You may have read the book Everyone Poops, well everyone pees too and the color of your pee could have important implications about your health. Let this be your number-one guide to number one!
You might be tempted to think colorless urine is a mark of a well-hydrated body, but it’s actually a sign that you might be over-hydrated. That’s right! There is such a thing as drinking too much water. Over-hydration can lead to “hyponatremia” which is science talk for a relatively low salt-to-fluid ratio in your blood stream. You can even die from it, so be careful when you’re downing nalgene-fuls of H2O before hot yoga.
Ah, nice watery yellow color is the “Goldilocks” (pun very much intended, thanks) of pee color ranges—not too yellow, not too clear. When you’re going number one, this mid-range is what you want to aim for (again, pun intended). A pale, yellow color indicates you’re properly hydrated, but not overly so. If you see this in the bowl, congrats!
Bright yellow is good too, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Sure, maybe you could probably stand to drink another glass of water, but it’s not an emergency or anything. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back (after you wash your hands).
Dark yellow is ok! Definitely nothing to panic about, but maybe stop by a water fountain on your way back from the rest room. Dark yellow could indicate you’re slightly dehydrated, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Amber or honey:
If you’re seeing amber or honey when you go to the bathroom, don’t panic. This darker color yellow could mean you’re dehydrated, but urine colors also depends on factors like diet, so don’t worry about it too much. Again, having some sips from the water fountain on your way back could be a good move.
DANGER! Unless you’ve eaten a bunch of beets lately, red could mean there’s blood in your urine. While this isn’t necessarily a medical emergency, it could indicate infection, kidney stones, or worse. Definitely go to the doctor for this one, but don’t stress yourself out too much. Blood in the urine can actually be a result of strenuous exercise and/or a benign respiratory infection.
If your urine is blue you’re in a diaper commercial. Ok, that’s a joke, but there IS a real thing called “blue diaper syndrome” (familial hypercalcemia if ya nasty). That’s when the body fails to completely breakdown tryptophan (the amino acid that’s falsely credited with putting people to sleep after Thanksgiving). Food dyes can also turn your urine blue, so consult a doctor and maybe lay off the Mountain Dew.
Dark brown or black:
If your urine is starting to look like all the coffee you drank to produce it, that could be a problem. It might be something completely benign like too much fava beans and rhubarb, or a side-effect of medication. But dark urine can also be a sign of copper or phenol poisoning. Still, it’s best to consult a doctor if your #1 looks more like #2.