Do you get up to pee twice as often as your co-workers? Or maybe you’re the type of person who can go hours without a bathroom break, no matter how much water you down. Pee patterns seem to run the gamut from high frequency to hardly ever—which made us wonder, What’s a normal number of times to go in a day? (You can laugh now, but you’ll thank us later!)
Neil Grafstein, MD, who’s an assistant professor of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, answers that important question, along with a few other pee puzzles.
How often should we be peeing?
his is what you’re here for, right? According to Dr. Grafstein, the average number is between 4-7 a day – a pretty wide range. It sounds like a half-assed answer, but the reality is there is no magic number.
Urination frequency isn’t only dependent on how hydrated you are. Other factors, like what you’re drinking or the sensitivity of your bladder, plays a role, too.
“Caffeine and alcohol are bladder irritants, so they cause you to urinate more frequently,” says Dr. Grafstein.
Is it possible to train your bladder?
Some people can hold their pee, even if they feel that push to go to the bathroom. Others heed the call of nature at the slightest urge. Dr. Grafstein says you can train your bladder to hold out for longer, assuming you don’t have any underlying incontinence issues.
Training your bladder is simple, done in one easy step: hold it! This retrains your bladder, so you will only have to go when the urge gets real strong.
“A little sensitivity does not have to be responded to all the time.”
Some professions require you to build up that resistance naturally, like a surgeon or teacher.
What if midnight bathroom trips are ruining your sleep?
If you need to wee in the wee hours of the night, and it’s a recurring issue, Dr. Grafstein suggests logging a fluid diary (it’s not as gross as it sounds).
Document how much, what, and when you drink. If you find you’re drinking a lot more fluids in the latter part of the day, try switching that up. Cutting back on booze near bedtime helps, too.
Make sure it really is your bladder keeping you up at night and not another ailment like anxiety or sleep apnea!
Can the color of your pee really tell you if you’re well hydrated?
Similar to how often you pee, the colour of your urine is dependent on more than your level of hydration.
The foods you eat can have an effect (right, beet lovers?), and what you’ve had to drink as well.
But in general, the colour of your pee is usually a good indicator of your hydration.
Dr. Grafstein says the goal should be, “If the toilet bowl turns a see-through yellow color, you’re golden.”
Other Urine related Facts
- It’s ok to hold your pee until it starts to hurt.
- But, you should avoid holding your pee because it can increase the risk for bladder infections.
- If your urine is smelling sweet it is a sign of diabetes.
- Asparagus can cause your pee to be foul-smelling.
- Pee is 95% water.
- The normal pee color is see-through yellow.
- There are some foods which can change the color of the pee.
- The average stream of pee is about seven seconds.
- As you grow older, your urine stream becomes weaker.
- You also pee more as you age.
Tip: In order to avoid sleep disruption from the urge to pee, you should avoid drink fluids one hour before bedtime. Also, don’t forget to pee right before you go to bed.