Can Tea Discolor Urine? What You Should Know About Color Changes
As doctors will have undoubtedly told you, it is a good idea to know the exact color of your urine. Although it may sound rather odd, urine color and even odor can be a good indicator of your health. More importantly, it can tell you know if something is wrong with your body.
At the same time, you are probably aware that the color of urine can change for perfectly normal reasons. For instances, some foods can cause discoloration. So, if you have been increasing your tea intake and been noticing a change in urine color, it is only natural to wonder “can tea discolor urine?”. Well, find out here!
What Foods Can Cause Urine Discoloration?
As mentioned, various foods – and even medications – can cause a change in the color of your urine. These include:
- Beets, blackberries, fava beans, and rhubarb can cause urine to change to reddish or dark brown.
- Carrots or vitamin C can add an orange hue to urine.
- B vitamins can change the color to greenish.
- Asparagus can add a greenish tinge to your urine.
- Any foods that contain food dyes or pigments may also alter the shade of the urine accordingly.
You should bear in mind that these foods will only alter the color for a short period of time. So, if you have stopped consuming those foods or supplements and continue to notice changes in color, it is important to speak with your doctor. A health condition may be to blame.
Can Tea Color Urine?
Now, you will have noticed that tea was not mentioned in the above list. This is because tea doesn’t alter the color of your urine. Not even black tea will do this.
Teas aren’t pigmented and, as such, will not really have an impact on your urine. Increasing your consumption of tea may lead to greater urine output. You may also notice that your urine looks paler in color as it is more diluted. However, the color shouldn’t change.
What Does It Mean If Your Urine Is Tea Colored?
The reason that you may have been wondering if tea can change the color of your urine is because you have been noticing tea-colored urine. So, if the beverage isn't to blame, what else could be the cause?
Well, the dark brown hue could be attributed to beets, blackberries, fava beans, or rhubarb. As you will have seen in the above section, this can cause your urine to resemble a tea color. So, your first order of business would be to stay away from these foods for a few days and to monitor your urine color again.
If the issue continues, then this color change could be the result of medications that you may have been prescribed. Some of the medicines that can cause these are:
- Antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine and primaquine
- Antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl) and nitrofurantoin (Furadantin)
- Laxatives containing the ingredients cascara or senna
- Methocarbamol — a muscle relaxant
If you haven’t been prescribed these medications, then you could be suffering from a health condition. The mildest possible issue could be some kind of urinary tract infection. Certain liver and kidney problems may also manifest as tea-colored urine.
Have you been exercising strenuously lately? Or, do you have an exercise-related injury? Muscle injuries from extreme exercise can cause a darker brown urine. If you have inflammation of the kidneys, then this could be another reason that your urine would change color.
What Should You Do?
If you ruled out food as the cause of discolored urine, then it is a good idea to see a doctor. A GP or specialist will be able to run specific tests to determine if there is any health issue that you should know about.
Even if you are prescribed a medication or supplement that could alter the color of your urine, it is still a good idea to get a professional opinion, especially if the discoloration continues. It is possible that the medications are masking another health concern.
As you can see, tea can’t change the color of your urine. So, if you notice any changes, particularly if your urine is tea-colored, then you should speak with a doctor. They will be able to advise you on how you should proceed.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.