Can you imagine having to sip urine as a way to diagnose early signs of diabetes?! That’s how doctors used to do it in the old days. Luckily for them, we now have tests that can detect diabetes without having to consume another person’s urine.
What does this have anything to do with how much water someone should be drinking? Nothing really…I just thought it was gross and interesting at the same time!
A simple home test will give you the information you’re looking for. The best part? All you need is a toilet. Just remember what I’m about to say is by no means used to replace seeking medical attention if there is any cause for real concern. Please speak to your doctor if warranted. The 3 main areas will be looked at concerning how to determine the amount of water you should be drinking are:
- How often do you go to the bathroom?
What are you drinking? Coffee, soda or beer for example will actually stimulate your need to go more often which causes an increase in body water loss and that’s not a good thing here. Increasing fruits and certain veggies lowers the need to drink more water. Exercising will cause more fluid loss thru sweat and breathing so urinating approx. 3-4 times per day is a good base line. As I mentioned, interpretation is the keystone to assessing your fluid needs. Remember, everyone is different and so is their body functions.
- What is the color of your urine?
There is a basic range to consider. 1 to 8. Clear water is 1 and the higher the number the darker the urine. Darker urine indicates that you need to drink more water. Our kidneys work to maintain a certain concentration of water in our body. If we haven’t drank enough water, the kidneys will filter out what ever water they can from our urine which puts more in our body’s and makes our urine darker. Under normal conditions a more diluted urine or lighter in color, say similar to weak lemonade would be the goal.
Most rules or guidelines have an exception, and this color scenario is no different. First morning elimination is very often darker in color due to concentrating all night while you were asleep. This is perfectly normal. One other factor that contributes to color variation includes certain foods we eat. Ask anyone who’s eaten beets. That first time look at the toilet will get your heart pumping!
- How does it smell?
There are several different kinds of smells that can be detected as to how your body is processing body fluids and other compounds. If you’ve ever eaten asparagus, you know exactly what I mean here. That noticeable scent in your urine clues you in on what you have consumed within the last 12-16 hours. Excessive protein intake or poor digestion can cause the urine to have an ammonia like aroma. Ammonia is a breakdown by product of protein digestion and is strong and pungent. Normal healthy urine should at best only have a faint smell that disappears in a short time after flushing.
It’s a good thing we don’t have to drink our urine to figure out what might be wrong. We just have to follow these 3 simple observations: Amount, Color, and Smell and adjust according to what we see and smell.