The Urine Color Chart (UCC) can be used by teachers, medical professionals, trainers of all types, and anyone who is concerned with hydration. Anyone can check the color of urine to see if more fluids are needed to hydrate more, if the body is well hydrated, or if the body is over hydrating.
Check My Urine?
Yes. No one needs an advanced degree, a special kit, a specialized collection container, or an at home blood draw, to check the color of their urine. After urination, but before flushing, simply look into the bowl to see the color. Yes, there will be some variation in urine color based on the color and cleanliness of the bowl.
Keeping that all in mind, the color of the urine is an indication of your hydration level. Only a trained medical professional can give you the specific hydration level you are at. Yet, you can be more informed when speaking to your medical professional with concerns and hydration needs.
Using the UCC
- Check your urine color score two or more days. When two consecutive measurements agree, you can trust that value.
- It is best to evaluate urine color when water intake and loss have been stable for a few hours
- It's easy. Simply follow these steps:
- 1, 2, or 3 - you are very well hydrated
- 4 - you are normally hydrated or slightly dehydrated
- 5 or 6 - you are dehydrated
- 7 or 8 - you are extremely dehydrated
- If you determine that you are "slightly hydrated", "dehydrated", or "extremely hydrated", you should consume more water during the next 24 hours. Don't overdo it. Simply drink a few extra cups of water with meals and at a few other times throughout the day, until your urine color returns to normal.
- Precaution: Research analyzed for men in 2010 (1) and for women in 2011 (2) indicates that a urine color of 1 or 2 is rare (1-5% of allhuman samples).This is not a reasonable goal for your daily hydration plan. It's OK once and awhile, but not everyday. Remember that drinking too much water can make you ill, or even result in hospitalization. Adequate water is essential, but don't overdo it.
Click on the titles below to download relevant scientific papers:
Urine Color Chart
On the following pages, you will learn about the science of urine color. If you wish, you can order your own copies by mail.
Color Chart Reproductions
The colors in the urine color chart have been tested in numerous research investigations. These colors have been selected precisely and even slight differences in color can alter the interpretation of hydration status. This explains why we do not offer the urine color chart online. Different versions of computer software, computer monitors, and computer printers generate color charts that contain incorrect, invalid colors. Thus, to maintain validity and to ensure that your hydration state is assessed accurately, we offer the color chart only by mail, in two formats: a pocket card, and a wall chart.