Urine color chart for hydration
Urine that is bright yellow, dark yellow, or orange to brown usually indicates your body isn’t getting enough water and may be dehydrated.

The color of your urine can reveal a lot about your overall health.

  • Urine from a healthy person should be light yellow or clear, indicating proper hydration.
  • If it is medium yellow, dark yellow, or orange, it's because your body isn't getting enough water, causing your urine to become more concentrated.

This does not mean dark urine is always a red flag. However, if your urine is consistently dark yellow (or even orange in some cases), you should immediately increase your fluid intake.

Dehydration is a common cause of cloudy urine, but drinking more diet Coke or iced coffee won't necessarily help because any caffeinated beverage can exacerbate dehydration.

Urine becomes more concentrated and crystallized when we do not drink enough water. This causes bladder irritation and can result in cloudy urine.

Table. Urine color chart for dehydration
Dehydrated Bright yellow to darker yellow
Extremely dehydrated Orange to brown (if brown, consult a doctor)

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Urine can reveal a lot about hydration levels in most adults. Clear urine with a good flow indicates that a person is properly hydrated. Consistent thirst is another major indicator of dehydration.

Most adults are familiar with the sensation of thirst, but the elderly frequently dismiss or simply fail to notice this early symptom, so it's critical to keep an eye out for other indicators such as:

Severe dehydration is marked by the following signs:

You can check for dehydration in your elderly loved ones with a simple test.

  1. Pinch the skin on the back of their hand and time how long it takes for it to return to normal.
  2. It's unlikely that they're dehydrated if it snaps back immediately.
  3. If it retains a tented shape for an extra second or two, it is a symptom of dehydration.

What to do in the event of dehydration

In most cases, simply drinking some water will be enough to relieve the symptoms of dehydration.

Electrolytes are essential for hydration, nerve and muscle function, and balancing blood acidity and pressure. To stay hydrated, you must consume electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium in addition to water (Gatorade). You may go for coconut water, lemon juice, watermelon slices, or orange juices.

However, in severe cases of dehydration, medical attention may be required. In such cases, water is given through an intravenous drip. If you're experiencing dehydration symptoms that don't go away when you drink more water, it's a good idea to have your doctor perform a physical exam.

Although knowing how to tell if you're dehydrated is useful, only a qualified medical professional can make a definitive diagnosis about your health.


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How much should you drink every day to avoid dehydration?

The amount of water we need to drink daily varies from person to person.

  • The measurement varies depending on body type, weight, active lifestyle, diet, and other health factors.
  • Everyone has different needs, and men and women have different recommendations for staying hydrated.

However, nutritionists typically advise the following:

  • Women should drink approximately 2.2 L (nine cups) of total fluids per day. However, according to a few recent studies, women should aim for 11.5 cups (2.7 L).
  • Men should drink approximately 3 L (13 cups) of total fluids per day. However, according to a few studies, men should drink approximately 15.5 cups (3.7 L) of water per day.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should drink 16 ounces of extra water before exercising, 4 to 8 ounces during exercise, and another 16 ounces after exercise.

If a person exercises frequently or spends time in hot or dry weather, they may need to consume a little more.

The simplest way to manage your water consumption is to stick to the above baseline and add more water whenever you feel thirsty. Because food accounts for approximately 20 percent of your daily water intake, it is critical to concentrate on the remaining 80 percent.

Benefits of drinking optimal percentage of water may include:

  • Various bodily functions rely on adequate hydration.
  • It aids in the maintenance of your ideal body temperature and proper lubrication of your joints.
  • It aids in the removal of toxins through urine and sweat.
  • It prevents kidney stones.
  • It aids in the prevention of urinary tract infections.
  • It keeps the mucous membrane (mouth, eyes, and nose) moist and aids in the prevention of constipation.
  • It keeps the skin healthy and glowing.
  • If it's hot outside or you're very active, you may need to drink more water due to increased sweating.
  • Sticking to the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total) should suffice and can help boost weight loss for an average person or someone looking to lose a few pounds.

Snack on water-rich foods such as melon, berries, and cucumber slices. Other beverages, such as milk or herbal teas, contribute to your water intake. However, caffeinated beverages and soda are not advised because they may cause dehydration.

If you're thirsty, don't overdo it; drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication, in which sodium levels in the body become overly diluted, causing swelling in the brain, seizures, and coma.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/12/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Are you drinking enough? https://www.hdgh.org/uploads/BariatricAssessmentandTreatmentCentre/dehydration%20urine%20colour%20chart.pdf

Water – a vital nutrient: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient

Drink to Your Health: The Wonders of Water: https://www.aquamaster.ca/water-benefits/drink-to-your-health