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What Colour should urine be?

The colour of urine can give important clues about your health. This article provides a comprehensive overview of what different urine colours may mean and when you should see a doctor.

What Is Normal Urine Colour?

Normal urine can range from pale yellow to deep amber. This colour comes from urochrome, a pigment that’s a byproduct of hemoglobin breakdown. The more hydrated you are, the lighter your urine will be. Dark yellow urine may indicate dehydration.

Normal urine is transparent. Cloudy or murky urine could mean you have too many cells, protein, or bacteria in your urine. This may require medical attention.

Very Pale or Colourless Urine

Pale straw or nearly clear urine means you’re well hydrated. But if your urine is extremely light all the time, it could also be a sign of:

  • Excessive fluid intake
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Medications like diuretics

If you’re concerned about very pale urine, see your doctor. They can test for underlying medical conditions.

Yellow or Amber Urine

Yellow or amber urine is normal and typically signals you’re properly hydrated. As a general rule:

  • Pale yellow means you’re well hydrated
  • Dark yellow urine may indicate dehydration

If your urine is consistently a deep, dark yellow, increase your water intake. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms.

Orange Urine

Orange urine can indicate dehydration, but it can also be caused by:

  • Medications like high-dose vitamin B2
  • Liver disease
  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • UTIs

Orange urine from dehydration should clear up when you increase fluid intake. But orange urine from medications or a medical disorder needs evaluation by a doctor.

Pink or Red Urine

Red or pink urine is not normal. Possible causes include:

  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Food dyes like beetroot
  • Medications like rifampin and phenazopyridine
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Inherited conditions like porphyria

Pink or red urine due to food, medication, or health conditions needs medical assessment. Blood in urine may signal a UTI, kidney stone, or other issue needing treatment.

Blue or Green Urine

Blue or green urine is rare and typically triggered by:

  • Medications like methylene blue, amitriptyline, and indomethacin
  • Pseudomonas UTIs
  • Bile pigments in urine
  • Food dyes

Blue or green urine is not normal. See your doctor to determine the cause and whether treatment is needed.

Cloudy or Murky Urine

Normal urine should be transparent. Cloudy or murky urine may indicate:

  • Dehydration
  • Kidney stones
  • UTIs
  • STIs
  • Kidney disease
  • Metabolic disorders like diabetes and liver disease

In most cases, drinking more water helps clear cloudy urine from mild dehydration. But if the cloudiness persists, see your doctor to check for a UTI, kidney stone, or other issue.

Foul-Smelling Urine

Urine has a slightly nutty odor normally. Foul-smelling urine may arise from:

  • Dehydration
  • UTIs
  • High-protein foods like asparagus
  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Cystinuria

Drinking more water can improve urine odor from mild dehydration. But foul urine from infections, metabolic disorders, or other conditions needs medical assessment.

When to See a Doctor

See a doctor if you have:

  • Pink, red, blue, green, or orange urine
  • Cloudy or dark urine lasting more than a day
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Burning or pain with urination
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Blood in urine
  • Inability to urinate

These symptoms may indicate a UTI, kidney stone, kidney disease, enlarged prostate, endometriosis, or other condition needing treatment.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Seek prompt emergency care if you have:

  • Difficulty breathing with urination
  • Fever and chills with urination
  • Severe pain with urination
  • Large blood clots in urine

These may signal a kidney infection or obstruction needing rapid treatment to prevent serious complications.

Tips for Healthy Urine

To keep your urine a normal, healthy colour:

  • Drink plenty of fluids daily
  • Avoid excess vitamin supplements
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Note urine colour changes
  • Get prompt care for UTI symptoms

Monitoring urine colour and seeing your doctor for changes can help spot potential problems early.


Urine colour often reflects hydration status and your health. While pale yellow to deep amber urine is normal, unusual urine colours like pink, red, blue, or green may warrant medical evaluation. See your doctor promptly if you have painful urination, blood in urine, or other troubling symptoms to get the right diagnosis and care.