Is it safe to drink urine? Long story short, kinda:
Did you know that people actually go out of their way to collect and drink their own urine? It’s a lot more common than you’d think! There is even an alternative medicine practice called Urotherapy–essentially, the practice of drinking your own urine in order to treat cancer.
But is it safe to drink urine? Will you experience terrible side effects (apart from the nasty taste) if you drink your own urine? Here’s what you need to know:
- Urine is a waste product — Your body doesn’t produce urine because it’s a good thing. Urine is produced as a means of getting rid of all the toxins, fats, and waste products in your body. It’s 95% water, but the remaining 5% contain urea, chloride, creatinine, potassium, sodium, and other compounds.
- Urine contains toxins and chemicals –– Your body has two ways of eliminating chemicals and toxins from your body: via your liquid waste and your solid waste. Your urine contains a lot of the chemicals that your body simply cannot process, and they are meant to be flushed down the toilet. Re-introducing them to your body via your digestive system is NOT the healthiest choice.
- Urine is mostly sterile –– This means that it is mostly free of bacteria or microorganisms (unless you have a UTI, of course). It was believed that urine was completely sterile, but recent research has suggested that there are small numbers of bacteria living in your urethra. This means that your urine is likely to contain some bacteria, though not as much as anything coming from the bacteria-rich environment of your colon.
Now, if you watch any survival TV show (such as Bear Grylls or Survivorman), you’ll probably see someone drinking their own urine at some point. Backpacker Aaron Ralston, the subject of the movie 127 Hours, resorted to drinking his own urine while trapped beneath a boulder for days.
But just because these people do it, does that mean you should do it too?
Sadly, the answer is probably not!
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Urine contains a lot of nitrogen, uric acid, and chemicals that the body is trying to expel. All of these chemicals are collected in the liver, sent to the kidneys for processing, and eliminated via the bladder. The toxins and chemicals sent to the kidneys are the ones that the body cannot break down, process, or absorb. They’re the foreign matter that your body needs to get rid of in order to continue its normal, healthy function.
Contrary to popular belief, there are NO health benefits to drinking your own urine. Science has yet to discover any evidence that proves that drinking urine is good for your health, and all of the research done on the subject has indicated that it’s actually harmful for your health. Even using it as a teeth whitener–a surprisingly popular practice–is potentially dangerous. As such, it’s best to avoid drinking your urine!
Now, what should you do if you find yourself in a survival situation where you HAVE to drink your own urine? Well, do what you have to in order to survive, of course! If your very life depends on drinking your urine, it’s very likely the better choice–your only other option is dehydration and death!
However, outside of life or death survival situations, keep your urine where it belongs: in the toilet. It’s rich in toxins and harmful chemicals, and it will do NOTHING to improve your health. Let your waste products be wasted!