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What does the colour of your urine mean?

The colour of your urine provides a lot of meaning. The kidneys are one of the elimination pathways for the removal of toxins from our bodies. Importantly, the kidneys regulate our fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies and in doing so they regulate our blood pressure.


Chart showing urine colours from orange as dehydrated all the way through to transparent which is over hydrated and not enough electrolytes.
Colours of urine and what it may mean for your hydration and health status.

Kidney Function


The kidneys regulate the acid-base balance in our bodies via bicarbonate which dampens down acidity, much like a fire extinguisher dampens flames. Kidneys filter our blood of toxic waste and send it to the bladder for elimination. We lose 2-3 litres of water per day just to perform basic functions like extracting the nutritional components from our food, disposing of the waste, and to keep our temperature stable. If we don't drink enough water, our physical and mental performance can suffer, and long term our kidney health can suffer.


Sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate and magnesium are all electrolytes that we absorb from the foods we eat. The levels of electrolytes in our body constantly adjust to the changing fluid levels in our blood, so if we dehydrate or over-hydrate we can affect electrolyte levels. They can become too low or too high. Electrolytes (mineral salts) are essential for maintaining the health of our blood volume and blood pressure, for maintaining the acid-base balance of our body, for the electrical conduction of signals throughout our body ('electro-lytes'), and for enabling us to perform tasks we need to do.


Sometimes we drink and drink and yet still don't feel hydrated. Our urine is often clear at this point. That is because we haven't got enough electrolytes to enable cellular exchange of fluid and electrolytes. This means our cells don't get enough water or hydration and so you still feel dehydrated. Putting a tint few specks of salt in a glass of water and drinking will rectify this situation. Ensure you have a good amount of water and electrolytes - there's nothing like getting muscle cramps at inconvenient times!


What specifically does the colour of your urine mean?


Take a look at your urine colour and compare to the picture above for a quick and easy visual to see if you're looking after your kidneys and consuming an adequate volume of water and electrolytes. Orange urine means you're not only lacking hydration, but you've lost electrolytes and so the critical bodily functions described above will start to become ineffective. Keep hydrated (approximately 2 litres for women, 2.5 litres for men), and eat nutritiously which will keep your electrolytes in balance. There is always a reason behind ensuring you drink enough water and eating well!


Symptoms you may be experiencing with Kidney Detoxification Issues may include:

  • Dark circles under your eyes

  • Puffiness and fluid retention

  • Smelly, cloudy urine

  • Skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis

  • Gout

  • Blood pressure issues

  • Urinary Tract Infections

  • Kidney Stones

If you feel you would like to understand this further for your personal circumstances, please feel free to make an appointment with me.


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The information provided in this blog/article/handout is for your personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. It should not be considered as medical or professional advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking or omitting to take any action based on this blog/article/handout. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises and assumes no liability regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this blog/article/handout are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this blog/article/handout is done at your own risk. Any third-party materials or content of any third-party site referenced in this blog/article/handout do not necessarily reflect the author’s opinion, standards or policies and the author does not assume any liability for them whatsoever.

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