The sign when you pee you need to drink more – what colour urine should be
While many people think drinking less will stop frequent visits to the bathroom, Nutritional Practitioner Ali Cullen suggested why you should carry on hydrating.
She said: “If you feel like peeing very frequently, but don’t produce much when you go, this can be a sign that you need to drink more, not less, as your urine is too concentrated and therefore irritating the bladder lining.”
The colour of your urine can change according to how hydrated you are and what you’ve been eating, for example, eating beetroot can make your pee red.
But some colour changes can also point towards an underlying illness and/or infection and should be investigated.
Ali explained: “Typically, healthy urine is light yellow in colour, close to clear, but still with some yellow pigment showing. If your urine is very clear that’s a sign you’re drinking plenty of water and are well-hydrated.”
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Darker coloured urine usually suggests you’re not drinking enough water, said Ali, but it can be indicative of issues with your bile duct, liver disease or a side effect of certain medications.
Cloudy and smelly urine is typically a symptom of a bladder infection such as cystitis.
Ali advised: “If you are otherwise in good health, simply drinking more water and eating more foods with a high water content (such as melon, cucumber) will help to dilute your pee, reducing both odour and colour.
“This will also help to flush bacterial build-up and sediment out of the bladder, working to clear any infection if present. Drinking your water away from meals stops it from diluting your digestive enzymes and causing bloating.
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“Emptying your bladder frequently is important in preventing bacteria from settling.”
Our diets are often full of things that can irritate the bladder, cause inflammation or reduce our immune function and allow infection to take hold.
But eating greens, such as spinach, kale and broccoli, can help.
Ali said: “They are great for your whole body, packed with vital nutrients and they help to support your immune system, which is key when it comes to staring down unfriendly bacteria.”
Many people drink cranberry juice to help with urinary tract infections.
Ali warned: “Whilst cranberries can prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, making it difficult for an infection to take hold, it’s not that simple. Cranberry juice is very slightly acidic and can sometimes irritate the bladder.
“Go too sweet and you feed the bacteria at the root of the infection.
“A cranberry supplement can be a helpful solution to this sweet/sour dilemma: A.Vogel’s Cranberry Complex Tablets provide the equivalent of 7.5g of fresh cranberries per tablet; or you could try Uva-ursi or Bearberry, another bladder-friendly berry that can be used to relieve symptoms associated with urinary tract infections.”
While strongly coloured foods, such as beetroots, can change the colour of your urine, it’s important to note pink or red pee, very dark brown pee, and cloudy pee with foam, can also indicate a more serious underlying problem, such as chronic disease, kidney stones or a prostate disorder, and should always be checked and ruled out by a medical professional.
Ali added: “Peeing very frequently may be a symptom of diabetes, so that should be checked too.
“Equally, if infection symptoms do not improve within seven days, you should also see your doctor or healthcare practitioner.”
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