What The Colour of Your Pee Says About Your Health

As Canadian guys, we know not to eat yellow snow. The next time you write your name in a snowbank, however, it’s actually a good idea to double-check the colour of your penmanship. After all, the colour of your pee also happens to be a sign of good health and proper hydration.

What colour is your pee?
What colour is your pee?

See the photo of the four beers above? From left to right, they provide a handy guide for comparing normal, light-yellow urine with the darker hues that could signal more serious health conditions. What kind of conditions? Here’s the scoop:

Light yellow

All good on the urine front. Nothing to worry about!

Dark yellow

You’re healthy, but you should drink some water soon.

Amber or honey-coloured

Darker pee is a sign of dehydration. Get some water into you ASAP.

Very dark, almost brown

You’re likely dehydrated and need to get more fluids right away. As this could also be a sign of liver problems, go see your doctor if it doesn’t lighten up after a day or two.

Crazy colours

If your urine looks like grape juice, pinch yourself. You’re dreaming! (There’s no such thing as purple pee.) But under certain rare circumstances it can come out looking pretty bizarre:

Pink or reddish

Eating beets, blueberries or rhubarb can do this to your pee. You could also have blood in it, which could be a sign of kidney disease, tumours, urinary tract infections, or prostate problems. If you haven’t eaten any of the above foods and your pee is either pink or red, pay your doctor a visit sooner than later.


This could be caused by a food dye, or it could be a sign of dehydration (you know the deal there: drink water). Or, there could be something wrong with your liver or bile duct. Again, visit your doctor if this persists.

Crazy smells

As asparagus-lovers know, some foods can change the odour of pee in surprising ways. If you’re dehydrated, as the colour of your pee may indicate, it can also smell strongly of ammonia.

Catch a whiff of something really off the wall, and you could be dealing with diabetes, a bladder infection, or a metabolic disease. In these cases, you know what to do: make a doctor’s appointment before you impress your buddies with your snowbank signature.

About the Author

Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader's Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN.com and DontChangeMuch.ca.


Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


August 31, 2019

Found the information helpful

Richard Brooks
October 22, 2019

The colour of my urine changes from dark to darker throughout the day with a heavy urine smell usually sometimes it's lighter with no smell but usually urine smell