Does coffee make the urine dark?

In this text we will provide the answer to the question: “Does coffee make the urine dark?”. In addition, we will discuss whether drinking coffee makes your urine black as well as the foods that can make it happen. Also, we will give you an overview of the health problems that can make your urine turn black. 

Does coffee make the urine dark?

No, coffee does not make the urine dark!  Dark urine is usually a sign that the person is not drinking enough water during the day, which makes the urine more concentrated and, consequently, darker. 

In this case, the only recommendation is to increase the consumption of water, because this way it is possible to increase the level of hydration of the body.

Although it can cause concern, the appearance of black urine is most often caused by minor changes, such as eating some foods or using new medications prescribed by the doctor.

However, this urine color can also be caused by more serious health issues such as Haff’s disease, liver problems or skin cancer, for example. 

So, if black urine appears for more than 2 days or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, it is advisable to go to the general practitioner to identify the cause and start the appropriate treatment.

The main causes of dark urine are:

Drinking less water than your body needs

Drinking little water during the day is the main cause of dark urine, because when you consume less water, there is a greater concentration of substances that are eliminated in the urine. In addition, it is possible for the urine to have a stronger smell.

Eating some foods

Some foods can make the urine darker due to the presence of natural or artificial dyes, such as rhubarb, fava beans and aloe, for example, not being a cause for concern.

The use of copper pans for cooking can also cause black urine in some people, especially those who cannot metabolize the mineral, eliminating it in high amounts in the urine, which can turn the urine black.

Hold the pee

Holding in your pee for a long time can also make your urine darker, as substances that are normally excreted in your urine build up, changing the color of your urine. 

In addition, if you hold your pee for a long time, there is a greater risk of complications such as infections, urinary incontinence and kidney stones.

Medication use

The frequent use of some medicines can also result in black urine and this usually happens as a result of frequent contact with some chemicals present in the medicines.

Urinary infection

Urinary tract infection is also a common condition that can cause the urine to become dark, especially in cases where the infection is chronic. This is because in these cases the kidneys may be compromised, resulting in a higher concentration of urine and blood may also be released in the urine.

Haff disease

Haff’s disease has black urine as one of the main symptoms and is a rare disease caused by a thermostable biological toxin that can be found in some freshwater fish and crustaceans.

Alkaptonuria

Alkaptonuria, also called ochronosis, is a rare genetic disease that can also make the urine black, because there is accumulation in the body of a substance, homogentisic acid, due to the lack of an enzyme, which can be eliminated in the urine, making it the dark.

What does the color of urine tell you?

Urine can turn a rainbow of colors, and an unusual tone is not necessarily cause for alarm.

Transparent urine

When your urine is transparent, almost colorless, it can mean excessive fluid intake or low urine concentration capacity by the kidneys, which occurs, for example, in serious malformations of the urinary tract and renal tubular diseases.

Dark yellow urine

A brownish or dark yellow urine, normally, is extremely concentrated urine due to the small amount of water to dilute it, this occurs, for example, when the individual is drinking little fluid or in dehydration.

Brownish urine

Tea-mate or “cola” color can mean liver or kidney disease.

Dark colored urine

Almost black, it can mean porphyria or acetonuria, rare genetic diseases.

Urine appearance in the case of urinary infections

Some bacteria that cause urine infections can make it cloudy, milky or change its odor, color, sometimes even turning it greenish or purplish.

Red, reddish or orange urine

It can be a frightening sight, as this can indicate that there is blood (this sign being called hematuria) and is related to kidney and urinary tract diseases, such as urinary tract infection, urinary stones, kidney cysts, nephritis, other diseases of the glomeruli (a region of the kidney unit, called the nephron, where blood filtration occurs), and also tumors of the bladder or kidneys.

Can caffeine make me have an overactive bladder?

Yes! Certain foods and drinks are known to promote bladder irritability and, in some people, exacerbate symptoms associated with overactive bladder syndrome. 

Caffeine, in particular, has a diuretic effect and is associated with increased urinary frequency. In order not to exceed the daily dose, remember to count, in addition to coffee, the consumption of black and green tea, chocolate and soft drinks with this substance.

Moderation and balance are the key to a healthy lifestyle and this is essential in treating the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome. Consider these options:

  • Replace coffee with decaf or opt for a coffee-free soluble blend – with barley, oat, chicory or rye cereal
  • Swap black or green tea for herbal teas without caffeine or theine, such as chamomile, lemon balm or mint
  • Always give preference to water over other juices and soft drinks.

Conclusion

In this text we provided the answer to the question: “Does coffee make the urine dark?”. In addition, we discussed whether drinking coffee makes your urine black as well as the foods that can make it happen. Also, we gave you an overview of the health problems that can make your urine turn black. 

Citations

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324469
https://www.livestrong.com/article/268324-the-effects-of-caffeine-on-urine/
https://www.healthline.com/health/dark-urine

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.