There you are, enjoying a long, relaxing leak when you glance down and double-take. It looks like you’re filling the toilet bowl with lemon-lime Gatorade.
How could your body be capable of producing this strange color? Were you exposed to some radioactive substance? Are you falling victim to a rare disease? Fortunately, neither is the case.
The color of your urine can tell you a lot about your health. So what’s the story behind neon yellow pee?
You’ve probably been told that clear pee is the holy grail, and any other colors are no bueno. That’s not necessarily the case. Neon yellow pee is usually a sign you’re getting a bunch of B vitamins—and possibly a sign you’re wasting money.
Allow us to explain.
What Causes Neon Yellow Pee?
The most common cause of neon yellow pee is excess B vitamins in your system—specifically vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin).
Riboflavin is a water-soluble antioxidant known for its bright yellow pigment. Fun fact: The “flavin” part of the name comes from the Latin word “flavus,” which translates to yellow. Having a surplus of B2 in your body isn’t dangerous or unhealthy—it just changes your urine color temporarily.
The higher the concentration of B2 in your system, the more vibrant It usually takes a few trips to the bathroom before your pee goes back to its typical pale yellow color.
Food dyes in processed foods can also turn your pee bright yellow, but in most cases, you can blame vitamin B2.
Yes, Multivitamins Make Your Pee Bright Yellow
If your pee turns neon yellow shortly after you take vitamins, it’s no coincidence.
The recommended daily intake for adult males is 1.3 mg. However, many multivitamin supplements are packed with mega-doses of riboflavin. For instance, GNC’s Mega Men multivitamin contains 50 mg of riboflavin—that’s 2,941% of your daily value.
Your body doesn’t store extra riboflavin; it only uses the amount it needs and then gets rid of the excess by peeing it out. In other words, when you take mega doses of riboflavin, you’re literally flushing money down the toilet.
If your pee is neon yellow and you aren’t popping any supplements, chances are you ate a bunch of riboflavin-rich foods. Those include beef, pork, chicken, fish, dairy, and green vegetables.
You can’t overdose on riboflavin, according to Harvard Health. There aren’t any reports of side effects from high-dose supplements other than bright yellow urine, of course.
Is Neon Yellow Pee Normal?
A lot of dudes freak out when they take a leak and turn the toilet water highlighter yellow. There’s no need to worry, though.
The University of Rochester Medical Center notes that bright yellow urine is a normal response to vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
This micronutrient is essential for energy production and helps your body process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from the food you eat. Neon yellow pee is a small price to pay for essential bodily functions.
Other Common Pee Colors
The color of your pee says a lot about your health. Let’s break down the potential colors of your pee and what causes them.
- Adequate hydration
- Excess vitamin C
- Certain medications
- Eating foods high in carotene, like sweet potatoes
- Eating beets, rhubarb, or blackberries
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Medications containing phenol
- Antidepressant medications
- Food dyes
- Certain antipsychotic drugs
- Sennoside laxatives
- Unsteady urine flow
- Kidney disease
- Excess protein in your diet
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Don’t Be Afraid to Inspect Your Pee, DUDE
Going to the doctor for a checkup once a year isn’t the only way to stay on top of your health. Your pee and poop are strong indicators of what’s happening inside your body, so there’s no shame in giving your excrement an extra look before you flush it down the toilet.
Neon yellow pee is harmless. But if you see something funky or have changes in your urine that last longer than usual, hit up a urologist to rule out any serious medical conditions.
In the meantime, we’ll be standing by to keep your DUDE regions clean 24/7.