Is the Color of Your Urine a Sign of Dehydration?

Staying hydrated is integral to your overall health.

Your body’s hydration is one of the utmost important factors in terms of your health. You can go 21 days without eating, but 3-4 days without water and your body will start shutting down. Human beings are made of 60% water, so it’s no surprise that we need it to survive. That being said, 1.75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and many of them don’t know it.

Dehydration is a tricky thing, since the only way to avoid it is to stay hydrated all day, every day. This may not be super realistic for most people, especially when you take into account the dehydrating effects of caffeinated beverages and high sodium foods.

So how do you tell if you are dehydrated?

Why, your urine of course!

The color of your urine is a great litmus test as to your level of hydration. If you are serious about testing this though, you will need to pee in a cup. Toilet water dilutes urine differently depending on the toilet etc.. and there are many different medical conditions that can change the color of your urine. But the general color is a good baseline for deciding if you need more hydration in your life. And if your urine is orange into the toilet bowl, imagine what color it actually is!

Clear Urine: If your urine is always clear, you might actually be over-hydrating. The goal is to aim for clear once in a while, but a constantly clear stream is not necessary.

Pale Yellow: Light yellow means that you are hydrating adequately. If your pee stays this color, stay the course!

Yellow: A bright yellow color means you are hydrated, but verging on dehydration. Your goal is a lovely shade of lemon chiffon.

READ MORE: How to Prevent Dehydration in Children’s Sports

Dark Yellow: Dark yellow urine means you are exhibiting signs of dehydration. Drink more water stat!

Amber: Amber urine is a sign of dehydration and might require a Pedialyte popsicle or two.

Orange or darker: You are dehydrated, and possibly suffering from other potential ailments. Try to rehydrate, but if you urine color doesn’t change, go to the doctor.

It’s our own personal responsibility to monitor our health given the tools at our disposal. You urine is a valuable tool, lol, so keep an eye on it, and drink plenty of water every day.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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