Urine Color Chart: What Clear, Yellow, Green or Red Urine Means

Updated in November 2022

Urine color can appear different after eating certain foods or taking medication, therefore in most cases, changes to urine color are not of clinical concern. Nonetheless, changes in urine color may be a sign of a health condition, like a UTI, kidney stones or liver inflammation. 

Normal urine color that is yellow to clear is a sign of adequate hydration and means that toxins are properly being excreted. Urine that appears darker or presents as another color may emerge with symptoms like foul-smelling odor, burning with urination or abdominal pain. If these symptoms appear with an abnormal urine color, you should see a doctor. 

If urine color changes persist for over 3 days, you should seek assessment. The doctor will assess for other possible symptoms and will likely order urine testing to determine a cause and start treatment as necessary. 

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Types of urine colors 

Color is one of the characteristics of urine that a doctor assesses to evaluate whether the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys are working within normal limits. Check-out what each color means below: 

1. Clear urine 

Clear urine is usually a sign that you are drinking excessive water and that your urine is becoming diluted.

What to do: Treatment is usually not needed for clear urine, however the doctor may advise you to drink less water if you experience frequency or urgency to urinate. 

2. Dark yellow urine

Dark yellow urine is one of the most common urine color abnormalities. Normally, it is a sign of dehydration from low water intake. However, persistently dark yellow urine may be a sign of a liver problem causing an accumulation of bilirubin. This type of issue may cause almost brown urine.  

What to do: You should increase your water intake. If this color persists for over 3 days, you are advised to see your doctor. 

3. Orange urine

Orange urine can emerge as a result of increased intake of betacarotene-rich foods, like carrots, papaya or pumpkin. Medications like phenazopyridine or rifampicin can also turn orange yellow.  as well as liver or biliary duct disease. These organ issues will additionally present with white or light-colored stools. Dehydration can also cause orange urine. 

What to do: You should avoid excessively eating foods that are rich in betacarotenes. However, if the orange urine persists, or if you notice a change in color after taking certain medications, you should notify your doctor. 

4. Red or pink urine

Red or pink urine is usually a sign of blood in the urine. This can occur with a UTI, kidney stones, kidney injury, prostate enlargement, tumors, kidney cysts or even after intense exercise. Bloody urine may emerge with symptoms like painful urination or fever. Read more about what can cause blood in the urine.

Red urine may also be caused by eating red food, like beets, or by eating food with red food coloring. 

Some medication can also cause red urine, like rifampicin and phenazopyridine. 

What to do: If you have eaten red food recently, avoid these foods to see if urine color returns to normal. In other cases, you should see your doctor to identify a diagnosis and start treatment as needed. 

If you notice red or pink urine after starting a new medication, you should report this side effect to your prescriber to determine whether an alternative is necessary. 

5. Purple urine 

Purple urine is an abnormal finding that emerges in some patients with an catheter. The purple color comes from the transformation of bacteria within the catheter tube. 

There is also a rare condition called purple urine bag syndrome, which is common in older women who have a permanent or indwelling catheter. 

What to do: In these cases, you are advised to contact your doctor or urologist, as antibiotic therapy may be necessary. 

6. Blue urine

Blue urine is usually caused by blue food coloring or from using a blue methylene contrast for imaging tests or surgery. Medications can also cause blue urine, like amitriptyline, indomethacin and sildenafil. 

What to do: Discoloration in urine following contrast is an expected finding that usually resolves within 24 hours. If the blue urine is unrelated to contrast or medication, you should follow-up with your doctor. 

7. Green urine

Green urine is not a clinical concern, and usually occurs after eating green food, food coloring, taking medication (like amitriptyline) or using contrast in diagnostic tests.

Some infections, like those caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, and the presence of a fistula in the intestines, can also lead to green urine.  Read more about what causes green urine and what you should do to treat it.

What to do: Eliminate all green foods and food coloring from the diet. If the urine is still green, you are advised to see your doctor for assessment and treatment as indicated. 

8. Brown urine

Brown or very dark urine is usually sign of severe dehydration, however it may also be a sign of a liver problem like hepatitis or cirrhosis. Some medications, like methyldopa or sennasides, can also make urine darker. 

Eating some foods excessively, like fava beans, can also make urine appear darker. Check-out the other common causes of dark urine and what you can do to treat it.

What to do: In these cases, you should increase your water intake. If the brown urine persists, see your doctor for assessment and possible treatment. Brown urine caused by a medication should be reported to your doctor, while foods that cause color changes should be eliminated. 

9. White urine 

White urine, also known as albuminuria, can be a sign of a severe UTI. In these cases, the white urine will be accompanied by symptoms like burning with urination and fever. White urine can also be caused by a lymphatic fistula that forms due to a neoplasm or abdominal injuries. 

What to do: You should see a family doctor for urine testing so that the underlying problem can be identified. Once confirmed, the doctor can initiate the appropriate treatment. 

Urine color chart 

Below you will find a summary of the most common causes for urine color changes:

Urine color Causes
Clear  Excessive water intake 
Dark yellow

Decreased water intake

Liver problem


Betacarotene-rich foods

Liver disease

Biliary duct disease 


Red or pink


Kidney stones

Kidney injury

Prostate enlargement

Renal, bladder or prostate cancer

Kidney cysts

Intense exercise



Purple Catheter use 

Contrast for imaging tests or surgery



Green food



Intestinal fistula

Contrast for imaging tests


Severe dehydration

Liver problem 


Holding your urine

Kidney stones


Severe UTI

Protein in the urine

Lymphatic fistula

Any sudden changes to your urine color should be reported and discussed with your doctor, especially if they do not resolve on their own.