What the Colour of Your Urine Is Telling You

What the Colour of Your Urine Is Telling You

Last update: 12 June, 2015

Not all urine is created equal. Not all urine has the same colour and not all urine smells the same. The colour, volume, density, and odour of your urine can reveal underlying health problems and while the colour and smell of urine will vary during the course of your life, it is important to be aware of any drastic or unusual changes. Although most of us don’t think about checking out the smell and colour of our urine every day, there are few changes to look for. For starters, here is a list of what to look for when it comes to the consistency, colour, and odour of your urine.


If your urine is clear, this is usually a sign that you have been drinking plenty of water and are properly hydrated. It should also be absent of any type of strong odour. If you notice that you have been urinating frequently throughout the day and it is completely transparent, in some cases this could be a sign that you are over-hydrated and drinking too much water. Health experts say that a pale straw palate is the optimal colour that you should be looking for in your urine secretions. This is a sign that you are well-hydrated and healthy.

urine 2

Dark yellow

When your urine shows up in the toilet bowl as a dark yellow colour and has a hint of a sour odour, this is usually do to not being properly hydrated. Drinking coffee in the morning can also contribute to a pungent sour smell and dark yellow hue. If you find that your urine is consistently dark yellow and strong smelling on a daily basis try drinking more water. If you still suffer from dark yellow urine, consult your GP.

urine 3

Pink or red

Sometimes foods such as beets or blueberries can cause your urine to come out of your system with a bright-red to pinkish hue. It is important to be aware of the foods you have recently consumed to decipher whether the bright-red or pink colour in your urine is merely due to the hue of tinting foods. If not, you could be noticing blood in your urine which could signify a number of underlying diseases. A bright-red or pink hue in your urine can also be a sign of kidney disease, urinary tract infections, or if you are a man, prostrate problems. If you have not recently consumed urine-tinting foods such as beets, blueberries, or rhubarb, make sure you get your urine checked out and analysed as soon as possible.

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Orange urine

Sometimes orange urine solely indicates that you are not drinking enough water. In other cases, it can signify liver problem. In some cases, if you are on medications such as phenazopyridine that are commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, they could be dying your urine a dark orange colour. B complex vitamins or recent laxative use or abuse can also tint your urine an orange colour.

urine 5

Cloudy or milky

When your urine shows up in the toilet bowl in a cloudy or milky consistency with a strong odour, it could be a sign of a moderate to serious urinary infection. A milky consistency can be a sign of bacteria in your urinary tract. If you notice any of these symptoms it is best to get a urinalysis, as urinary tract infections that generally begin in your urethra or bladder can travel up into your kidneys and cause a painful kidney infection.

When to get a urinalysis

Finding a darker yellow hue in your urine is the most common symptom of natural urine excretion and is generally due to dehydration. If you notice that your dark yellow urine is relieved by drinking more water, then you are probably fine. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is wise to get your urine sampled immediately. Although it may seem embarrassing to talk about your urine with your GP, it is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Your body will thank you in the long run.