Did your pee change color? Here’s what it could mean.
When you think of urine, you think of the color yellow. But did you know urine can actually turn almost every color in the rainbow? Interesting, yes—but certain colors could signal a health problem. Orange, green, pink, oh my! Here’s what all the pee colors in your toilet could mean, and what to do if you see a new hue.
No color / transparent: This could mean you’re drinking too much water. (Yes, it’s possible!) Even though it’s rare (because your kidneys have your back), over-hydration, or water intoxication, can decrease sodium in the blood which can cause an electrolyte imbalance.
Pale / transparent yellow: Urine luck! A light, straw-yellow urine color usually means you’re properly hydrated. Well done.
Dark yellow / orange: If your urine’s yellow hue is getting darker, you might want to boost your H20 intake. If it’s practically orange, this could mean you’re dehydrated. Another cause of orange-colored pee could be from vitamins or eating enough carrots to make a rabbit proud (a lot).
Dark orange / brown: Unless you’ve gone overboard eating fava beans or rhubarb recently, this could be a sign of severe dehydration. Sip some water stat, and call a doc if you feel extra thirsty, dizzy, or tired.
Red / pink: Did you eat beets or blueberries for lunch? That could be the culprit. If not, then it could be blood, which is a major red flag. Blood in the urine could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stones, or less commonly, lead or mercury poisoning. Call your doctor immediately.
Blue / green: Seeing this shade in your toilet may be freaky, but it’s probably just food dye from something you ate. If it lasts for longer than a couple days, check with your doctor—it could be a sign of a bacterial infection or rare genetic disease.
White / milky: This could be caused by bacteria or mucus, or an overabundance of certain minerals. If it has a bad smell, white or milky urine could be a sign of a UTI.
It’s normal for the color of your urine to change occasionally (especially if you’re taking certain medications), but if any color other than “yellowish” sticks around, it’s wise to check with your doctor.
Overhydration. Kenilworth, NJ: Merck Manuals. (Accessed on December 8, 2017 at http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/water-balance/overhydration#v770597)
Dehydration. Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine, 2017. (Accessed on December 8, 2017 at https://medlineplus.gov/dehydration.html)
Urine - abnormal color. Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine, 2017. (Accessed on December 8, 2017 at
10 Colors That Suggest Urine Trouble. San Diego, CA: UC San Diego Health, 2014. (Accessed on December 8, 2017 at https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/Pages/2014-04-21-colors-that-suggest-urine-trouble.aspx)