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7 Foods That Make Your Pee Smell (Is This Good Or Bad?)

Today’s blog is republished from my friends at TheAlternativeDaily, a leading publisher of daily alternative health tips that I personally read every day…

By Sarah Cooke,

For many of us, it may seem a little gross to talk about, but our urine can actually tell us some important things about our health and the foods we’re eating. One of the factors to pay attention to is the way urine smells — which can be related to our dietary choices. Here are a few examples.

1. Asparagus

This is probably the food most widely known for changing the way our urine smells. So how can we explain this phenomenon? Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, which the body converts into chemicals that contain sulfur. This is what causes the odor. The sulfur-containing molecules are volatile, meaning their boiling point is low enough that they can vaporize at room temperature. That means when we urinate, they convert to a gaseous state and we’re able to smell those gasses.

Some believe the odor is related to sulfur-containing fertilizers used on asparagus, as well. Moreover, it appears that some of us can smell the sulfur in our urine, while others cannot. Researchers are still trying to explain this, though it may be due to genetic factors.

2. Coffee

Have you ever had the experience of drinking coffee, then heading to the restroom only to have your urine smell — well, kind of like coffee, only stronger? Experts believe that this happens because coffee is a diuretic and it makes you need to urinate more frequently. As a result, the uric acid, chemicals and vitamins may be more concentrated in the urine, leading to a more pungent odor. Also, experts think that the insoluble oil released by coffee beans when they’re roasted may affect the odor of the urine, as well.


3. Alcohol

Like coffee, alcohol can have a dehydrating effect. This concentrates the compounds in the urine, which can sometimes impact the odor of the urine in a similar way. You may have noticed this after a night out with a few too many drinks. Yikes!

4. Garlic

Most of us are aware of the fact that eating garlic can lead to bad breath. But it can sometimes affect the odor of your urine, as well. This is the case because it contains methyl mercaptan, the same sulfur compound that causes smelly urine when we eat asparagus.

5. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are often viewed as a highly nutritious food. And that’s true! Many of us love them and others hate them with a passion. But whatever side you fall on, be aware that they can change the odor of your urine. They contain the same sulfur compound as both garlic and asparagus. It’s pretty nasty stuff — at least when it comes to smelly pee!

6. Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and has a number of health benefits. One of the potential downfalls, however, is that it may change the smell of your urine. This is because it contains vitamin B6. Keep in mind, this is a good thing, as the vitamin is an important part of a healthy diet. However, consuming large amounts of the vitamin may make your urine smell a little strange. Some people report having the same experience when taking vitamin B6 supplements.

7. Bananas

To many of us, bananas may seem like a pretty benign food. But, like salmon, they’re rich in vitamin B6. Therefore, they alter the odor of urine. This, of course, is more likely to happen if we eat larger amounts of bananas (or banana-containing foods) than if we simply eat a few banana slices on our oatmeal in the morning.

Is a change in urine odor a sign of health issues?

These are just a few of the foods that can impact the way our urine smells. There is significant evidence — both demonstrable and anecdotal — suggesting that many more foods have a similar effect.

So, is it a good thing or a bad thing when the smell of our urine changes? The answer is: it depends. If it is simply the result of eating asparagus, for example, then it probably has little impact on our overall health and it is not something we should be concerned about.

However, in some cases, the odor of our urine may say something more significant about the state of our health. For example, a change in odor may be a sign that you have a urinary tract infection. It’s also believed that very sweetly smelling urine may be a sign of diabetes.

What about color changes?

Changes in the color of the urine may be benign. Not drinking enough water during the day, for example, can make the urine a brighter shade of yellow. Once you notice it, stay hydrated and you’ll be fine. Certain foods like beets can give the urine a dark, purplish-red appearance. This can be alarming since it resembles the color of blood. However, it’s completely harmless.

Sometimes a change in color may represent something about the state of your health. Urine that’s consistently dark in color, for example, may be a sign of hepatitis.

Oftentimes a change in the color and odor of your urine is simply a harmless side effect of consuming certain foods. However, if the odor persists, or if you’re concerned about it, speak with a medical professional.

Sarah Cooke
(The original article source is here)

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About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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  1. I have a question about Asparagus and the smell. Has anyone ever tested it to see if it cleanses ones kidneys? he always complained about eating Asparagus because the smell lasted so long for him. My husband started to have problems, with medication, his kidney function was down, and he was having some issues with his liver. I had put him on a new supplement, and he said that he didn’t know what I was giving him but it was making him have to go all of the time. It was Alpha Lipoic Acid, and he hasn’t had any problems since.

    • how much Alpha Lipoic Acid did he take and did it help his kidney function please let me know Jim

      • Jim, I just give him 1 200mg pill a day. It seems to work like a water pill. It isn’t real expensive, so it would be worth a try. i wish they would test the Asparagus to see if it cleanses the kidneys, but they would rather sell prescriptions that don’t cure anything.

  2. I’ve noticed that there is a stronger smell for a few days about once a month, which I attribute to normal, regular hormonal changes (I am a male).

  3. My urine smells like ammonia what do you think is the cause of this smell.

  4. Kelly S Sizemore

    Got a question, I have R.A. & Sjogrens & Fibermyolog. I was told that I had Fibromyalgia first, 2004. 9 months later at my Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist told me after all tests were done that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. A year & half later I found that I also have Sjogrens Disease. I have been on Mythotrextrate 1st pills, now shots. I had tried other meds, then went bk on the shots. Problem is my Sedrate is Sky High!! Nobody can come to a conclusion as to WHY My Sedrate is so Freaking High? Are there Tests I can ask about? Please. Thank you, Miss Kelly S Sizemore.

  5. hey there I’m worried about the adour of the urine ive had heaps of test done there saying ive got protine in my urine not once but twice now and the smell is fishy smell but I wash and shower twice a day is it because I’m over weight too.

  6. why does my urine smell like ammonia?

    • Dear,

      All the PROTEINES you eat are 20 different AMINO-ACIDS after digestion …..many amino =NH2- become NH3 gas and in water NH4OH the AMMONIA you use to clean the windows !
      CHEAPER !

      If you like the % of all products ,organic and inorganic of urine ? Were you like a copy ?


  7. My urine has a very sour smell. And is med yellow color. Can u tell me what causes this. Thanks, Brenda

    • Brenda,

      Measure pH and I can see in analytical book. Feel sour can be bladder infection .Smell sour ,may be you eat acetic acid dressings .
      pH change after urine stays for 2 hours says a lot for diseas .
      Food mix decomposing with smell is less valuable now, in 1950 it was a hospital test !

  8. N-acetyl cysteine causes odor like asparagus does. (Not sure if it was already mentioned)

  9. Thank you for the article you wrote on “your pee”, I find this kind of information very good and interesting as it depicts daily occurrences and easy to monitor. There are surely variances in color and smell that sometimes creates concerns. But as explained above most times these changes occur, is probably in conjunction with eating changes in various foods.

  10. The best medicine is to drink plenty of water

  11. If your urine changes to a red color after eating beets it is an indication you are anemic. Get to the doctor for an iron blood test.

  12. My urine has started to smell like cat pee and I don’t have a cat. What would cause that?

  13. Robert Michael Newland

    Have you been tested for Lyme Disease? If not try M D Labs, New Jersey

  14. This blog about 7 Foods That Make Your Pee Smell (Is This Good Or Bad?) has helped me a lot,
    is very well written. I used this fat burner product: and I reached the ideal
    weight. Kiss you All!

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