The color of urine is something that is or should be pretty important to a runner, especially an ultra-runner. So what does it all mean…
No color: you’re drinking too much water. Drinking too much water can be just as dangerous to a runner as not drinking enough. When you have too much water in your body, your cells swell which can cause GI issues, dizziness, and soreness. Even more scary, it can cause hyponatremia, low sodium, which can lead to death in some cases.
Pale straw yellow: you’re normal and well hydrated.
Transparent yellow: you’re normal.
Dark yellow: normal but drink some water soon.
Amber or honey: you need water now.
Syrup or brown ale: you are severely dehydrated or have liver disease. Drink water and see your doctor if it doesn’t go away within 24 hours.
Pink to reddish: Have you eaten beets blueberries or rhubarb recently? If not it could be blood or other things. You should see your doctor soon.
Orange: you are probably not drinking enough water or it could be something you need to see your doctor about. Drink more water, if it doesn’t go away within 24 hours or returns, call your doctor.
Blue or Green: this could be food dye, medication, or a bacteria. If it persists, contact your doctor.
Purple: That’s just ridiculous. No one has purple urine
Foaming or Fizzing: this one is real. It could be harmless, a kidney problem, or indicate you have excess protein in your diet. See a doctor if it happens all the time.
Drink when you are thirsty and watch the color of your urine. If it starts to get darker each time you go, drink more water and make sure you are getting enough electrolytes.
If you are pacing or crewing for an ultra-runner there really is no taboo topic. You need to know how often your runner is using the bathroom and what color their urine is.