What Does the Color of Your Pee Mean?

What color is your urine - comparison chart for kids

What color is your pee? Have you noticed that your urine (pee) comes out in different shades of yellow? Your urine color (the color of your pee) depends on two main factors:

  • The waste that your kidneys put into the urine.
  • The amount of water that your kidneys put into the urine.

What urine color is normal?

Most people start the day with dark yellow pee because they don’t drink after bedtime. Later in the day, the urine color gets lighter in color after drinking water, sipping soup, or eating juicy fruits.

Light to medium yellow is the goal! This usually means you are getting the right amount of fluids in your body.

Your kidneys make a type of waste called urobilin. Urobilin is yellow, and your body gets rid of it through urine.

  • If you have a lot of water in your urine, it will dilute the urobilin. This will make the urine a lighter color.
  • The urobilin color will be more noticeable if you don’t have much water in your urine. This will make the urine dark yellow, sometimes even a color like honey.

Different colors of pee and what they mean

Your pee color has nothing to do with your hair, eye, or skin color. Instead, urine color is mainly affected by what you drink and eat.

Clear urine might be a sign of too much hydration.

The kidneys get rid of extra water if you drink more than your body needs.

This makes the urine look clear. In rare situations, if the kidneys can’t filter out extra water, the water stays inside the body and causes the cells and tissues to swell up.

Dark urine might be a sign of dehydration.

You could get dehydrated if you don’t get enough water from drinks or food. Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have enough water to work properly.

Water keeps your blood vessels open and flowing. When your body doesn’t have enough water, blood can’t flow as well to the kidneys. As a result, a dehydrated person might make small amounts of dark, smelly pee.

In serious situations, extremely dehydrated people cannot make any pee.

REMEMBER: Drink water when you’re thirsty, especially if you’ve been sweating! Snacking on juicy fruit can help, too.

Pink or red urine might be a sign of blood…or something you ate!

This urine color could be a warning sign of a kidney or bladder problem. But pink urine can often be normal if you eat certain foods. For example, if you eat a lot of beets, blueberries, and rhubarb, these healthy foods can make your urine look rosy.

Urine color experiment for kids

In the hospital, doctors and nurses keep track of how much someone drinks, how much they pee, and the color of their pee.
You can spend a few days keeping track of your eating, drinking, and bathroom habits. Then, write down your answers to these questions:

  • What did you drink today? For example: water, milk, juice.
  • How much did you drink? For example: 4 ounces.
  • What time did you have each drink?
  • What time did you go to the bathroom?
  • What color was your urine at that time? Check the Urine Color Chart to see what color your urine matches.

Learn more about your amazing body!