The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-14-2004, 04:37 PM
aerodave aerodave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,619
Why can I smell coffee in my urine?

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. Maybe I'm just rare in being able to smell a chemical that everyone is producing, too. Anyone have any ideas?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:22 PM
samclem samclem is offline
graphite is a great moderator
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 21,744
As a serious question, do you eat asparagus? When you pee after eating it, can you smell that unique pungent odor?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:28 PM
gluteus maximus gluteus maximus is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NNW of Rashomon.
Posts: 925
"Wake up and smell the urine!"


Nope. Doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:29 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:36 PM
gluteus maximus gluteus maximus is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NNW of Rashomon.
Posts: 925
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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:41 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:52 PM
Tentacle Monster Tentacle Monster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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?
__________________
The poodle bites! --more--
The poodle chews it! --more--
You die... --more--
Do you want your possessions identified? (Y/n)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-14-2004, 05:58 PM
aerodave aerodave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-14-2004, 07:00 PM
Rudy Rudy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-14-2004, 07:20 PM
samclem samclem is offline
graphite is a great moderator
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 21,744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mudd
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?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-14-2004, 07:32 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 14,089
C'mon, Rudy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy
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.
Peace,
mangeorge
*Of Folger's coffee fame.
__________________
Stop smoking. Do it!
Neither Windshield nor Bug am I.
Give us br'er rabbits.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-14-2004, 11:28 PM
Excalibre Excalibre is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,585
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.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-15-2004, 01:22 AM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-15-2004, 05:54 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: 847 mi. from Cecil
Posts: 28,801
Just to add to the variety, my pee sometimes smells like fresh baked bread.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-15-2004, 07:29 AM
Bakhesh Bakhesh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Are you sure no-one is peeing in your coffee?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-15-2004, 08:15 AM
Philster Philster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I can smell a difference when I drink coffee.

Definitely when I eat asparagus.

And I can smell a difference after eating hot wings.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-15-2004, 10:02 AM
aerodave aerodave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,619
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.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-15-2004, 11:06 AM
Anonymous Coward Anonymous Coward is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by audilover
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.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-15-2004, 11:22 AM
lieu lieu is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 24,951
Should Customs officials be on the lookout for contraband in large shipments of your urine?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-15-2004, 01:42 PM
Max Carnage Max Carnage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady
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.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-15-2004, 03:24 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 11,528
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.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-15-2004, 06:43 PM
galt galt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
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.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-15-2004, 07:25 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 22,801
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.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:25 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-16-2004, 08:18 AM
ReverseCowgirl ReverseCowgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
The converse would be worse

Yeah, be thankful your coffee does not smell like urine. That is a more serious problem.
__________________
I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.