If you want to learn more about your pee? Urine Luck!
The next time you take a leak, make sure you have a peek, as you may be able to gain some valuable information about your health. Your urine can tell you a lot about what is going on in your body, it can tell you how hydrated you are, about certain medications and foods you have consumed and even when you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). So, what does your urine say about you?
Checking the colour of your urine is an easy way to tell if you are hydrated. When you are healthy and hydrated, your urine should look somewhere between colourless and pale yellow/straw colour. However, if you notice your urine is a darker yellow or amber colour, then it’s probably time to hydrate. This could also be after exercising heavily or losing fluids through diarrhoea and vomiting, but you may need additional oral rehydration fluids, like hydrolyte, in these cases.
The Urine Colour Chart
It is important to note that the colour of your urine can change depending on certain medications, B-vitamins and some types of foods you’ve eaten that day for example beetroot might make you see pink urine!
A urine chart can be used:
To determine hydration status
Assess people with adequate kidney function
Please note: As Nappies and incontinence pads absorb the urine, do not use the Urine colour chart as a guide for children who wear nappies or residents who wear incontinence pads.
Aiming for a Healthy Stream
Water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated, but it goes beyond just drinking water. The good news is that there are many things you can incorporate in your daily routine to reach your daily recommended fluid intake.
5 Ways to achieve Good Hydration
Snack on Foods with a High-Water Content Watermelon, cucumbers, apples, celery and strawberries are all examples of foods that have a high-water content, making them very delicious and hydrating foods.
Nourishing fluids HEHP Milkshakes, Soups, Ice cream, HEHP Milo Milk and Juice help to hydrate whilst maximising on the energy and protein content of fluids consumed.
Flavouring Water Try adding fruit and herbs such as lemon, orange, berries, cucumber and mint for flavour and variety.
Hydrolyte Adding electrolyte supplements and using hydrolyte in water and ice blocks.
Measuring your intake Using a water bottle/jug allows you to keep track of your water intake throughout the day.
What does good hydration mean?
Good hydration allows us to replace the fluids lost in our bodies. More than 60% of our body is made up of water, which needs to be replenished each day for survival. Staying hydrated is important for many reasons, it regulates body temperatures, clears toxins, keep your joints lubricated, prevents infections, helps your organs function properly and many more!
There are general recommendations on how much fluid we should be drinking daily, but in reality, there are many factors that contribute to the amount of water we need, depending on our activity level, the environment and other influences.
When should you hydrate?
Staying hydrated should be part of your daily routine all year round. At certain times you may have an increased need for fluids, these include warmer days, with exercising, sweat, gut symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. If you lose track of how much water you have had throughout the day, noticing the colour of your urine being darker is a good indicator that you need to hydrate.
Hydration and the Elderly
Adequate hydration in the elderly can assist in the management of constipation, improve low blood pressure, reduce thirst, prevent UTIs and assist in wound healing.
Dehydration can result in serious health outcomes such as:
Reduced cognitive function
Increased functional decline
Increased risk of falls
Weakness and fatigue
Tips to improving hydration in older adults can include
offering preferred drinks,
frequent small amounts and
offering fluids with medications.
Hydration and Young Children
Children are still learning about their thirst cues and when to hydrate themselves. They don’t often stop to drink as much as adults do. Usually, children only stop to drink when they are quite thirsty and by this stage it is likely that the child is already mildly dehydrated. Encourage little ones to drink water from an early age, this is a good habit that will likely continue into adulthood. Adequate hydration in children improve mood, memory, attention and learning. And to give them the momentum to continue to play, be physically active outside and participating in sports such as footy, netball, tennis, swimming and running.
Water should always be the first choice of fluid for children, and it is encouraged to keep a water bottle with them at all times, so they can stop during activities to rehydrate.
Tips to improve hydration in young children
Let your kids choose their own drink bottle,
try freezing the water bottle during the summer and
don’t forget to be a good role model and make a point of drinking water with your kids.
Urine good hands
Overall, there is a lot you can learn from your urine by just looking at it. However, if you notice any changes in colour, smell or consistency that go beyond hydration it is important to consult a medical professional for further testing and examination.
If you have questions or concerns about your urine or are interested in learning more about hydration, it is encouraged that you contact your GP and OSCAR Accredited Practising Dietitian to discuss this further. Click here for more information on our clinic.
Our Dietitians can assist Aged Care homes with 1-on-1 personalised nutrition support using an evidence-based and patient-centred care approach as well as provide education sessions to improve resident care.
Urine good hands, with our Dietitians!