50 Shades of Pee

Organisational Health & Safety

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Peechart - Directions WA

Okay, well maybe not fifty…but the colour of your urine does act as a very effective measurement for how hydrated you are.

It may not sound like fun but a quick glance down during No. 1’s could help keep you safe and well, at work and at play.

The weather in the coming months is only going to increase your risk of dehydration and drinking some carbonated, energy drinks and even fruit juices can actually speed up dehydration, largely due to the amount of sugars they contain. Remember; fructose, glucose, and corn syrup are all forms of sugar.

Urine colours to look out for…

If your urine is moving into the ‘yellow zone’ you should immediately take steps to consume some clean drinking water.

If you are into the dark orangey or brownish section it is a good idea to speak to your doctor as soon as you can as this may be a warning sign of other health issues, especially if it persists after a few hours and with significant water consumption.

You should note that some foods, vitamin supplements, wine, and drinks with colouring agents in them (like those sports drinks that looks like blue loo cleaner for example!) can change the colour of your urine for up to a few hours.

Not drinking enough water doesn’t sound like a serious health threat but it is.

  • At just 2% water loss your performance is impaired.
  • At 4% your muscles are put under stress.
  • At about 6% you are susceptible to heat exhaustion.
  • By 8% you can begin to hallucinate.
  • It only takes 10% body water loss to risk heat stroke and circulatory collapse.

The good news is that these risks are easily avoided. Ensure you regularly drink plenty of clean water. Tea is also a good option if you like it but limit milky drinks and coffee. And move into a cool, shaded area for regular breaks to help reduce your body’s water loss.

These simple steps will help keep you hydrated and  healthy on the job and off.