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Urine Color Chart: How to Know When You’re Dehydrated

How do you know if you’re dehydrated? You might say thirst, as almost everyone associates thirst with a need to drink more water. In certain cases, though, thirst isn’t the most reliable indicator of hydration status. For instance, with age, the thirst response decreases. Therefore, adults over 50 are more likely not to experience thirst as intensely as younger people, even if they're dehydrated. Exercise and fatigue or stress may also contribute to a diminished thirst response, and children also experience thirst less intensely than adults.

Fortunately, our bodies signal hydration another way as well.

Urine color says a lot about our hydration status. Generally, the lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. But why is that? Well, dehydration is caused when the volume of water in the body is depleted. And when we’re dehydrated, our kidneys, which filter waste, tell the body to retain water. Therefore, we have less water in our urine, which causes it to become more concentrated and darker. If you're unsure of what an ideal urine color should look like, examining a chart can help.

What Urine Color Say About Your Hydration

This chart can help you determine if you’re hydrated. It starts with normal, well-hydrated colors. But as you move down the list, dehydration becomes more severe; below the red line indicates dehydration.

Urine ColorWhat it Means
No Color/Fully TransparentYou’re overhydrated and may want to cut back on water intake.
Pale, Very Light YellowA pale, straw-like color is optimal and indicates that you’re well-hydrated.

Transparent Yellow
Light yellow and transparent is also normal and indicates an ideal hydration status.

Dark Yellow
A yellow, more cloudy color means your body needs hydration.

A darker yellow, amber color isn’t healthy. Drink a DripDrop.

Orangish-yellow and darker: You’re severely dehydrated. Replace lost fluids and electrolytes immediately with DripDrop and contact your doctor if it persists.

Understanding the Signs of Dehydration

Recognizing colors can be a helpful indicator, especially if you notice the change in color while other signs of dehydration are present. Dehydration signs include:

  • Excessive Thirst
  • Dry mouth or dry nose
  • Fewer trips to the bathroom
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Irritability/Confusion

When to See a Doctor

Of course, abnormal urine color may indicate a health issue other than dehydration, such as liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you're experiencing abnormal urine color on a regular basis.

Maintain Optimal Hydration with DripDrop Electrolyte Packets

When you're dehydrated, water consumption alone isn't enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. DripDrop has a perfectly-balanced ratio of vital electrolytes so you can address dehydration quickly. It also supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your overall health.

For relief fast, get started with our popular multi flavor pouch. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase of our oral hydration solution when you subscribe.