Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Talking about your pee can be awkward. But actually, the color, smell, and frequency of your pee can tell you a lot about your health. But how do you know what it all means? Clear urine, dark urine, clean urine, smelly urine, even red and blue urine…what is your pee telling you? And how are urine and weight loss linked?
Let’s find out.
What Is Urine?
After you digest food and water, their nutrients are circulated into the blood. Your kidneys carefully filter your blood to remove waste products, excess sugars, salts and water from your bloodstream. They pump them down to the bladder through narrow tubes called ureters. Once the bladder begins to fill up, a signal is sent to the brain that you’ve “gotta go!” The bladder contracts and pushes the urine out through the urethra, a smooth narrow tube.
That’s why we can tell a lot about your health from your urine – it is your body’s way of getting toxins out of your body.
What Does The Color Of My Pee Mean?
You will have probably already notice that the color of your pee changes from day to day, if not hour to hour. You might find that your pee is dark yellow in the morning but becomes clear by lunch time. Or you might notice that your urine has no color at all. Here’s what the color of your pee means:
Okay, don’t freak out. Some medications and food dyes can give your urine a blue-green tint. If you haven’t ingested any of those though, you should probably consider seeing your physician, as this could be a sign of infection.
This can be startling, but again, don’t freak out (yet). Been bingeing on beets or berries? The red compounds in these foods may cause your normally healthy urine color to change! If you haven’t eaten these, however, it could be blood in your urine (hematuria).
Hematuria can be caused by extreme exercise, or a number of serious conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs, especially common among women), kidney infections, liver disease, or even cancer. If you experience anything more than temporarily red urine, you should definitely see your doctor.
Dark yellow pee means you’re dehydrated. You need to drink more water, especially if you want to lose any weight.
It means that you’re not taking in enough water to help your kidneys filter out the trash, so your dark urine is super concentrated with waste products, and there are still more in your body. You may feel sluggish and have low-energy.
You’re getting closer, this is in the “healthy pee” range, but you can do better! The concentration of waste is pretty normal here, but your energy levels may still be suffering. If your pee is this color, you can easily get the benefits of adequate hydration just by sipping some more water throughout your day. Here are 6 Ways to Drink More Water.
Pale Yellow to Transparent
This is what you should be aiming for each day. It means that you’re adequetly hydrated and your kidneys have all the water they need to filter out the bad stuff and keep the good stuff circulating in your system. You’ve probably noticed you’re in a better mood today, and your mind and body are running like the well-oiled (watered?) machine they are.
What Does The Clarity Of My Urine Mean?
You want your urine to be clear, not cloudy. Cloudy or murky urine might be the beginnings of a kidney stone, or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Foamy urine or “fizzy” urine may just mean you have a strong stream (good for you!) but if it is persistent, it could mean kidney damage.
Consistent foamy urine means there is protein in your pee, and is something you’ll probably want to discuss with your doctor.
Should My Pee Smell Bad?
If you’ve ever had asparagus (one of my favorite fiber-rich veggies) you know that sometimes urine has a strong smell. If you frequently notice sweet smelling urine, it could be a sign of diabetes. Foul or musty smelling urine could also mean infection or poor hydration.
Am I Dehydrated?
You’ve probably heard it everywhere: You should drink more water! But 75% of Americans still may be chronically dehydrated!
Water is like “oil to a machine” in our bodies. When we are dehydrated even slightly, our metabolism slows down, and every part of our body operates at a reduced level.
When you give your body the water it needs, it is much easier for the kidneys to flush out all those built-up toxins and keep things flowing smoothly.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to all your fat that you lose, (read: do you pee fat?) a very small percentage of it is actually excreted through your urine. Most is actually exhaled in carbon dioxide!
Signs of Dehydration
- Dry, “cotton” mouth
- Low-energy, especially in the afternoon
- Decreased urine output
- Dry skin
Urine And Weight Loss
So exactly how is urine and weight loss linked? It’s all to do with hydration.
When you’re chasing after your weight loss goals, it’s super important to drink enough water. You do NOT want to get dehydrated. Not only does dehydration makes it more difficult for your body to burn fat, but being dehydrated makes you feel lethargic and tired, which can seriously get in the way of having a good exercise sesh!
Drinking water also helps keep your stomach filled, which can, in turn, help you feel more full and help you to eat less!