Certain foods and medications can cause urine color changes, but a serious health condition could also be the culprit, states Harvard Health Publishing. Consult with your physician for a definitive answer. Viewing a urine color chart can help you to determine why your urine has a specific color.
Clear Urine Causes and Implications
Although it may seem like clear, uncolored urine would be most desirable, that's not the case, states the Urology Care Foundation. If your body is well hydrated, your urine should be a transparent or pale yellow shade. If your urine is perfectly clear, you're probably drinking too much water, and you should decrease your consumption.
The Marshfield Clinic expands on that recommendation. When you first urinate in the morning, look for yellow-colored urine that indicates your body is expelling toxins.
If your first urine is clear, you may be drinking too much water, which can negatively affect your body's electrolyte levels and make you feel ill. To correct this imbalance, decrease your water consumption.
It's also possible to have clear urine without drinking water to excess. If you have diabetes insipidus, you're likely to experience heightened thirst and frequent urination, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. Diabetes insipidus symptoms also include colorless or pale urine and higher urine production at night.
Clear Urine and Alcohol Consumption
The Urology Care Foundation states that diuretic medications, which cause increased urine production, can also cause your urine to appear clear. The National Association for Continence also points out that alcohol is a diuretic drug, the taking of which results in higher urine output. Using that logic, alcohol consumption can lead to the production of clear, colorless urine.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine affirms the link between excessive urination and alcohol. For an adult, excessive urination means expelling more than 2.5 liters of urine daily. Your urine output can vary according to the amount of water you consume, along with the total amount of water in your body.
It's also possible to experience excessive urination where you produce clear urine without drinking too much water. If you have low or high calcium levels, or are affected by kidney failure, excessive urination can occur.
Consuming alcohol and caffeine together can also lead to higher-than-normal urine volume. In turn, this can result in clear urine without drinking water to excess.
Read more: Daily Water Intake and Frequent Urination
Urine Color Chart Takeaways
Urine color chart gradations often begin with an almost-clear yellow, indicating that you're well hydrated, says Marshfield Clinic. Dark yellow indicates that you should increase your water consumption or risk dehydration.
Orange pee has three color variations, according to University of California San Diego Health. Light orange pee can signal oncoming dehydration, but could also result from a liver condition, food dyes or B vitamin excretion. Certain medications can cause solid orange pee. Dark orange pee, or even brown-toned pee, could indicate severe dehydration or the onset of jaundice.
Moving through the color spectrum, pink or red urine can result from eating blueberries, beets or rhubarb. A pink or red color can also indicate blood in the urine, symptomatic of a medical condition that merits your physician's attention.
Blue or green urine likely results from a specific medication, while cloudy white urine can indicate blood, pus or vaginal mucus. Occasional fizzy or foamy urine isn't usually serious, but more frequent episodes could indicate the presence of too much protein.
So, what puts you at risk of developing a medical condition that can change your urine color? Per the Mayo Clinic, if you have a family history of kidney stones or kidney disease, you're more likely to develop one of those conditions. Either one can cause blood to appear in your urine.
Kidney or bladder tumors are also a potential cause of blood in the urine, and are found more frequently in older people. If you're a vigorous exerciser, especially a long-distance runner, you might also display urinary bleeding symptoms. If you're worried, consult your physician.
- National Association for Continence: "Could Alcohol Consumption be Contributing to Your Incontinence or Bedwetting Problem?"
- Urology Care Foundation: "Ask the Experts: What Does the Color of My Urine Mean about My Health?"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Red, Brown, Green: Urine Colors and What They Might Mean"
- Marshfield Clinic: "Signs of Urine Trouble: Know the Colors of Urine"
- University of California San Diego Health: "10 Colors That Suggest Urine Trouble"
- Mayo Clinic: "Urine Color"
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Diabetes Insipidus"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Urination: Excessive Amount"