Are you drinking enough water? Use this handy color swatch and find out!

Today, I’ll be talking about urine. Specifically, the relationship between urine color and hydration. There will be sharing of personal information. If you’re likely to be offended (or having apple juice for lunch) come back tomorrow!

Yesterday, I reviewed GNC’s Women’s Ultra Mega Active Vitapak (you can order yours by clicking on the link in the right sidebar). Near the end of the post, I mentioned that the vitamins made my pee yellower than normal and I responded by increasing my water intake.

Turns out I wasn’t dehydrated at all (I’ll get back to this point later), but some of the comments I received suggested that not everybody knows that a great way to gauge whether you’re drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine.

Urine is produced by your kidneys. It is the end product of liquid digestion and is composed primarily of water (95%), urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and other dissolved ions, inorganic and organic compounds.

It can range in color from pale (‘straw colored’) yellow to dark amber. In general, the paler the color, the better hydrated the body it came from! (Note, some changes in urine color can be attributed to diet, medication and illness. If you suspect reasons other than dehydration for dark colored urine, please see your doctor.)

If your urine looks like this,

or this,

or this,

chances are you need to be drinking more water. How much? Opinions vary, but I feel best (and have the palest pee) when I’m drinking upwards of 75 ounces each day. Sound like a lot? Up your intake slowly and look in the toilet to see if you’re drinking enough!

The urine of a well-hydrated person will look like this,

or this,

or even this,

if you’re taking a high quality multivitamin, like GNC’s ultra mega active vitapak, containing lots of vitamins from the B-complex. (Thanks Wikipedia for the reassurance!).

Explaining why increasing my water intake only resulted in extra trips to the bathroom, rather than a paling of my pee!

What color is your pee?

How many glasses or ounces of water do you drink each day?

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  1. I was almost off my computer to go start supper, but I couldn’t bypass a post with a pee theme! Definitely caught my attention! Not that I like pee, but because I like healthy kidneys. I do well with water, so no problems there. It’s just those frequent trips to the potty that get me…

  2. Never thought I’d see the day when I commented on a pee post, but there you have it! Maybe you could provide combo color swatches so we can see what goes well with our given pee swatch. Ahhh haaaa. Hugs

  3. LOL. But how to tell the difference between the bright yellow of the vitamin induced color vs. the first bright yellow of the non-vitamin? My motto — when in doubt just drink more 🙂 I certainly don’t drink enough water to fall into the OVER hydrated camp.

  4. haha
    apple juice!
    for once I score an A because my pee is clear or almost clear unless that vitamin thing is going on!

    I always know when I’ve been neglecting my water….
    just don’t eat beets and forget to remember THAT color!

  5. I was once told that your urine should be like your criminal record–clear!!

  6. Wow! No TMI with you…or me! My pee is usually on the clearer side because I drink A LOT of water through out the day. Phew! I wouldn’t want to bring any questionable pee swatches to my husband. 🙂 Great info, as always.

  7. Great info… along the lines of tmi, we figured out my boyfriend had Hep A because of the color of his urine. (that is the kind you get from someone preparing your food who has it). The symptoms of Hep A are almost flu-like and there aren’t many cases in the US due to our high food prep standards. I had been vaccinated so I didn’t have it, which is why we visited urgent care three times before they thought to test my boyfriend’s blood because his pee was brownish and his eyes were slightly yellow (they thought it was just a cold-flu). It turns out his liver enzymes were at 10,000 and they should normally be at 40 so they sent us directly to the emergency room. moral of the story: pee color is a good thing to check and know!

  8. Thanks for sharing your post with me! Great idea to put that part about vitamins in there! They always change the color!!

  9. Ok, I see this was written back in Feb of this year, but I just saw it and now I have a question. I have never had issues with the color of my urine with vitamins, it has always been the smell. Vitamins in the bottle have a specific smell, one I loathe. Anytime I take vitamins, I get that same smell in the bathroom. Is this also indicative of dehydration? I started taking the GNC Women’s Ultra Mega yesterday, so I just want to know if this is something I just have to live with or if there is something I can do about it. Thanks. Hope you’re still watching this thread.

  10. Brittney says:

    I started juicing today (extreacting all the liquid from my fruits and veg). I was told this is an amazing way to get plenty of nutrients into my system fast. I drank my first juice which consisted of lots of leafy greens, carrots, and some fruit. Within 30 minutes of drinkin it I needed to pee .. this happened every 20 minutes for about an hour .. so about 3 pees in an hour. my pee was coming out clear .. what im wondering is .. is this a sign that the juicing is working already and pushing toxins out of my body??

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  14. Thanks for sharing such a great post. Everyday, I have to drink at least 3 glass of water, 500ml each. Drinking enough water can help us keep active. However, I don’t drink bottled water, en, just filtered water.
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