Your pee (urine) is a mix of water, electrolytes, and waste that your kidneys filter out from your blood. When your pee is a light yellow, close-to-clear color, this indicates that you’re doing a good job staying hydrated. When you’re getting dehydrated, you’ll notice your urine becomes a deep amber or even light brown color. Pee color and dehydration are linked, read on to find out why.
So why does this matter?
Read on to see the highlights from our conversation.
An Interview with a Nephrologist
Q: Why is HOW MUCH YOU PEE more important than the color of your pee?
A: The color of pee comes from the breakdown products of red blood cells, which are handled by the liver. To a lesser extent, it's affected by the foods you eat. The more liquid you drink, the more diluted the urine will be.
That usually means that the more you drink, the lighter, and closer to the appearance of water, your pee will be. But you might produce enough urine to dilute everything and prevent stones even if your urine is not completely clear. Our goal for stone prevention is to make about 2.5 liters of urine each day. You will get there if you take in 96 ounces or about 3 quarts or liters.
“Our goal for stone prevention is to make about 2.5 liters of urine each day and you will get there if you take in 96 ounces or about 3 quarts or liters.”
Q: What happens in the body if you don't pee enough?
Assuming you don't have a sudden illness that affects the kidneys, you'll make enough urine if you just drink when you're thirsty. If you have a low urine volume you're at risk of forming kidney stones because the salts in the urine, especially calcium oxalate, will become concentrated, precipitate, and form crystals that grow into stones.
Water, water, and more water!
Q: You've mentioned that the ideal amount of liquid to drink each day is 96 ounces ... should it be more or less depending on how much you weigh?
A: Yes, there's a component of weight to the fluid prescription. People with more muscle mass and people who eat more food, especially salt, and animal protein, should have more urine and therefore they need to drink more. We can't get children to drink that much and it's not necessary. If your body weight is not average, either more or less, doing a 24h urine test can help determine what your best urine volume should be.
Q: Does the color of your pee matter even a little?
As above, more clear urine is more dilute, which is good for stone prevention. You probably notice that when you wake up in the morning you have your darkest, or most concentrated urine because you haven't been drinking all night. And then, after a cup of juice or coffee, you make lighter urine. So pee color is a rough guide to fluid intake.
Kidney Stone Prevention
What to do when you just can’t drink any more liquid?
Well… #TryMoonstone, Of Course!
Moonstone was designed to optimize alkali citrate levels better than fruits, vegetables, or lemonade, in order to maximize kidney health. Moonstone’s unique combination of alkali citrate minerals works by increasing urine citrate and urine pH to levels that help inhibit stone formation.
Alkali citrate supplementation has been shown to reduce the growth and recurrence of calcium-based stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones. Alkali citrate binds with calcium, which helps prevent the calcium from binding with other molecules to form kidney stones. Drinking Moonstone also helps you to stay well hydrated, which is essential to good kidney health.
Avoid Expensive Prescriptions
Prescription medications such as potassium citrate are commonly used to treat and prevent kidney stones. However, it can be expensive and can also have side effects like nausea and GI discomfort.
Moonstone is a gentle alternative and the first OTC supplement designed (and patented) to address kidney stone crystallization. In addition to its active ingredients, Moonstone is low in sugar and sodium and is an excellent source of magnesium and vitamin B6. Moonstone may appeal to people seeking clean-label products as well because it is non-GMO and free of wheat, fat, and soy.
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