I know there's an assumption in the question but here's the situation. I'm on a lifting program I really enjoy, based on 3x/week compound barbell movements with progressive overload.

I know you have to eat, sleep and drink enough fluids to recover but it seems impossible to get all the water my muscles want. I always have to pee during the middle of the night. If I don't get enough water, after even a moderately intense workout which otherwise doesn't give me problems, I'm likely to get a migraine type headache onset in the morning lasting all day. I'm sure it's thirst related and my muscles are sucking up water, but when I pee, it is clear.

That is telling me it is not urea, correct? I also don't get intense thirst during or immediately after a workout. It is usually by the evening and especially night and morning so I assume it relates to muscle building (synthesis) and their need for it. Again it feels the muscles are sucking water from everywhere, but I feel it in my mouth, my throat and my head.

So my question is this. If the water I drink gets quickly eliminated, not kept, that makes me think it's being used for waste elimination ahead of local storage and if it's clear, then it's not urea, so I was wondering what waste product that would be associated with muscle synthesis or recovery? Then I can Google and learn more about it.

Or perhaps the water is just not getting into the muscles, being filtered first. If not, why not and what can I do?

Thank you!!

  • If your pee is colourless, that's usually a sign that you're drinking too much water, not too little; overhydration. With that said, I'm not a doctor. Voting to close this question as it is general health.
    – C. Lange
    Nov 18, 2020 at 15:31
  • @C.Lange it's tricky... the question is very much phrased as a general health question, which is off-topic, but I think the answer actually relates to exercise nutrition, which is on topic. Does that make the question ok? Nov 18, 2020 at 16:12
  • How's your salt intake? Nov 18, 2020 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


No, urea is not the cause of the yellow colour of urine. That's urobilin, which is an end product of the breakdown of red blood cells.

Urea is the body's means of disposing of metabolised amino acids, and so urea production (and need for disposal) will increase if you have a high protein diet. You'll need to urinate more to dispose of that, and drink more water to recover that lost in urine, but your urine will appear clear because urea is clear when dissolved in water, and the urobilin normally present in your urine is now diluted due to your increased urination frequency. (And while your body has extra proteins to dispose of, it still isn't cycling through red blood cells any faster than normal, so urobilin production hasn't increased.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.