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, TheAlternativeDaily.com

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.

Speaking of pee, check out this next story below if you want an innovative new way to lose weight:

> Do THIS 1 hour before bed to pee out stubborn fat in the morning

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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Today’s blog is republished from my friends at TheAlternativeDaily, a leading publisher of daily alternative health …


  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.

        • Amen!!!

        • Yes asparagus does help flush the kidneys

        • Hi jim and every one I have bad urine smell and it’s not from food urine infection and it comes back after antibiotics there maybe some type of blockage in kidney but not sure any help please???

        • The deal with Alpha Lipoic Acid is it has a half life of several hours so it can pick up Mercury from your fillings cross the blood brain barrier then break down leaving mercury to do damage in you brain or elsewhere in the body. When taking alpha Lipoic acid you should try to take it every 2or 3 hours so there is enough to keep the heavy metals chelated until the Kidneys, bowels or skin can remove them from you body. Definitely a compound you want to study up on before using.

  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).

    • what caused the strong smell from your urine?

    • I drink plenty of water, watch my diet, as well try to stay energized! My urine is dark yellow and strong odor as well. I have some health problems and I am also a recovering alcoholic and attic of harmful drugs. I have been clean for sometime now and this just started about a month ago. I do take daily medications which I have been on for over 20+ years. Occasionally I have side pain near my stomach, unusual pains in my body, and serve headaches. Serve breathing problems. What is causing the urine color and smell though?

      • hello! thanks for your message and all that info. You’ll have to chat with your physician about that since you’re on medications and have those other issues as well. That’s not something we can speak to

      • Bobby Ross, have you been checked for diabetes? Dark urine can be a sign.

      • Anyone every check your pancreas? Bilirubin levels?

      • I used to get really bad pain in my stomach. I though intestinal problems cuz was the worst after dinner. Turns out I had a huge Kidney stone that was partially blocking where the ureter, the tube between the kidney and bladder. CAT scan showed it. Turns out I probably had it in my kidney awhile and kept growing til partially blocked the ureter. I had to have it from and broken up, cuz if kept growing could have burst the ureter. Turns out the reason it hurt so bad after dinner was cuz drank a lot of water with my meal.

      • Sounds like something to do with the pancreas

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

  4. 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. kss22561@gmail.com

    • May need to back off on the methotrexate.
      It’s a bad drug, completely strip your immune system. I took the shots for only a year an got a pneumonia that I about died from. It used to be given to cancer pts. Before they had cancer drugs. It’s nickname with us nurses was mexoterrible. Some things given to help can also hurt!

      • I have had a bad pee smell for years.My pee smells like smelly feet.I take a lot of vitamins could that be the cause?

  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.

    • Check your kidneys. Too much protein in the urine is a sign of kidney problems.Frothy urine is too.If you are over weight,lose it as soon as you can. It will slow the kidney damage.

      • I know a lot of thin people with kidney problems. So being a little over weight is not always the culprit. Just like diabetes and high blood pressure! Everyone assume it’s a fat persons disease!!! Lost a lot of friends to diabetes and they are thin! Same with heart attacks the healthiest person running on a tread mill has a heart attack?! Really? Let’s stop saying all this is because a person is over weight!!’ When it’s your time to go the good lord will take you! That’s reality!’

  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 ?


    • Test the ph level of your urine, the normal level should be between 4.5 & 8. Haven urine analysis been performed?

  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: https://s96.me/fit and I reached the ideal
    weight. Kiss you All!

  15. While I agree with a lot of this article, one piece of information is incorrect. Coffee does not cause dehydration. Recent research shows little difference in hydration from water vs. coffee. It is true that uric acid is excreted with coffee, not because your urine is concentrated, but because the coffee is increasing the rate of excretion. Sorry, biochemistry, nutrition, and nursing major here.

    • Gina
      Three Urologists disagree with your coffee not causing dehydration. They have many years of practice and based scientific data from publications in JAMA and the Lancet (British journal of medicine).
      Coffee is fine if not in excess but will significantly aid in dehydration. Moderation is the key especially in patients with any chronic kidney disease.
      To base any thing otherwise on one study would not be really beneficial.be prudent. The biggest causative factors in chronic kidney disease is chronic high blood pressure and diabetes . Dehydration can cause significant kidney injury and curtail normal function.
      I am a 3rd stage kidney disease patient who has suffered significant kidney failure from high blood pressure and recent injury due to dehydration. I love my coffee.

  16. I have a question about my urine that I’m curious about. Sometimes there is almost no color at
    all to my urine, even when I’ve gone overnight without peeing.
    Normally, the urine is a light color of yellow. What would cause the color to disappear from my

  17. What would make my urine smell like Iodine. It is very strong and I have frequent UTIS

  18. I am on the fence about all but the asparagus definitely does. But I will say this, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma in May 2019 I have not been declared cancer free yet but I will be. And before I was diagnosed until I had finished chemotherapy my urine smelled like I ate 2lbs of bacon every day. I commented about it several times to family and friends. Then after chemo and Radiation Therapy on m arm but before my C-PET scan, I smelled bacon again in my urine . My C-PET scan came back with 4 hot spots in my abdomen. Which I had Radition done my next C-PET is scheduled for July. I know it will come back cancer free, why? Because my urine doesn’t smell like bacon and I will never ever be able to forget that smell. Take this to heart because it came from mine my story as a whole on my journey with would amaze many and this was just a small part of it. Good health and good luck.

  19. To Rona, Did you ever find out what caused the urine to smell sour?im having the same problem.

  20. If your per smells like ammonia you are probably not drinking enough water.

  21. Go out and pee in your yard. If it attracts ants, think diabetes. If it has a strong odor, consider high cholesterol. If it dribbles on your shoes, think prostate. If you forget to zip up, think Alzheimers.

    • If it attracts cops, think of moving to the country.

    • That was GREAT!

      Thanks, DON

    • Rhiannon Petaccio

      Yeah that was great Don!! Sometimes we need a little comic relief when we have medical questions. Especially me because I worry about every little thing. I’ve been having some odor in my urine. Not to sound gross but my urine sometimes has a very strong odor to where it can often smell like eggs. I’ve struggled with chronic UTI’s since I was a teenager and now I’m almost 39. They misdiagnosed me with Interstitial Cystitis. Thankfully, the UTI’s lessened as I got older. I used to get at least 5-6 a yr and seemed like I was on Cipro, the antibiotic, my whole life. Maybe someone on here had this before or maybe knows what causes it. I looked it up but it hasn’t really put my mind at ease. I always like to see if anyone else out there is going through, or has gone through what I’m experiencing. I Hope the people on here with all their questions ends up being healthy and to those with illnesses, God Bless You, and you are in my prayers and keep fighting.

      • My sister had interstitial cystitis for years. She had pelvic floor physical therapy and bladder retraining with good results.

    • Heehee!! Great advice! ???

    • Don, you’re just so fast.

  22. Sometimes, for weeks on end, my pee smells like men’s body wash. Lately it smells like some dinner dish, Italian, maybe. Yes, I do consume a lot of garlic, several large cloves a day and eaten right after cut, not cooked. I also take curcumen supplements, krill oil, kelp, calcium, ginger, K2, B12, beet juice, pomegranate, spirilina, walnuts, pecans, almonds and a half dozen other super food supplements. Oh, eggs every day for breakfast. It just never smells like urine. Color just a bit dark no matter how much water I drink (and that’s a lot).

  23. Sometime I urine smells like cough syrup and you would have thought I had a bowel movement at the same time. What should I dol.

  24. Sometimes my urine smells like beef. No idea why.

  25. i use a foley catheter, due to T7 spinal cord injury, (complete). At times my urine smalls like sulfur. I have had many UTIs in the past 18 years.

  26. What brand of Alpha Lipoic Acid is a good one. Are they FDA approved? Would like to try but will take my Levoxyl in the morning and the ALA in the evening. Therefore, the medications should not interfere with each other

  27. In my opinion this sentence is not correct:

    “Not drinking enough water during the day, for example, can make the urine a brighter shade of yellow.”

    To my knowledge, it becomes a darker shade yellow when your body starts to have not enough water – the urine then starts with dark yellow and the worse the dehydration gets it becomes orange or even a dark shade of orange – The less water you have in your body the darker yellow or orange the urine is.

  28. If you are a have sugar drink water 7 20oz bottles daily and for uti also

  29. Great article. Very helpful. My pee smells funky sometimes too, I don’t drink enough water and I have an auto -immune disease (Grave’s Disease). It has to do with my thyroid. Idk if that’s the culprit or what?! Any suggestions? TIA ???

  30. My urine smells like yeast. Any idea on that?

    • I had that problem and it was diagnosed as consuming too much dairy (yellow cheddar) and yeast related products(white bread). I went on a Candida Diet for 2 months and it went away. Later was put on a yeast free diet and only eating hard type cheeses like White cheddar, Swiss, etc. She also put me on Alpha Lipoic Acid and Betaine, which seem to help quite a bit.

  31. Beets turning your urine reddish in color is a sign of being anemic.

  32. Does anyone know why bananas give me a sour stomach?

    • Bananas, avocado, & red tomatoes are all linked, if you get a sour stomach with one, you probably will get a sour stomach with the others. Also, an emergency room nurse told me that they could also be linked with a latex allergy. She also told me to avoid those foods because the reactions could get worse. Although I am not allergic to those foods when they are thoroughly cooked.

  33. That’s interesting about per but I was wondering about bad breath. Not hygiene related its in my gut. They used to sell something off for halitosis but they don’t anymore. Yes I have hep c. Can anyone help me this? Thank you

  34. Heineken makes your pee smell like Dutch pirate boats…

  35. Can taking vitamins cause urine to be dark yellow

    • some vitamins can definitely change the color of your urine. Too much b12, for example…it’s just your body getting rid of what it wasn’t able to use at that time. But, if it’s really dark it could be a blood sugar issue as well…the darker it is, the more dangerous.

  36. Does ingesting urine cause any health issues. My partner wants to do this all the time and I am not sure if I should let him. He claims he played these sort of games with a previous partner.

  37. Just wanted to throw this out there. I started noticing that there was mold under the toilet seat, around the upper edge of the toilet bowl. I thought “what the heck?” This went on for several weeks — Later, I got a urinary tract infection and went to the Doctor. My urine test showed I was dumping A LOT of sugar into my urine. I officially had Diabetes.

  38. Any idea what ideal ph would be? Could you use garden tester?

  39. Shawndel Johnson

    Pee sure tells alot about what’s going on inside ; there are some diseases that cause differences in color also in smells ; autoimmune diseases ; lyme disease ; heavy metal toxins in the body as well. I only discovered these findings due to 23 years of many doctors playing pass the buck….and last but not least the smells linger in semen ( and also cause positive drug screen results if Male partners are using illegal substances). Just being informative here.

  40. Cynthia M Powell

    My urine has a funny smell! Not sweet! I can’t really describe! Just a funky smell! I am taking alot of vitamins!

  41. Haven’t eaten these in years. WHITE CASTLE HAMBURGERS! I remember my pee used to always smell funny when I would eat them.

  42. i would like to know why do i at times get a very fishy smell when i pass urine. i dont even eat fish for it to have such a smell

  43. Now and again my pee has a nutty smell. No one has been able or willing to tell me why. Why??

  44. I have dark and smelly urine. I drink tons of water. I haven’t had a bowel movement in more than a month.could this be a reason for my issues? I have used FLEET on numerous occasions. The color of my urine does get lighter throughout the day. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic, however it’s been 6 years since I’ve used drugs and I have had a few glasses of wine. PLEASE HELP!

    • Hi Shelby. I’d definitely go see a doctor about this. Neither of those issues are normal at all and could be a sign of something

  45. Rhiannon Petaccio June 14, 2020 at 4:23 pm
    Rhiannon, I had frequent UTIs also. My Dr. prescribed Estrace, hormonal cream, use a dime size amount vaginally twice a week. The UTIs stopped. The pelvic floor needed this.
    Also, Urologist recommended taking D-Mannose 2x a day. She said it acts like a teflon coating for the urine to pass and keeps debris from urethra. This is an over the counter supplement, I order from Amazon.com. She said she takes it, her mother takes it and I will be on it the rest of my life. ( D-Mannose by NOW Pharmaceuticals). I hope this helps, I suggest asking your doctor if trying the hormonal cream is an option for you, due to your age. This was the answer for me.

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