At some point in your life you’ve heard, “Just pee in this little cup…” or some variation of this phrase and complied without question. Can the truth about your health really be revealed filling a cup up to that all-important line? Yes! With just one sample, your doctor can check for high protein levels, an indication of inflamed kidneys; sugar and keotone, signs of uncontrolled diabetes; and even red or white blood cells, which means there is blood in your urine and sign of a possible urinary tract infection or kidney disease.
Yellow is often the color associated with urine, but it isn’t the only shade. Certain medications and your diet can affect the color, but using the colors below will help you decode what your body is trying to tell you and if you need to seek a doctor’s care.
Transparent/No color: You are very well hydrated, maybe even TOO hydrated! There’s nothing wrong with being on your water game this much (you must be taking the Gallon Water Challenge, huh?), but you don’t have to be. It’s okay to cut back a little.
Pale straw color/Transparent yellow: A normal, healthy color for your urine that shows you’re getting enough water. Good job!
Dark yellow: Normal, but you need to start drinking more water SOON.
Amber or honey: Your body isn’t getting enough water. Increase your intake immediately.
Brown ale or syrup: This could be a sign of severe dehydration and possibly liver disease. Increase your water intake and see your doctor if this color persists.
Pink to reddish: Don’t be alarmed just yet! Maybe you’ve eaten beets or blueberries recently, in which case, this tint is normal. However, this color could be a sign of blood in the urine, prostate issues or a UTI. Monitor your diet and check with your doctor if the color doesn’t clear up or is accompanied by pain.
Foaming or fizzing: Excess protein in your diet could cause this and it’s harmless if you notice it occasionally. If this has become your new normal, see your doctor, as this could be a sign of a kidney problem.