Since decades, there is a debate about healthy urine color. Most people believe that urine which is clearest is also the healthiest. However; new research is proving otherwise. In this guide, we will discuss what color your urine should ideally be in order to be deemed healthy.
Light yellow or clear: What color should healthy urine be?
Dark yellow urine indicates dehydration in most cases. At least this is the information voiced by majority of scientific publications and doctors all over the world. Sportsmen are also made to keep an eye on their urine color- any darker than ‘normal’ and they are considered dehydrated.The solution in most cases is to drink plenty of water. The thumb -rule here is: drink as much as possible to keep urine clear.However, a new line of thought is calling this practice dangerous. Too much water consumption might help keep your urine clear but it is not a healthy practice. Healthy urine should ideally be light yellow in color and represents a healthy bacterial environment which is favorable to the urinary tract system. The good bacteria also keep the bad ones away and prevent Urine infections.
Even if you are asked to drink tons of water, the urine you produce should still be light yellow in color.
Please note here that dark yellow colored and malodorous urine is unhealthy and a surefire indication that something is not right. Unless you are taking certain medications or vitamin B-complex supplements, dark yellow urine indicates acute dehydration, bacterial bladder infection or even higher level kidney infections or stress.
Water in moderate amounts is a good solution to keep all urinary problems at bay
So what is the way to healthy urine? Yes, you should drink plenty of water but stick to the recommended values as prescribed by experts. Most women are asked to limit their water intake to 2.2 liters or 7-8 glasses a day. Men could consume 10-12 glasses or up to 3 liters based on their activity levels, how much they sweat etc. Adequate amounts of water can relieve stress on the kidneys, since water acts as a transportation medium to remove excess acids from the system. However, more than recommended amounts of water might also flush out the necessary salts leading to Hyponatremia (which translates as insufficient salt in blood) or water intoxication. Many reported cases of people drinking excessive amounts of water (for competitions or bets etc) leading to tragic deaths have proven such water intoxication.
Urinary Infections: How to keep urine at a healthy color?
“My son gets UTIs every 6 months. He also has bed wetting issues”.
“ I undergo bladder infections every month before or after a period”.
“I require antibiotics every now and then when I see cloudy or bloody urine from time to time. This is not healthy. What do I do?”
If these sentences describe you or someone you love, it is time to get your urine analyzed. Your doctor might also suggest these 8 things to keep urine and bladder healthy:
- Let it all out– Do not hold your urine. Make sure you ‘go’ completely each time you urinate. The longer the urine sits in the bladder, the greater are its chances of developing bacteria. Doing this will also keep your urine at the right healthy color.
- Drink plenty of fluids– Just do not overdo it. Target getting at least 6-8 glasses of water (for women) and 8-10 glasses of water (for men) based on how much you sweat or exercise.
- Avoid sugary beverages, caffeinated drinks and sodas –Instead choose sugar free fresh fruit/vegetable juices, green tea (about 4 times less caffeine than coffee) or sugar-free Cranberry juice. All of these can help in keeping urine healthy and of the right color.
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle– People who sit for more than 8 hours a day are likelier to have an unhealthy bladder and also likely to suffer from excess nighttime urination. So make sure you walk or at least exercise the leg/calf muscles from time to time.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol– For healthy urine color, avoid excess smoking and alcohol. The latter can cause urine to be darker as it dehydrates the body.
- Take care after sex- This is especially necessary in women as their chances of developing UTIs go up if they do not pee right after sexual intercourse.
- Avoid acidic foods– Healthy urine is also a sign of a good diet. People who eat or drink acidic foods or beverages are more likely to develop bladder problems like frequent urination, incontinence and bladder infections. Tomatoes and orange juice, for example, are two foods known to cause bladder issues when consumed in excess.
- Avoid drinks before bed time– Based on your individual symptoms, you might wish to avoid fluids at certain times of the day. For example, if you need to go many times at night, it is sensible to avoid drinking water or other beverages 2 hours before bed.
Note that everyone is different and the different urine colors do not necessarily mean that something is wrong. You must definitely watch out for other signs and symptoms. That being said; drastic color changes in urine should be immediately brought to the attention of the doctor.