause us to become tired.

What can our urine tell us and what can we do about it?

Urine Colour

The natural and healthy colour of urine is light yellow, due to the pigment that urine carries known as urobilin. But as we all know, our urine is not always the same colour.

Did you know that the colour of our urine can be used to identify whether we are drinking enough?
This chart can be used to quickly see whether we should increase or decrease our water intake:

Clear Overhydrated
Drink less water
A hint of yellow Healthy
You are drinking enough water
Light yellow Perfect
You are drinking the perfect amount of water
Yellow Slightly Dehydrated
Drink some more water. Might occur after taking vitamin B.
Brownish yellow Dehydrated
Drink a glass of water.
Brown Extremely Dehydrated
Drink a glass of water and make sure to stay hydrated all day.

 

Whilst these are the more "normal" colours that we may encounter, occasionally your urine may appear to be pink/red/orange/blue/green. This can often be attributed to something we ate, such as beetroots or blueberries and also medications/supplements, but it also might be a sign of something else and it would be worth consulting your doctor.

If your urine is red then you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

Regularity

toilet

How often should we be urinating?

Anywhere between 4-10 times a day is perfectly normal, but any less than 4 times a day may be a sign of dehydration, and any more may be either due to drinking too much water or it could be a sign of another underlying problem.

Drinking "too much" water may not sound like such a bad thing, overhydration can cause us to deplete our electrolytes too rapidly which can have adverse effects on our blood, heart rhythm and muscle functions.

Smelly Pee

asparagus

Certain foods/drinks can affect the smell of our urine. Common foods that can affect the smell is fish, asparagus and coffee.

The smell can also be affected by medication/supplements as well, but if there is a smell that cannot be attributed to anything then it is worth raising this concern with your doctor.

Cloudiness

Rarely we may notice our urine appears a bit cloudy, this is not considered normal and again, it is another issue that should be raised with your doctor.


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