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  1. #1
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    admittedly crude question

    Can urine be used in any way as a indication of proper or improper hydration? I mean if I come home and my urine is clear does this indicate that I'm properly hydrated, overhydrated, or is it meaningless? I had a high school CC coach who claimed this to be a way to test for hydration, but he also said a lot of completely false things, so I'm not exactly in a hurry to believe him on this one unless others agree.

  2. #2
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Yes the colour of your urine can be one indicator of your hydration levels although it's not totaly straight forward. The colour of your urine varies through the day and your vit B levels have an infuence as well. If you take synthetic vit B's you will end up with dayglow yellow urine. If you urinate and the quantity is smaller than usual and unusually dark then this is a sign of dehydration.

    Idealy you do want your urine to be lightly yellow.

    Regards, Anthony

  3. #3
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    Generally, the clearer the urine, the more hydrated you are. If your urine is a dark color, it means you've got to start drinking quite a bit more water.

    Koffee

  4. #4
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    Yes, this is a valuable clue. When you are badly dehydrated, your urine will be a dark yellow, sometimes almost an orange or brown. If you are well hydrated, your urine will be very pale yellow, or almost clear.

    There are two levels of hydration. In July, you could wait until you start a two hour ride, and drink 40 ounces of water during that ride. Your stomach, and soon your bladder, will be full of water. But, how much of that water will reach the cells in your hands, legs, and feet during the ride?

    A good summer strategy is "pre-hydration". If you know you have a brutal two hour ride coming up on Saturday, begin hydrating on Thursday. Drink about 10 ounces of water an hour, depending on your weight, from when you get up until supper time. That water will have time to fully hydrate the cells of your body before the ride begins.

    During the actual ride, you can drink less if you were well hydrated before the ride, you don't have to OVER drink during the ride. Depending on the heat and humidity, your regular 10 ounces per hour might be enough. A stomach sloshing with too much water can be uncomfortable on a ride.

  5. #5
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I'll never forget seeing brown urine. It's when I was in the hospital and when I was admitted in emergency, I hadn't had anything to eat or drink all day. When they hooked me up to a cather and a bag, i was shocked to see brown urine. It was coffee colored. What a fright. OF course, once I started getting IV it was better. I remember thinking so, that's what it looks like when you're totally dehydrated!
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  6. #6
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    It's possible to be fooled by the color of your urine into thinking that you are well hydrated when you are not. Specifically, if you are dehydrated and attempt to hydrate by drinking a large amount of water in a short period of time, not all of that water will make it into your tissues and will wind up making your urine clearer. Complete hydration takes at least a full day as alanbikehouston suggested with his prehydration recommendation.

    But in general urine color is a very good indicator of hydration level.

    Most "experts" (who are these "experts" anyway?) agree that for best performance you should finish your ride/race slightly dehydrated. I used to work hard to make sure my urine was consistently clear to lightly yellow by drinking ~2L of water per day. Around 2 months ago I cut back to 1L per day and have seen a noticable improvement in my performance. My urine is slightly darker (maybe a little lighter than apple juice) and I finish my races slightly dehydrated. Works for me.

    Mark

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    Basically what seems to be the consensus is that dark urine means I'm dehydrated but light urine doesn't neccesarily mean I'm "properly" hydrated it could just mean that my system was flooded with water recently? If so I'll definitely try to focus on the "prehydrating" you were all talking about.

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Basically it comes down to - your urine colour can't tell you jack. Only if something is seriously screwed up (purple urine).

  9. #9
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Peter La Fleur: Yeah, uh, Patches... are you sure this is completely necessary?
    Patches O'Houlihan: Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine?
    Peter La Fleur: Probably not.
    Patches O'Houlihan: No, but I do it anyway because it's sterile and I like the taste.
    Peter La Fleur: ...Okay.

  10. #10
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    I dont buy the urine color thing for myself. I drink 3 liters of water a day and take 1 multi vitamin and my pee looks like mountain dew. If I forget to take my vitamin...its clear as water that day.

    Also a soda or iced tea has the same effect on color but not as drastic.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    Colour can be a good indicator of hydration, but keep in mind that many things you ingest can alter the colour.

    The smell, however, is a great indicator that you've eaten asparagus!

  12. #12
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    My two cents in hot TX the key is pre-hydration. I drank some beer the day before a 50 miler in moderate heat and even with a good amount of water days before I believe the beers messed me up. I'm now religious about pre-hydration and staying away from beer ; unless my riding smack-talking buddy is along then I'll buy him several of whatever he wants and laugh the next day at him. See, the info can be used to your advantage both ways!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I don't think color means all that much...

    However, if you ride 100 miles on a hot day on three water bottles, and haven't pissed in 8 hours, you know you have a bit of a problem.

  14. #14
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    I may be way off hear and I am sure someone will correct me if I am but I have heard more places than just this forum that your weight right before and after a ride is a good indication of hydration.

    I can see a noticable weight loss after a really hard ride where I may not have had enough to drink. I agree with my other fellow Texan that pre-hydration is a good practice.

  15. #15
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Basically it comes down to - your urine colour can't tell you jack. Only if something is seriously screwed up (purple urine).
    Red Green Urine

  16. #16
    Senior Member shimanopower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Basically it comes down to - your urine colour can't tell you jack. Only if something is seriously screwed up (purple urine).
    operator, i know few others who can be so consistently wrong. At least you say things with confidence (an unearned confidence though.)

  17. #17
    Senior Member Metieval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Basically it comes down to - your urine colour can't tell you jack. Only if something is seriously screwed up (purple urine).

    *wonders what 4 bottles of blue food coloring would do to my urine* next time I have to do a Drug screening I think I'll try it so I can hand them a blue or green Urine sample !!!

  18. #18
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    When I was in Bolivia, my pee was pink, thanks to the "pink elephant" popcorn stuff they had. I think it must use the same kind of food colouring that was responsible for Frankenberry in the 80's. No biggie, it's just something you put in your system that changes the colour of your pee.

    I don't know which, Vitamin B or E, but it has a tremendous effect on the colour. When I was in university, my housemate dissolved a vitamin pill in a glass of warm water and it looked just like pee. He threw it all over my friend. Hilarity ensued.

    The colour of your pee can tell you a few things, but it is by no means a reliable indicator of hydration. I'm sure there are other much more reliable methods.

  19. #19
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    I peed at work a couple of months ago--I looked down and it was GREEN!!!

    Then I looked at the other urinal and noticed they had just cleaned it with the blue sanitizer stuff.

    yellow + blue = green

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