Our urine is one major way to find out about the things going on in our bodies. The distinct color, odor, and urination rate can tell us many things about our bodies. Some may find themselves wondering – why does my pee smell like coffee?
What causes pee to smell like coffee?
Increasing the intake of coffee or anything beyond a reasonable quantity can imbalance your body’s system, and this can show in the urine.
If you notice your pee has started smelling like coffee, it is a straight deal that you are having more coffee than you generally should, and this is showing up in your pee through its smell.
Too much coffee can cause many adverse effects like insomnia, dizziness, including the smell of coffee in your urine. Coffee has caffeine, a short-term diuretic, and makes you urinate more often, leading to dehydration.
The polyphenols in coffee are absorbed by the digestive tract and then excreted through urine. When these things happen, the urine becomes more concentrated than usual when it has more waste materials than the water; therefore, the smell becomes strong.
The key reason behind pee smelling like coffee is dehydration. Maintaining the amount of water intake with coffee or tea intake can help overcome this problem. The urine comes from the kidney, which filters the waste products from our bodies. These waste products are usually formed by the food and drinks we intake. Therefore, everything that we eat can affect urine. Likewise, high coffee intake can lead to a waste of caffeine in urine, making it smell.
Other reasons why your urine smells weird
Commonly, our urine gets the slight smell of everything that we majorly consume. Every time, it is not the overdose that causes a weird smell. There can be several other reasons, as well.
Normal urine does not have color and is generally pale to yellow and dilute, and unconcentrated. The odor is unnoticeable in a healthy pee, signifying that our body has a healthy diet and a perfect balance. But when the urine starts to have distinct features like weird odor, color, and concentration, it can indicate something.
Here are some causes:
- A high intake of a particular food item can strongly affect urine. For example, asparagus can make your pee smell like sulfur. Other foods that can give a weird smell to your pee are cauliflower, cabbage, fish, cumin, and of course, coffee.
- Dehydration can make your urine smell like ammonia and appear darker.
- Certain medications also affect the natural features of urine, especially antibiotics. Drugs like sulphonamides can cause weird-smelling urine.
- A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a burning sensation every time you pee.
- Pregnant women usually complain of smelly urine, which might happen due to hormonal changes.
- A dysfunctioning liver.
- Vitamin B6 supplements.
- When the urine smells like gas, it can be a bladder fistula, an abnormal connection between the bladder and the bowel.
- Maple syrup disease can cause sweet-smelling urine.
Is smelly urine serious?
Every caffeine addict has, for sure, experienced this in their life. Therefore, it is not so much of a serious thing if your pee smells like coffee.
Even if you had more than the required coffee just for a day, your pee could likely smell like coffee the next time you go to pee. If the symptoms do not get intense, you do not need to worry. However, taking a precautionary measure will be a better option because if left untreated, it can cause harm to your body, and you might want to rush to a doctor.
The smell of urine changes due to over intake of coffee but is accompanied by less water intake. Water has the power of balancing the body’s system since our body is made up of 60% water. Therefore any disturbance in the water level can cause the urine to become more concentrated and appear darker with a pungent smell.
When there is just enough water in our body, urine will be diluted. Coffee intake works the same way. Coffee increases the rate of urinating. But when we accompany the coffee intake with more water intake, our body balances the waste material with water. Our pee, therefore, appears healthier.
If you feel dehydrated and still drink coffee, you will face the same problem because your body does not have enough water already. Therefore, coffee-smelling urine is not a serious issue until you balance it with a generous amount of water intake, but if not done so, it can lead to some serious consequences.
Signs of caffeine overdose
Anything in too much amount can have adverse effects on our body. The same goes for caffeine. Many food products have a significant amount of caffeine present in it. The most common one is coffee itself, then comes tea and soda.
A generous amount of caffeine quantity is about 400 milligrams per day. Anything more than that can cause an imbalance in the body and lead to adverse effects. One such effect is coffee smelling like pee.
The symptoms of caffeine overdose can be dizziness, diarrhea, insomnia, headache, high fever, increased thirst, increased urge to urinate, trouble in breathing, hallucinations, chest pain, uncontrollable muscle movements, leading to convulsions. Overconsumption of coffee can be tackled by drinking water and other healthy fluids like fruit juices.
Pregnant women and non-adults should avoid a high dose of caffeine and lower their consumption because it will have more severe effects. When pregnant women consume more caffeine, it can lead to excessive caffeine in their breastmilk, affecting the baby.
Caffeine overdose, when left untreated, can sometimes be fatal.
When should you seek medical treatment?
It is evident for your pee to smell like coffee if you are a major coffee drinker. But if you get a caffeine overdose, you should seek medical treatment.
If you recognize any of the caffeine overdose symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately seek medical treatment because although a coffee-like smell in urine is not a serious issue, the caffeine overdose can be. If the odor does not go away even after days, it can be a serious consequence.
The smell of coffee does not only indicate the overdose, but a familiar smell can be a reason for some serious health problems like liver disorders, infection in the bladder, kidney problems, maple syrup disease, diabetes, etc. When there is a smell and a burning sensation while peeing, you should consult a doctor. Swelling in the lower abdomen area, pain in the lower back, low urine rate but increased urge to urinate, all these symptoms can result from some serious problem. You should immediately seek a doctor so that it does not lead to any grave issues.
How to prevent your pee from smelling like coffee?
An effortless way to treat the coffee smell of the urine is to drink less coffee. You should drink a significant amount of water along with caffeine to prevent the smell of coffee in your pee. Water makes the urine dilute, and hence the coffee smell is unnoticeable.
You can also switch to regular coffee if you love black coffee or switch to green coffee if you are a consumer of regular tea or coffee. The key is to lower the level of caffeine intake gradually.
Avoid those substances that make your urine smell weirdly or limit your consumption if you cannot totally avoid them.
If the smell is still consistent or you see some other serious symptoms, you should immediately seek a doctor because there is absolutely no harm in seeing one, and you will only feel better after that.
Caffeine is something that has become a necessity in today’s world to increased productivity and tastes good. Still, as said before, anything in excess is harmful. Therefore, try to know your body and act accordingly to maintain the balance of your body. The key is to keep yourself hydrated and seek a doctor if anything feels abnormal.