The aroma of freshly-brewed java is definitely a real treat for our senses. However, what if you seem to smell coffee everywhere you go? Even when you go to the toilet? Are you asking yourself why does my pee smell like coffee?
If you drink more coffee than water, your urine then becomes more concentrated and it starts smelling like java.
That makes perfect sense as coffee contains loads of chemicals with a strong smell.
This includes polyphenols that your digestive tract absorbs and then excretes in the urine.
Any substances that you drink more than (or instead of) water will affect the color and smell of your urine.
But is this a cause for concern?
Should you cut down on your coffee intake?
Let’s find out together!
Table of Contents
How Does Caffeine Affect Your Urine?
Caffeine allows more sodium to stay in your bloodstream, which affects your urine.
This increase in sodium results in your urine becoming more concentrated.
And concentrated urine contains numerous by-products such as ammonia and urea so it has a stronger smell accompanied by a darker color.
Are You Drinking too Much Coffee?
If you have been drinking too much coffee for a couple of days or weeks now, your pee would eventually start smelling like – yes, coffee.
Various chemicals that make coffee look, taste and smell the way it does will make your urine smell similar.
- Also read: Why do people drink decaf coffee?
Polyphenols (hydroxycinnamic acid, for example) are the antioxidants that contribute to the smell of coffee and they affect your urine at the same time.
Urine high in polyphenols and other coffee compounds will surely smell like it!
Note that your body will instinctively throw out the chemicals you consumed by filtering them out.
But you should question further consummation of certain foods and drinks if your body doesn’t tolerate them well.
Keep in mind that your bloodstream and your kidneys are in charge of filtering chemicals.
Although your bloodstream may hold on to some of them, in most cases it will filter chemicals from coffee as “waste” and send them right to your bladder.
Coffee and Dehydration
Coffee contains stimulants, such as caffeine, that is responsible for making you go to the toilet more often.
Although caffeine is a weak diuretic, the more coffee you drink, the more you will urinate.
This can lead to dehydration, thus making your pee even more concentrated.
- Also read: What is red eye coffee?
When urine contains less water and more waste, it has a stronger smell.
In this case, if coffee is the reason for your dehydration, your urine will have a coffee-like scent.
How Much Coffee is too Much?
Doses higher than 400 mg of caffeine per day (or 4 cups of coffee) exceed the recommended daily dose. (1)
If you drink 6 to 8 cups of coffee on regular basis without drinking the same or even higher amount of water, your urine will certainly start smelling like java.
Some of the signs that you have overdosed on coffee include:
- Chronic headaches
- Chronic insomnia
- Chest pain
- Irregular (typically fast) heartbeat
Of course, you have to consult a certified professional if you think that you’ve had a tad too much caffeine.
Is it Bad if Your Urine Smells Like Coffee?
If you know you have been having too many cups of Joes lately, there’s nothing to worry about.
However, you should note drinking excessive amounts of coffee can have certain unpleasant effects, especially when it comes to sleeping patterns.
Or simply keep an eye out for other things that might bother you, apart from the obvious caffeine-infused scent.
Generally speaking, the caffeinated urine shouldn’t raise any concerns, unless there are other indicators that could raise some concern.
How to Eliminate the Smell?
Try reducing your coffee intake to 4 cups a day and start drinking more water to flush out any chemicals from your body.
You can also switch to black or green tea that has less caffeine than coffee and, thus, aren’t as addictive.
Also, it would be great if you can wait for about 30 to 60 minutes after waking up before you have your first cup of coffee.
- Also read: Can coffee go bad?
Cortisol, the hormone that helps your body wake up naturally, will do its job by this time so you won’t need as much coffee to feel as energized.
In return, this will reduce your need for extra amounts of caffeine.
But if this doesn’t help, there could be another reason for the change in the color and smell of your pee.
Note that foods like garlic, asparagus, salmon, spices, and alcohol can alter your urine.
Do you need to panic when you notice even the slightest change in the color and smell of your urine?
Of course not!
Your habits, such as drinking too much coffee can make your urine smell and look unusual.
Instead of asking why does my pee smell like coffee, simply balance out the amount of water and coffee you take in a day.
How much coffee do you drink?
Are you drinking at least 2l (67 oz) of water a day?
Now feel free to leave your comments below!
Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind – I’m Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I’m off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!