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Protagoras's avatar

Why is urine yellow?

Asked by Protagoras (135points) December 28th, 2007

I never drink anything yellow, so why is my urine normally that color? When I drink beverages that are other colors, how do those colors get filtered out and where do they go? Is there any way to change the color of your urine?

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8 Answers

robhaya's avatar

Your Urine is yellow because of pigment called Urochrome. According to the Mayo Clinic Carrot Juice can turn it a tint of orange and B Vitamins can make neon yellow.

Good Luck!

LanceVance's avatar

There was a test the Mythbusters (or was it Brainiac?) made once and they came to a conclusion that if you drink enough water (dunno what amount, about 10 liters I guesstimate), your urine would eventually turn transparent (of course not forever, but for a couple of hours).

hollywoodduck's avatar

I think that there are also some medications that cam make it turn bright green. Also, when you drink so much water that it is transparent, it can be referred to as “fooling the dog”. Because if you are successful, then supposedly a dog wouldn’t know the difference between that and water.

blakemasnor's avatar

methane blue supposedly turns it blue.

Spargett's avatar

The chemical phenolphthalein (found in most eye drops) reacts in heavily acidic conditions (urine) and turns it red. A potentially good prank, but brutal considering it also acts as a laxative.

From what I understand, there’s also some concerns about it being carcinogenic.

gcross's avatar

Two other reasons:

Your blood is being replenished constantly. Old blood cells are broken down by the liver even as new blood cells are generated by your bone marrow. When broken down, the substance that makes blood red is called bilirubin, and when broken down, bilirubin is yellow. This is most obvious in cases of jaundice, where the liver’s ability to break down blood cells is diminished (in cases of old age or liver disease) or not fully functional yet (as among newborn babies). The skin being the #2 backup to the liver begins to turn yellow, signifying that sunlight is helping the skin break down blood cells.

The second reason is dehydration. The less water you consume, the more concentrated your urine becomes. Normal, healthy urine, showing an adequate amount of water in your body, should be nearly colorless. The more intense the yellow, the more dehydrated you are. Remember, your body is primarily water and salt. You need to drink not less than 80 ounces of water daily, and I do not mean liquid, I mean H2O.

(For those seeking to lose weight, increasing water intake up to half one’s body weight in ounces can enable one to lose pounds, even changing no other factor in one’s lifestyle.)

Good reference book is called Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

Actually if you pee when you don`t even feel like you need to it will be clear like water but the longer you hold it the yellower it gets so if you hold it for like 3 hours it could be like a golden/orange color.

ladybrack70's avatar

I have a UTI and have noticed when I urinate, (I am female) there are sometimes a yellowish grainy subtance in the urine.

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