As the Sacramento area bakes in a near weeklong heat wave, there’s a way to know if you are drinking enough water: Check your urine color.
That’s the word from the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Sacramento County OES posted a chart on Facebook titled “Are you hydrated?”
The chart shows urine colors of a hydrated person compared to someone who is dehydrated. The darker the urine, the more likely a person is dehydrated.
“Urine color is a practical and viable marker of hydration in most people,” said Dr. David S. Yee, a urologist and urologic oncologist with Sutter Roseville Medical Center. “Although not perfect, there is supporting evidence in the medical literature.”
When the brain determines that the body needs to be cooled, sweat evaporates from the body’s 2.6 million sweat glands. As a person sweats, the body loses water and electrolytes, according to the CDC.
Drinking water and replenishing electrolytes is needed to keep the body functioning. So workers need to be reminded to drink water frequently – before becoming thirsty.
“In addition to providing plenty of water in convenient locations close to the work site, employers can provide urine color charts near toilet facilities,” according to the CDC.
Another Sutter urologist noticed the chart when he was overseas in the military:
“That same color chart was posted in every bathroom and porta-potty in Iraq during my deployment in the summer of 2005,” said Dr. Kenneth Ferguson, a Sutter Health physician in Davis.