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View Full Version : Why can I smell coffee in my urine?


aerodave
03-14-2004, 04:37 PM
Well, I guess it doesn't really smell like coffee. But it smells like something.

I don't drink coffee every day. I tend to go through phases, where after weeks of not drinking a cup, I'll drink some every morning for a week or so. Then I get tired of it. For the first couple days of coffee drinking after one of these hiatuses my pee has a noticeably different, somewhat strong aroma. If I keep drinking coffee, it isn't noticeable after a day or two. And if I quit drinking, of course, it goes away.

Also, I'm a heavy and frequent drinker of tea, cola, and beer. Yet none of these beverages seems to alter my urine.

A couple people I've asked about this think it's odd, so I seem to be the only one so far. It kind of reminds me of the SD article on asparagus pee (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_383.html). Maybe I'm just rare in being able to smell a chemical that everyone is producing, too. Anyone have any ideas?

samclem
03-14-2004, 05:22 PM
As a serious question, do you eat asparagus? When you pee after eating it, can you smell that unique pungent odor?

gluteus maximus
03-14-2004, 05:28 PM
"Wake up and smell the urine!"


Nope. Doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow.

Colophon
03-14-2004, 05:29 PM
I know the smell you're talking about. I get it too, but only when I drink real strong stuff... I guess some coffee aroma substance makes it through the kidneys.

gluteus maximus
03-14-2004, 05:36 PM
You know, it seems like you could probably get Starbuck's interested in this phenomenon... I'm sure they'd want to capitalize on it.

Larry Mudd
03-14-2004, 05:41 PM
My urine usually smells like fresh espresso.

Coffee gets its characteristic odour from caffeol, which is water soluble and passes through the human body rapidly without being metabolized.

Tentacle Monster
03-14-2004, 05:52 PM
Bill: It smells like an ashtray when I pee. Is there anything you can do to help with that?
Dave: Gosh, I hope not.
-Newsradio

The first thing I thought when I opened this thread.

Sometimes my pee smells like ham. Maybe nitrates (or is it nitrites?) are making it through my kidneys?

aerodave
03-14-2004, 05:58 PM
As a serious question, do you eat asparagus? When you pee after eating it, can you smell that unique pungent odor?

Unfortunately, no, I don't eat asparagus. I have no idea what it does to my pee.

But at least I feel better knowing I'm not alone on this coffee thing. ;)

Rudy
03-14-2004, 07:00 PM
Oh Goodness, I can definatly smell that coffee aroma when going to the bathroom. I drink alot of strong coffee, and the odor is the strongest after consuming 100% Colombian.

samclem
03-14-2004, 07:20 PM
My urine usually smells like fresh espresso.

Coffee gets its characteristic odour from caffeol, which is water soluble and passes through the human body rapidly without being metabolized.Without trying to sound pedantic, can you give a cite for this?

mangeorge
03-14-2004, 07:32 PM
Oh Goodness, I can definatly smell that coffee aroma when going to the bathroom. I drink alot of strong coffee, and the odor is the strongest after consuming 100% Colombian.
I can just see "Juan Valdez"* leaning over your shoulder as you type, giggling. :p
Peace,
mangeorge
*Of Folger's coffee fame.

Excalibre
03-14-2004, 11:28 PM
I can't add anything to the discussion except to agree, especially when I drink a lot of coffee.

My first pee break in the morning at work always has me feeling a little self-conscious. I hope there's no one else in the bathroom, because my pee is gonna smell funny.

The weird part is that it's not a coffeeish aroma. It smells, if anything, a little bit like tuna. Not fishy, but like some other component of the scent of tuna.

CrazyCatLady
03-15-2004, 01:22 AM
I don't get the coffee smell, however much coffee I drink. But if I have even one cappucino flavored Slimfast, my pee smells funny. A little like coffee, a little like SugarSmacks. It's quite disconcerting.

Fear Itself
03-15-2004, 05:54 AM
Just to add to the variety, my pee sometimes smells like fresh baked bread.

Bakhesh
03-15-2004, 07:29 AM
Are you sure no-one is peeing in your coffee?

Philster
03-15-2004, 08:15 AM
I can smell a difference when I drink coffee.

Definitely when I eat asparagus.

And I can smell a difference after eating hot wings.

aerodave
03-15-2004, 10:02 AM
I don't smell anything different when I go to the bathroom after eating hot wings. But I definitely feel something different. And it's not the pee.

:(

Anonymous Coward
03-15-2004, 11:06 AM
I don't smell anything different when I go to the bathroom after eating hot wings. But I definitely feel something different. And it's not the pee.

:(


Pssst.. in this case try washing your hands before you go to the bathroom. ;)

I too get the Urethra o'Fire if I eat too many spicy wings as well. It's not nearly as common as the Ring o'Fire though.

lieu
03-15-2004, 11:22 AM
Should Customs officials be on the lookout for contraband in large shipments of your urine?

Max Carnage
03-15-2004, 01:42 PM
I don't get the coffee smell, however much coffee I drink. But if I have even one cappucino flavored Slimfast, my pee smells funny. A little like coffee, a little like SugarSmacks. It's quite disconcerting.

And I was going to say that my pee smells just like Sugar Smacks soon after eating a bowl of Sugar Smacks. Wanna smell?

Coffee smell for coffee too.

Johanna
03-15-2004, 03:24 PM
I drink really strong black coffee, and the aroma goes right through me. So this is a real phenomenon, and you're not a freak, you're normal.

I'll tell you another food aroma that makes for fragrant urine: Basmati rice. I eat basmati rice for lunch and dinner every day, and I can smell its characteristic fragrance the next morning.

In the novel The House of Doctor Dee by Peter Ackroyd, the Elizabethan alchemist Dr. John Dee urinates the morning after a party when he'd been drinking spiced wine. He smells cinnamon and muses how his urine could be collected and alchemically refined to retrieve the cinnamon.

galt
03-15-2004, 06:43 PM
Having your urine smell like coffee doesn't seem like anything you should worry about, but I would start to be concerned if your coffee smells like urine. :D

panache45
03-15-2004, 07:25 PM
Sometimes I swear my urine smells like popcorn, or maybe rice cakes, even though I no longer eat either.

And for the record, I do get very strong asparagus pee, even after eating only 1-2 spears.

Colophon
03-16-2004, 07:25 AM
Sugar Puffs (which I assume are of the same ilk as Sugar Smacks, whatever they are...) are the main culprit for scented whiz, for me.

ReverseCowgirl
03-16-2004, 08:18 AM
Yeah, be thankful your coffee does not smell like urine. That is a more serious problem.