Pee Smells Like Coffee

Do you sometimes wonder why doctors ask for urine tests when testing for some medical conditions? The reason is that urine is one way through which the body removes unwanted products. In addition, urine indicates an individual's state of health and the type of food he or she eats. A healthy person passes odorless, pale yellow urine. Any disorder or change in eating habits will lead to changes in urine odor and color. Complains about a bad smell in urine are common. Sometimes pee smells like coffee or ammonia and sometimes its smell is very strong and pungent. Here are some reasons why your pee may smell like coffee.

Why Does My Pee Smell Like Coffee?

Because you drink too much coffee! You drink strong coffee! And you're dehydrated! "But I've had lots of orange juice and my pee does not smell like orange!" You may argue. Drinking orange juice will not lead an orange-like smell in urine. The difference in the results is attributed to caffeine in tea, soda and coffee. The human body does not digest caffeine and release caffeine in form of urine. Your kidneys release caffeine in large amounts when you increase your intake of coffee, causing coffee-like smell in your urine.

Similarly, drinking less water makes your urine more concentrated. The increase of coffee concentration in urine is higher than water concentration. The high concentration causes the coffee-like smell. Control your soda, tea and coffee intake throughout the day. Excess consumption of these fluids is harmful to your health.

What to Do About It

Increase your water intake if your pee smells like coffee. Take at least two liters of water every day to stay healthy. This amount of water is sufficient to remove all unwanted toxins in your body. Increasing the fluid content reduces the concentration of components like ammonia or caffeine that lead to smelly urine.

Medical Conditions That Cause Your Pee to Smell

When pee smells like coffee, it's usually nothing to worry about as long you control your caffeine intake and drink more water. However, there're cases when that smell of your urine is caused by some medical conditions.

1. Dehydration

Your body becomes dehydrated when you do not take enough fluids. Dehydration causes an ammonia-like smell in urine. The color of your urine becomes orange or dark yellow. In most cases, dehydration is mild and hence does not need any medical treatment

2. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) cause a strong smell in urine. The common symptoms of UTIs include strong urges to urinate and burning sensations after passing urine. UTIs result from bacteria in urine. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill these bacteria.

3. Diabetes

Sweet-smelling urine is a common diabetes symptom. Untreated diabetes increases blood sugar levels, which cause the sweet smell in urine. You should see your doctor immediately if notice a frequent sweet smell in your urine. Untreated diabetes is a serious medical condition, which is sometimes life- threatening.

More Foods That Cause Your Pee to Smell

Yourpee smells like coffee if you drink coffee and caffeine products in large amounts. The following foods will also cause your pee to smell.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus is a vegetable with long, tender stalks that produce a distinct flavor. It is often consumed with steak. It contains asparagusic acid, which breaks down into sulfur compounds in the digestive system. The sulfur compounds react with the air in the urine to form a smelly gaseous substance. Your urine may have this smell after eating this vegetable.

2. Curry

Some spices retain their strong smell even after undergoing digestive processes in the digestive tract. Your pee is likely to have a spicy smell after eating a lot of Indian food. Many of the Indian curries contain coriander and cumin, which contain odor-causing chemicals. The smelly chemicals pass through kidneys and produce a pungent, strong-smelling substance.

3. Salmon

Foods with high amounts of vitamin B-6 help the body in metabolizing fats and proteins. Freshwater fish such as salmon are good sources of this vitamin. However, Vitamin B-6 has negative effects on the urinary tract. It increases the yellow color in urine and causes a medicinal smell in urine. B vitamins pass through the kidneys in the urinary tract because they are water-soluble.

4. Alcohol

Your pee will have a strong bad smell after drinking excessively. This smell is not caused by alcohol's contents but its diuretic properties. Alcohol causes you to urine more without taking water to rehydrate your system. Consequently, the concentration of uric acid increases. Your urine becomes darker in color and has a foul smell.

5. Garlic

Garlic is one of methyl-mercaptan-strong vegetables that cause urine to smell. Eating Italian foods in large amounts leads to a sulfurous odor in urine. Most of these recipes contain garlic. Garlic can decrease the amount of methyl-mercaptan that passes through the kidneys when prepared properly. Raw garlic has health benefits for the urinary tract.

When to Worry

If your pee smells like coffee, you can get rid of the smell by reducing your coffee intake and increasing your water intake. However, you should see you doctor if:

  • Your urine has blood or has a pink color that suggests presence of blood
  • The color changes in your urine do not relate to any medication, foods or nutritional supplements
  • Changes in color are accompanied by increases in urination urges, frequency and a burning sensation
  • The urine odor is worrying
  • You notice additional symptoms such as abdominal or back pain, fatigue, a strong smell, increases in appetite or thirst, sudden weight loss and fever, sweats or chills
  • Your urine decreases significantly and the decreases is accompanied by a rapid pulse, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • You suffer burning or pain after urinating and blood, fever or chills, pregnancy or discharge accompany the sensation
  • You pass dark brown urine, which is accompanied by pales stools and yellow eyes or skin
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