Urine Color and Dehydration

urine color chart

Believe it or not you can track your body’s hydration levels by monitoring your urine! The color of your urine can reflect how much water your body needs. Dehydration occurs when the body loses water faster than it can replenish the fluids. This is a helpful tool to help athletes or hikers to avoid serious dehydration because the amount of water they excrete is more than usual. Dehydration is a serious issue that can lead to death if not taken seriously. We don’t think about how much water we’ve consumed on a daily basis, but it is rather important to consume about a gallon of water a day. If it is not convenient to monitor the amount of water you are consuming a day, you can easily check by observing the color of your urine.


So what color urine is optimal for proper hydration and health?

To your right is a urine chart with colors ranging from light yellow to brown. The target color we want to reach is shown at the top to be an almost clear or lemonade color. If your urine displays this light yellow color, it is a good sign that you have been drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day and are properly hydrated. When your urine is not a pale yellow anymore but a bright yellow it indicates the first stage of dehydration and at this point, it is important to drink a glass of water soon.

Read Next: Why Drink Water? I am not Thirsty

urine color chart

If you do not replenish your water quickly, your urine will begin to get darker and move from bright to dark yellow, a sign you are entering a stage of severe dehydration which can be detrimental to your health. As water loss continues to exceed water intake, the kidneys begin to conserve water which makes the urine much more concentrated with waste products and subsequently darker in the shade until it reaches a deep brown color. This is a very dangerous stage and you may need to seek medical help immediately.

Symptoms of moderate dehydration

  • Extreme Thirst
  • Dry appearance inside the mouth and the eyes don’t tear
  • Decreased urination in 24 hours (3 or fewer urinations)
  • Lightheadedness that is relieved by lying down

Symptoms of severe dehydration

  • Severe anxiety, confusion, or not being able to stay awake
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Cold, clammy skin or hot, dry skin
  • Little or no urination
  • Lost of consciousness

Water hydration is essential for every aspect of your health, therefore it is important to sip water throughout the day in order to feel good and function properly. Also note that when taking vitamin supplements it may alter the color of urine and you may need to use a different tool to check your hydration.

Read Next: Why Drink Water? I am not Thirsty

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