Have you begun your journey toward health and all of a sudden you have noticed some alarming changes? Have you begun exercising, eating a healthier diet, and taking vitamin and mineral supplements only to notice bright yellow urine in the toilet? Many people experience this effect when they begin making healthy lifestyle changes. There is typically no need for alarm, and you should continue working toward a healthier you. Here we look into some reasons your pee is bright yellow or other urine color changes and what you can do about it.

Why Is My Pee Bright Yellow?

Pee color

Everyone has a slightly different shade of urine. The colors range from an almost clear shade to a dark shade. What is important is your urine should be some shade of yellow.

One of the main things that can affect the color or shade of your urine is your hydration level. If you drink a lot of water, your urine will be diluted and range in color from almost clear to pale yellow. Conversely, if you are dehydrated, your urine will become darker.

Other reasons for color changes include eating highly pigmented foods or those with a lot of food dye, vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, and increased exercise. Changes can also be brought on by a health problem like a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or liver problems. Finally, certain medications can alter the color of your urine.

Could My Vitamins Be Causing Bright Yellow Pee?

If you have recently begun taking a B complex supplement, it can change the shade of your urine. If your urine is bright yellow, you probably should not worry. Problems arise when it changes to another color like brown, red, or green.

Riboflavin, vitamin B2, is one of the common causes of bright yellow pee. This vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body. Instead, it is carried throughout the body and used immediately. Any excess vitamin B2 is then processed through the kidneys and transported out of the body via urination.

Not everyone will have neon yellow pee when they take a vitamin B complex supplement. If the body is unable to use all of the vitamin B, it will be excreted via your urine. If you notice a change in the color of your urine, try switching to a different brand as certain brands can be more difficult to absorb. We recommend using a pharmaceutical-grade vitamin B complex supplement to ensure maximum absorption. 

Dark Red Foods and Red Food Coloring Can Cause a Color Alteration

Certain foods can change the color of your urine. Foods with dark red pigments like beets can darken your urine. In addition to this, processed foods with a lot of food dye can impact urine color. If you notice a change in your urine, take a look at your diet. Are you eating highly pigmented foods or foods or drinks containing red dye? If so, remove these items and see if your urine changes back to your normal color.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C or Vitamin A May Be the Culprit

Vitamin C

Foods containing large amounts of vitamin C or vitamin A can alter the color of your urine. Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. High levels of Vitamin C are found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries. 

Excess Exercise Can Cause Dark Urine

One of the most common dark urine causes is dehydration. If you have begun to try to get in shape, it can cause a change in your pee color. It can be disconcerting if you notice a change; however, it is often a sign that you are not drinking enough fluids. To counteract this effect, make sure you increase your water consumption. You should be getting a minimum of two quarts of water each day. With exercise, you may need to increase it to three or four quarts of water each day.

Health Conditions Can Lead to A Color Change

The renal system includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. The renal system filters waste from the body and is responsible for removing it through urination. There are many reasons why the renal system may not be functioning properly.

Pay attention to the color of your urine as any changes can be a signal of a renal issue like kidney stones, a urinary tract infection, or urinary cancer. In addition to this, if you notice your pee becomes cloudy or you see particles in your urine, it can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. It is important to keep a close eye on your urinary health such as if the smell of your pee changes, or any other symptoms like frequent urination, a low-grade fever, pain when urinating, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Diabetes and Urinary Health

Many people are surprised to learn that diabetes can alter your urine. If your blood sugar levels are high, the body may excrete excess glucose via urination. This can cause sweet-smelling urine. Increased glucose levels also increase the risk of urinary tract infections which can alter the color of your pee. Getting your glucose levels under control can help improve the color, consistency, and scent of your urine.

How is Abnormal Urine Color Diagnosed?

If you notice any changes in the color, the consistency, or the scent of your urine, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Make a list of any symptoms or changes that have recently occurred. Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Developed any type of rash
  • Bowel movement changes
  • Changes in urinary habits
  • Increased physical activity
  • Dietary changes Abnormal Urine Color
  • Vision problems
  • Increased frequency or severity of headaches
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Medication or supplement changes 
  • Sleep problems

At your appointment, a variety of tests may be recommended to determine if there is an underlying condition causing your discolored pee. Some common tests include –

  • Urinalysis which looks for red blood cells or protein in your urine
  • Urine culture to look for an underlying urinary infection
  • Glucose test may be done to look for high blood sugar levels

How Can I Get Started

If you are asking yourself why is my pee is bright yellow, begin by increasing your water consumption as dehydration remains one of the leading causes of discolored or dark urine. We recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day. If you live in a hot climate or frequently exercise, you may need to increase your fluid intake even further. 

Brightly colored urine is generally not a cause for concern; however, it is important to find the reason for the color change. Look at your diet, the amount of your exercise, how much water you are drinking, and any new medication or supplement you have started taking. Removing these from your system for a couple of days may clear up your pee color. If this does not help, it is time to contact your functional medicine doctor for assistance in determining the root cause of why your pee is bright yellow.