Urine Smells like Coffee, Meaning, Medical Reason, What to Do

There are certain instances when urine smells like coffee after taking a cup of coffee. Many individuals have confirmed that coffee consumption at times affects the smell of their urine. Coffee is actually one of the many foods and drinks that can cause your pee to have a funny smell.

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Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, garlic, and salmon other examples of foods that can cause a change in how your urine smells. But this does not affect all individuals. Certain people will not notice any change even after taking copious amounts of this caffeinated drink.

This article will look at why urine smells like coffee, its meaning, coffee smell without drinking it, after drinking it, and the medical reasons that could cause the emergence of this smell.

Urine smells like coffee – what does it mean?

Ever wondered why doctors request for urine tests when they would like to test for the presence of certain diseases and conditions? Urine is one of the numerous ways used by your body in expelling waste products. Your urine can also provide a good indication on your current health status as well as the kind of foods that you consume frequently.

Healthy individuals should typically pass pale-yellow urine. Changes in your urine color and odor can be caused by a change in diet and the development of a medical disorder. Problems pertaining to smelly urine are very common.

There are times when urine smells like coffee and other times when it has an ammonia smell. Certain instances could also lead to the presence of a very strong and pungent smell.

Why your urine smells like coffee after drinking it?

The coffee smell in your urine can be attributed to taking lots of caffeine that is normally found in coffee, soda, and tea. Your body is not capable of digesting caffeine. The caffeine is thus expelled from your body through urine.

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An increase in coffee consumption will lead to your kidneys releasing caffeine in very large quantities. Drinking less amounts of fluids also enhances the concentration of your urine. It leads to an increase in coffee concentration.

The concentration of coffee in your pee will end up being higher than that of water. An increased concentration will cause your urine to have the coffee-like smell. You need to control your intake of coffee, soda, and tea during the day.

Urine smells like coffee without drinking coffee

Tea and soda contain caffeine that is released from your body in the form of urine. The coffee smell in your urine without drinking coffee is as a result of the caffeine from tea and soda. Caffeine cannot be readily digested by your body.

It will thus be released in the form of urine. Taking lots of soda or tea means that your kidneys will release large amounts of caffeine during the day. Your urine will therefore end up having this smell due to all the caffeine that is being released by your kidneys.

Dehydration could be another reason why you are encountering a coffee-like smell in the urine. Taking very little amounts of water leads to an increase in the concentration of substances present in your body. Caffeine concentration will also be increased if you have been taking lots of coffee.

Foods that make your urine smell

Eating certain foods can make your urine smell like coffee. They include:

1. Coffee

Caffeine contains a diuretic effect similar to the one found in alcohol leading to a change in your urine smell. Roasted coffee beans produces an oily fragrant known as caffeol. This oily substance is insoluble in water.

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This means that it not only contributes to the delicious smell of freshly brewed espresso, but it is also behind the coffee odor in your pee. You are bound to notice the odor a few hours after taking your cup of coffee.

2. Garlic

It is notorious for passing odors to your pee. Italian food lovers will normally notice that their pee content strong sulfurous odors. This is because garlic is used in many recipes used to prepare Italian foods.

Proper preparation of garlic can however reduce the odor noted in pee. Your urinary tract can however benefit from the ingestion of raw garlic. Many people believe that raw garlic is vital in fighting infectious conditions.

3. Puffed wheat

Puffed wheat is among the numerous foods that can have an interesting effect on your urinary tract system. It is normally eaten as a breakfast cereal. It can lead to the creation of a strong malty odor when consumed by some people.

The odor will however be similar to the smell that was in the food that was consumed. The condition is selective as it does not affect all people who eat puffed wheat.

4. Alcohol

Over-consumption of alcohol can cause your pee to have a very awful smell. What is interesting is that the smell is not caused by passing of any of the ingredients contained in alcohol. The odor is due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.

When consuming alcohol, you get to urinate more frequently without allowing your body enough time to pass clean water to rehydrate the system. The urine ends up becoming acidic as there is very little water to assist in creation of urine.

5. Curry

Some spices will retain their original pungency even after being taken through the digestive tract in your body. People who eat lots of Indian food often notice that their urine smells a little bit spicy. The reason for this is because coriander and cumin pass the chemicals causing the odor via the kidneys.

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These two spices are prevalent in Indian recipes. The result is that your pee will be smelly. What is even more captivating is the fact that coriander is used in treating urinary tract infections in Ayurveda medicine.

Medical reasons for pee smelling like coffee

Your pee is mainly comprised of water. The odor is caused by the concentration and amounts of waste products that are excreted by your kidneys. Urine that is mainly made up of water and very few waste products will in many cases have little or no smell at all. High urine concentration leads to the presence of a strong ammonia odor.

Unusual urine odor can be caused by medical conditions like:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder infections
  • Uncontrolled type2 diabetes
  • Bladder inflammation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Gastrointestinal bladder fistula

When to see a doctor for smelly urine

Ensure you schedule a visit to your doctor if you do not find any recognizable cause for urine smells like coffee, e.g., taking coffee, consumption of spicy foods or asparagus. You should also see a physician if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Experience difficulties emptying your bladder
  • Your pee is brown or dark red in color.
  • Frequent urge to urinate yet you have not increased your fluid intake
  • Experiencing pain when peeing
  • You have noticed blood in your pee

Article Resources:

  • Adam Savage. (N.D). Top 10 foods that make your urine smell the most
  • (2013). Urinalysis
  • (N.D). Henry’s clinical diagnosis and management
  • Mayo Clinic. (N.D). Urine odor
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