Why does coffee make you pee?

In this article, we will answer the question: “Why does coffee make you pee?”. In addition, we will show the relationship between coffee consumption and the amount of pee eliminated.

Why does coffee make you pee?

The main cause of coffee making you pee is its caffeine content. Caffeine, also found in black tea and Red Bull, has a moderate diuretic effect (that is, it makes you feel like you need to go to the bathroom) – especially if you consume high doses from 500 mg. 

But there is a break for so much coffee: you would need to drink eight cups of 30 ml since each one contains 64 mg of caffeine.

How much caffeine is needed for coffee to make you pee?

The diuretic effect of coffee will only appear if more than 500 mg of caffeine is consumed per day, that is, 5 cups of ground coffee. Thus, it is necessary to consume a lot of coffee for it to have this effect. 

It is important to know that when ingested in moderation, coffee has a hydrating effect equal to pure water and caffeine is one of the main causes of coffee consumption daily. The compound present in coffee with known diuretic effects is caffeine. This fact is responsible for coffee sometimes increasing the frequency you go to the bathroom. 

However, it is clear that drinking a cup of coffee here or there is hydrating and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.

Why do some drinks seem to increase the urge to pee?

Beverages such as coffee and beer increase the urge to urinate because they interfere with the concentration of urine, making it more dilute. This concentration process is related to the formation of urine, in which the greatest number of toxins are excreted in the smallest possible volume of water.

Both coffee and beer are metabolized by the liver and their metabolites are eliminated in the urine. These substances only interfere with the urine concentration process but are not processed by the kidneys. What acts on the kidneys are the nephrons, small structures that filter all the blood in the body to eliminate harmful substances through the urine.

In addition to alcoholic beverages in general and coffee, teas and cola-based drinks (such as Coca-Cola) also increase the urge to urinate. In this sense, it is important to pay attention to the concentrations of sodium and sugar present in drinks and to drink alcohol in moderation

Why does coffee make your pee smell like coffee?

The main cause of your urine smelling like coffee is simply that you are drinking too much coffee. The smell that coffee presents is due to the presence of several aromatic compounds. Coffee contains several beneficial compounds, including polyphenols such as hydroxycinnamic acids, which give it its characteristic smell and health benefits. 

When metabolized by our bodies, these compounds become metabolites, which in many cases will be released in the urine, and may be responsible for the smell. Metabolites of compounds in coffee can cause urine to smell like coffee.

Coffee also has caffeine, which is considered a weak diuretic. This means that caffeine can make you urinate more, which can cause large amounts of caffeine to dehydrate some people. If you are dehydrated, your urine is more concentrated. In this way, it is common for the smell of the metabolites to become more noticeable. 

To prevent excessive urination and other negative health effects, consumption of up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is recommended.This equates to about four cups of coffee. If you drink more than that, drink extra water to stay hydrated.

Is it dangerous if coffee makes your pee smell like coffee?

You shouldn’t be too worried about the smell of coffee in your urine, as it doesn’t do any harm. However, this fact is a sign that you are consuming high amounts of the drink. Excessive consumption of caffeine can bring several harms, such as dehydration and increased dopamine effect and reduced adenosine effect. 

This can make you drowsy later in the day, as caffeine blocks adenosine by binding to adenosine receptors.

Since caffeine is a stimulant substance, it can make it difficult to sleep. You can help prevent this by not drinking coffee within six hours of going to bed.

Drinking too much caffeine can also produce other symptoms, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Excitement

When drinking coffee, drink plenty of water too. To make the coffee more dilute than usual, you can add more water to the drink.


In this article, we answered the question: “Why does coffee make you pee?”. In addition, we showed the relationship between coffee consumption and the amount of pee eliminated.



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.