What The Colour of Your Pee Says About Your Health

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.

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 colour should your urine be? Here’s the scoop:

What urine colour indicates

Light yellow: All good on the urine front. Nothing to worry about! If you like, celebrate with a campfire…

Dark yellow: You’re healthy, but you should drink some water soon. Why? Keep reading…

Amber or honey-coloured: Darker pee is a sign of dehydration, which means you should drink some water ASAP. Water controls your body temperature, after all, as well as keeping your bowels regular, carrying nutrients throughout your body, and even cushioning your organs and joints. If you lose more fluid than you take in, you can get dehydrated, and this can impact your blood pressure, give you a terrible headache, and in extreme cases, shut down your vital organs! Need another reason to down some H2O?

Very dark, almost brown: You’re likely dehydrated and need fluids right away. As this could also be a sign of liver problems, see your doctor if it doesn’t lighten up after a day or two.

Orange or red urine causes

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, tumors, 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.

Orange: This could be caused by a food dye, or it could be a sign of dehydration. Or there could be something wrong with your liver or bile duct. Again, visit your doctor if this persists.

Smelly urine in men

As asparagus-lovers know, some foods can change the odor 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 type 2 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. More than 100 different tests can be done with your urine, so it’s worth getting checked out.

What’s the colour of your pee last time you checked? Share your findings in the comments below!

This article was originally published on March 1, 2018.

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What Bike Should You Get? Different Types of Bikes Explained

What Bike Should You Get? Different Types of Bikes Explained

So you’ve decided to take advantage of the many benefits of riding a bike. Well played, sir, well played. There’s only one tiny problem: you don’t own a bicycle or yours has collected dust and you’re curious to know if it’s still the right bike for you.

We can help you figure out what type of bike you should get now that you’re in the market. It depends mainly on the kind of rider you are, but it breaks down broadly, as shown below. Read on to find out the different types of bikes explained to figure out which type will work best for you.

Utility Bikes / Fixed Gear

The priority is simply getting from A to B, rather than racing or heading off-road. Utility bicycles feature an upright riding position with curved handlebars positioned higher than the saddle.

Benefits

These are the most comfortable, easy-going rides on this list. Not flashy, just practical.

Drawbacks

Because they usually feature only a few gears — and often have none at all — utility bikes aren’t ideal for hilly rides.

Buying tip

With mountain bikes and road bikes being so popular in Canada, these straightforward machines can often be found second hand on the cheap.

Mountain Bikes

Originally designed for off-road riding, these durable, knobby-tired bikes typically include at least a dozen gears for climbing and often feature suspension systems on the frame and/or fork. Because the handlebar is straighter and lower than that of utility bikes, the riding position is more crouched.

Benefits

These bikes can handle a wide variety of terrain and provide extra comfort on rough roads. Potholes, curbs and paths are not an issue on a mountain bike.

Drawbacks

Unless you intend to take them off road, the extra weight and more aggressive riding position of mountain bikes may seem overkill.

Buying tip

Mountain bikes are perhaps the most widely available and popular type of bike in Canada, with prices ranging from less than $200 (new) to more than $2,000. If you’re looking for a decent mountain bike that you plan to take off-road, you’ll likely need to spend at least $600.

Road Bikes

Road bikes are the ones you see in big races like the Tour De France: seats are high, curved handlebars are low, and tires are skinny.

Benefits

If speed is your top priority on smooth, paved roads, a road bike is what you need.

Drawbacks

The aggressive riding position means road bikes are not especially comfortable or easy on the body. Also, potholes and bad pavement will most definitely chew up a road bike.

Buying tip

Before the rise of mountain bikes, steel-framed road bikes were the most popular type of recreational ride. For that reason, you can find surprisingly high-quality road bikes at yard sales or online.

Hybrid Bikes

This relatively new type of bike combines select attributes of all three of the styles above: the more upright position of the utility bike, the generous gearing of a mountain bike, and the narrower tires of a road bike, although a range of tire widths are available.

Benefits

Fans of hybrid bikes will say they combine every bike type’s best features in something fast yet comfortable.

Drawbacks

Because they are relative newcomers to the biking scene, it can be hard to find inexpensive second-hand hybrids.

Buying tip

It’s fairly easy to turn a mountain bike or road bike into a hybrid by swapping out the tires, changing the handlebars, etc.

Electric Bikes

E-bikes are gaining popularity these days. They help you get to where you’re going faster, they make going up hills a breeze, and you still get in some good exercise. What’s not to love about that? E-bikes are bicycles with battery-powered assistance. They accelerate quickly and make you feel more powerful. When you push the pedals, a small motor engages and gives you a boost. You control your speed just like with a regular bike, by using your feet.

Benefits

This helps you get where you’re going without needing to shower once you get there. They are particularly beneficial to people living in hilly areas.

Drawbacks

Electric bikes are pricey, and maintenance is also more expensive than a regular bicycle.

Buying tip

Consider what your needs are to make sure you get the right kind of e-bike. Also, note that most bikes over $2000 should come with a two-year warranty. A good warranty is recommended, especially since it’s a pricey investment.

Do you have any buying tips you’d like to share with our readers? Please share them below in the comments.

This article was originally published on July 12, 2016.

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The best way to work in a workout? Bring a buddy!

The best way to work in a workout? Bring a buddy!

What do Lethal Weapon and Die Hard have in common?

Besides being awesome action movies, they’re both about guys working together to beat the baddies.

Teaming up with a friend is good for more than taking out evil masterminds. It’s also a great way to get some exercise. In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study found that enrolling at a gym and working out with a friend produced more weight loss than going it alone.

Two buddies setting out for a walk

If gyms aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to buddy up and work out. Here are three easy ideas that don’t cost a thing:

  • Grab a frisbee, football or tennis racquet from the garage and make good use of the parks and courts your tax dollars pay for.
  • Instead of meeting your buddies at the pub for a beer, meet outside the pub and go for a half-hour walk, run or bike ride. That way, the pint you have afterwards will taste that much better!
  • When it’s your turn to walk the dog — man’s best friend, right? — take a detour up a hill or through a local park and turn the stroll into a hike. Meet up with a fellow dog-walker along the way, and hey presto: You’re practically a club!

Another benefit to these ideas: Not one of them requires a stunt double.

How to get fired up about weight loss

How to get fired up about weight loss

Use family snapshots, sexy selfies and tight T-shirts as motivation

Picture a bunch of cavemen sitting around a campfire. One of them starts grunting about how he’d love to hunt, kill and eat a wooly mammoth. “Ugh!” his buddy replies. “Ugh ugh, ugh ugh-ugh-ugh.”

Translation: Easier said than done.

The idea that wanting to do something is easier than doing it is old as time. It certainly comes up whenever we set out to drop a few pounds. The good news: The motivational tools you need are right inside of you.

Tip 1: Find your inner fire

Ask yourself a simple question: “Why do I want to lose weight?” The answer here should be all about you. Don’t worry, you’re not being selfish: Studies show you have a better chance of weight-loss success if you want to improve your own health, rather than giving in to outside pressure.

There are so many awesome answers. Maybe you want to turn heads on the street, in your kitchen, or at an upcoming class reunion. Or how about rocking that T-shirt like it’s 1999? Maybe it’s about having more energy to play with your kids, have fun with your buddies, and get busy with whoever notices that new physique. Last but definitely not least, how about living longer — for you and for your loved ones — and enjoying time with them more. To learn more about the amazing benefits of weight loss, click here.

Tip 2: Use your “why” as motivation

Enjoying a longer life with loved ones is a popular reason for losing weight — and rightfully so — but isn’t seeing them in person enough? Thing is, your kids probably aren’t around at work, and your significant other may not be there for the morning commute. So here’s an easy tip: Find a photo of the brood and use it as your screensaver at work or as the background image on your phone. Then, when you feel those junk food cravings coming on, or want to take the elevator instead of the stairs, simply glance at the screen. (This also works with sexy selfies. Just don’t use them at work!)

Likewise, if rocking a tight tee is your goal, find a few you like and use them as reminders. Hang one on your bedroom mirror, drape another over your chair at work, wrap a third around the headrest in your car, you get the idea. In moments of weakness, simply look to the shirt! (Or to the jeans you want to wear to that class reunion, or to the beer-league jersey that used to fit…again, you get the idea.)

With your “why” front-and-centre you’ll never lack for motivation. Then, when you reach your weight-loss goal, you can celebrate like caveman. Mammoth steaks, anyone?

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Grilled Broccoli: Tasty and Good for You, too!

Grilled Broccoli: Tasty and Good for You, too!

It’s barbecue season. Do you crave that smoky flavour, but want to maintain a healthy diet?

You can have both with our grilled broccoli recipe. Crunchy, delicious, grilled to perfection… you’ve never had veggies like these before!

And broccoli is high in calcium, too. Eating broccoli is an excellent way to prevent osteoporosis in men, a disease that affects bone density and increases the risk of fractures. Maintaining a healthy diet as a young adult helps reduce the risk of developing problems related to osteoporosis later in life.

Want to avoid fractures? To the grill, fellas!

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + extra for the grill
  • 2 large broccoli heads (1 cm trimmed off the end and stem peeled)
  • 1/4 cup grilled peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Seasoning Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (available in grocery stores)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your gas or charcoal grill. Using tongs and an oil-soaked cloth, wipe the grill with oil to prevent food from sticking.
  2. Combine fish sauce, brown sugar and lime juice in a bowl and blend or whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Cut broccoli heads into 8 cm florets, leaving stems long. In a large bowl, toss broccoli and oil. Add a pinch of salt. Toss again.
  4. Cook broccoli on the hottest section of the grill. Turn over occasionally until tips are blackened and florets are al dente (which means cooked and firm – still has some crunch). Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Pour seasoning over the broccoli. Garnish with chopped peanuts and basil. Add salt to taste.

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