What Does It Mean When Your Pee Is Clear – Medical Review by Carissa Stevens, RN, CCRN, CPN – By Ginger Vojcik – Updated December 27, 2019
The good news is that you don’t have to get your hands dirty when you pee in a cup. After urinating, you can judge the color just by looking at the toilet. (Don’t worry if the paint is a little diluted with toilet water. The gauge is still very useful.)
What Does It Mean When Your Pee Is Clear
You probably notice color changes daily, and often hourly. So what is good for health and what should be considered? We’ve put together this handy urine color chart to stop you wondering.
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It’s important to drink enough water every day, but you can overdo it. If your urine is completely clear and not yellow, you are probably drinking more than the recommended amount of water.
Also, if peeing has become your main job, this is another sign that you’re having a hard time staying hydrated. It is normal for the average adult to urinate 4 to 10 times in a 24-hour period.
The reason you want to avoid overhydrating is that excess water dilutes your body’s electrolyte content. Although rare, it can lead to water poisoning.
But the vast majority of us don’t need to worry about this level of overhydration. As a general rule, when overhydrating, limit yourself to small sips of water until your urine turns yellow.
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Urine from lemon to a lighter color, like light beer, means you are completely dehydrated. We like to think of this part of the urine spectrum as our #target. (That’s right, come on, brag!)
Drinking water is the most obvious way to stay hydrated. But did you know that fruits and vegetables are also great sources of water?
When your urine turns yellow or darker, it’s probably time to drink some water. Although this part of the spectrum does not represent dangerous levels of dehydration, you can move in that direction.
When your body loses more water than it takes in, it starts to hold onto water. With less water to dilute them, the minerals and natural chemicals in your urine become more concentrated and richer in color.
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If your stool is dark brown or orange, it’s time to pay attention, because you are most likely severely dehydrated.
Vomiting, diarrhea and fever cause the body to lose water quickly and are common causes of dehydration. Fortunately, most healthy adults can easily stay hydrated by consistently drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids.
Keep in mind that while bottled water and milk contain small amounts of electrolytes, you may need something more concentrated, such as Gatorade or homemade tonic water, to adequately rebalance your body’s electrolytes.
For children who are dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic recommends treatment with over-the-counter oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte.
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It’s also possible that something you ate recently is causing the brown urine. Some foods that cause brown urine include:
We expect our urine to be yellow in some way. So when we look at the toilet and see any other color, it can be scary for a moment.
Before you jump to some weird conclusion about why your toilet looks like a bowl of pieces of fruit, take a moment to think about the new food you’ve eaten or the medication you’ve taken.
Amitriptyline, indomethacin (Indocin), cimetidine (Tagamet), and promethazine (Phenergan); Also methylene blue and propofol (although these are rarely used outside the hospital setting).
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Suspicion, uncertainty, and unusual colored discharge that cannot be attributed to food you recently ate or medications you are taking are good reasons to see a doctor.
However, experts stress that you should make an appointment sooner if your urine is very dark or orange, as this could be caused by a malfunctioning liver.
The current daily recommendation is approximately 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men. But keep in mind that this is just a general recommendation.
Factors such as age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, air temperature and level of physical activity affect how much water you need.
O T T What The Color Of E Your Pee Says About Your Health Clear Or Light Yellow
If you put off drinking until you feel thirsty, you may have missed the mark. Having a reusable water bottle handy is a good way to make sure you’re getting enough water. You can remind yourself to drink between tasks or at other times, such as during commercial breaks or a new episode of a show. If you are in a place where the weather is very hot or dry, or if you are breastfeeding or doing a lot of physical activity, be sure to apply a little more pressure.
Answers reflect the opinion of our medical experts. All content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
It has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed research, academic research institutes and medical societies. We avoid using third party links. You can learn more about how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial guidelines. The color of your urine changes depending on your hydration level, but it can also change due to pigments in food or certain medications. Some color changes may indicate a medical condition that requires medical attention.
Doctors call the standard color of urine “urochrome”. Urine naturally contains a yellow pigment. When you stay hydrated, your urine will be bright yellow and almost clear.
Things That Can Cause Bright Yellow Or Green Pee
If you are dehydrated, you will notice that your urine turns dark amber or even light brown.
The color of your urine can vary depending on what you eat, what medications you take, and how much water you drink. Many of these colors fall within the range of what “normal” urine might look like, but there are times when unusual urine colors can be cause for concern.
Although dehydration is good, drinking too much water can deplete your body of electrolytes. Urine that sometimes appears clear is not a cause for alarm, but urine that is always clear may be a sign that you need to reduce your water intake.
Clear urine can also indicate liver problems such as cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. If you drink little water and have clear urine, you should see your doctor.
Urine Color Chart: Here’s What Your Pee Color Means
Light yellow to deep amber color. Orochrome pigment naturally dissolves in urine when drinking water.
Urochrome breaks down hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells. In most cases, the color of urine depends on the dilution of this pigment.
A condition called benign familial hypercalcemia can also cause blue or green urine. Your urine may show low to moderate levels of calcium and may be altered if you have this condition. Many people with this genetic disorder have no symptoms that they are aware of.
Symptoms of kidney failure can be dark red urine, which can mean blood in the urine or cloudy urine.
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Clear urine usually means you are healthy and getting enough fluids. If your urine is a different color, it could mean you’re dehydrated, have an underlying medical condition, have a side effect from a medication, or it could just be something you ate. If you are concerned, and especially if you have other symptoms, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Cloudy urine can be a sign of diabetes. Your urine also usually has a sweet or fruity smell due to the sugar that builds up in the urine.
In most cases, abnormally colored urine is simply the result of dehydration, food intake, or medication side effects. Urine should return to its original color within 2-3 days after the abnormal color is detected.
If your urine is cloudy, brown, blue, or green and does not turn a pale straw color, make an appointment with your doctor.
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It has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed research, academic research institutes and medical societies. We avoid using third party links. You can learn more about how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial guidelines.
Our experts constantly monitor the health and wellness space and update our articles as new information becomes available. There is no better relaxation than peeing, especially after a long delay. But urinating isn’t just about going to the toilet and expelling liquid.
This chart from the Cleveland Clinic shows what your urinary habits say about your health. The color, consistency and smell of urine are important, and the table below shows that different colors indicate your health.
The average person urinates up to eight times a day, and according to the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, adults typically excrete about 1.4 liters of urine per day. If this applies to you, or if you urinate more often, you are probably dehydrated and passing clear fluids. Ideally, urine should be yellow, but dark urine means you can increase your water intake.
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Things get a little weird when your pee looks like coke. A brown or syrupy appearance may indicate liver disease. Pink or red can mean this.
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