Urine color

Normal urine color ranges from pale yellow to deep amber — the result of a pigment called urochrome and how diluted or concentrated the urine is.

Pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications may change your urine color. Beets, berries and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect urine color. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications give urine more-vivid tones — raspberry red, lemon yellow and orange orange.

An unusual urine color is among the most common signs of a urinary tract infection. Deep purple urine is an identifying characteristic of porphyria, a rare, inherited disorder of red blood cells.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors

Normal urine color varies, depending on how much water you drink. Fluids dilute the yellow pigments in urine, so the more you drink, the clearer your urine looks. When you drink less, the color becomes more concentrated. Severe dehydration can produce urine the color of amber.

But sometimes urine can turn colors far beyond what's normal, including red, blue, green, dark brown and cloudy white.

When to see a doctor

Seek medical attention if you have:

  • Visible blood in your urine. Bloody urine is common in urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Both of these problems usually cause pain. Painless bleeding may signal more serious problems, such as cancer.
  • Dark brown urine. If your urine is dark brown — particularly if you also have pale stools and yellow skin and eyes — your liver might be malfunctioning.

© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use