Top 15 answers to questions about urine

Let’s go on a subject that concerns everyone here: urine. But there is no question of talking to you again about the ways of announcing that we are going to pee or other somewhat gritty things. No no, this time we’re going to the serious side of the force and we answer as best we can to all the questions you’ve ever asked yourself about this fluid that we evacuate several times a day. Welcome to the fabulous world of peeing.

1. Is urine sterile?

Well no, contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile. It even contains a lot of bacteria, but these bacteria are the microbial flora of the bladder, so they are good for the body. Here, we start by debunking received ideas. We are not here to laugh.

2. How much urine can a bladder hold?

In adults, the bladder can contain between 300 cL and 500 cL, which is, in the end, not so huge. That’s a pint. Nature could have been nicer to us and offered us good big 5 liter tanks, it would have saved us from having to get up to go pee in the middle of the night.

3. What is it actually for?

Urine is used to eliminate waste from the body that comes from food, but also from medication. It’s as if we had a little flush in the body to cleanse ourselves from the inside. Yes, we are toilets, no more no less.

4. How does it work (more or less huh, don’t get me wrong)?

BASICALLY, the blood passes through the kidneys which act as a filter. A filter that sorts out what the body can absorb and what needs to be thrown away. Then the urine carries the “waste” through the tubules, which are part of the kidneys. Well, ok, it’s hard to visualize all this, but keep in mind that the kidneys act as a filter, and it will be a good start.

5. Why is it more or less yellow?

The “normal” color of urine is light yellow, and that comes from urobilin, a yellow pigment that forms during urine production. In reality it is due to a succession of elements which are degraded by other elements but it is a little complicated so you will be satisfied with the simple version.

6. Why is it hot?

Well, the explanation is very simple: urine is at body temperature, around 37°C. It will be 50€ please.*

*This is a joke. Topito is and will remain free forever, but after that we accept donations if you really are broke and don’t know what to do with it.

7. Can we really drink our urine?

So yes, in case of dehydration, to survive, we can drink our urine, but that amounts to passing through the kidneys again what the kidneys had already filtered for the first time. That means we’re working twice as hard on the kidneys for relatively few nutrients. To be reserved for real emergencies, therefore. Besides, it’s really good.

8. What does it mean when the urine is very dark?

Let’s be clear: it’s not really a good sign, if not a good sign at all. Dark urine can be a sign of several problems, such as liver problems, bleeding in the kidney or urethra, or even dehydration. It usually doesn’t smell good. In the figurative sense, as well as in the literal sense. In short, if you have dark urine, go say hello to your doctor, you never know.

9. Why do we have to pee when we are stressed?

There are two good reasons why a sudden stress makes us want to pee. The first is because stress accelerates the heartbeat, and therefore the filtration of the kidneys, and therefore, ultimately, the production of urine. The second is because we have a primary reflex inherited from our ancestors that makes us empty ourselves to be ready in the face of danger. Whether we like it or not, the body tries to evacuate what it has too much to be better able to defend itself. A little weird, this body, but hey, we can’t help it.

10. How much urine do we produce each day?

It obviously depends on everyone’s water consumption, but it generally revolves around 1.5 L per day, at the rate of 5 to 7 pees of 200 to 250 mL each. Three good pints basically. Here, speaking of pints…

11. Why does beer make you pee?

It is the hops which is contained in the beer which is strongly diuretic. Now, you obviously want to know what a diuretic is, right? Without going into details, a diuretic is a substance that increases the production of urine by causing the kidneys to eliminate more water and salt. It’s very useful in case of water retention, and that’s why we sell diuretic drugs in pharmacies. From there to say that beer is good for health, there is only one step (but it’s still a bit false in the end).

12. How long can you stop peeing?

We do not know the maximum duration during which we can hold back, but anyway it is a very bad idea to test our limits in this area. Holding back from peeing is bad for the body: it promotes stagnation and the proliferation of bad bacteria, and therefore urinary tract infections that can even go up to the kidneys. It’s not the only bad thing that can happen, but it’s the most common. Conclusion: go pee when your body tells you to go pee. Thanks very much.

13. Why is it advisable to urinate after sex?

Women are especially advised to go pee after vaginal coitus to prevent bacteria from going up through the urethra and causing a urinary tract infection (hi, cystitis). It is also advisable for men to go to the toilet after sex, but urinary tract infections are rarer among them; their urethra is longer, so bacteria are less likely to travel up it to the bladder. That’s one more inequality.

14. Why do you have to pee when you hear running water?

Well apparently it’s due to a simple phenomenon of thought conditioning: when we pee, we usually hear the sound of running water, so when we hear the sound of running water, we want to pee. It is neither more nor less than a reflex of Pavlov.

15. Do we have a unique urine for each person or can we be urine twins?

It was our colleague Julien who asked this bizarre question. He has been looking for his urine twin for years without success. Don’t judge him. In any case, it seems that each urine is unique, since each has a different microbiome. It won’t do you much good, but now you know it. Sorry Julien, your quest is doomed.

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