No scientific evidence supports that drinking urine can protect you from COVID-19. Drinking urine can actually be harmful to your health. Experts say staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines can be the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19.

It’s a common trope in many survival movies. A person who’s lost in the woods or stranded at sea drinks their own urine to stave off dehydration.

Drinking urine for medicinal purposes, also called urine therapy, has been documented as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Some people have advocated its use to help with various ailments, including but not limited to:

You may have recently heard of urine therapy for COVID-19. But drinking urine won’t protect you from COVID-19. In fact, it may actually harm you. Keep reading to find out why.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have stated that drinking urine can protect you from COVID-19.

But no scientific evidence supports this claim.

As of writing this, PubMed, a resource containing more than 35 million citations from peer-reviewed biomedical research, doesn’t have any studies linking urine therapy to protection against COVID-19.

In fact, a 2016 research review noted that “much of what we have heard about the use of urine therapy has no medical basis, and is folk remedy that can actually worsen the injury.”

In addition to not protecting you against COVID-19, drinking urine is potentially harmful to your health. Let’s explore why.

Urine is waste

Urine itself is waste. Your urinary tract’s function is to filter your blood, removing waste and extra fluids from your body through urine. Some examples of what urine comprises include:

Simply put, drinking urine reintroduces unneeded substances back into your body. This means that your body will need to filter them out all over again, which may lead to unnecessary strain or damage to your kidneys.

Drinking urine can dehydrate you

Remember the concept of drinking urine for survival? It may seem counterintuitive, but rather than preventing dehydration, drinking urine may dehydrate you further.

While it’s true that urine is mostly water, it also contains salt. Salt can increase your level of thirst, which will actually make you more dehydrated.

Additionally, more concentrated urine, such as when you’re dehydrated, contains even more salt and other waste substances.

As such, the Department of Defense noted in a survival handbook that urine must not substitute as a water source due to its salt content and potentially harmful body wastes.

Urine isn’t sterile

You may have heard that urine is sterile. But that’s not necessarily true.

Studies have found bacteria in human urine samples. Some of these bacteria can cause disease and can include:

A 2010 study also found that some bacteria from human urine were resistant to antibiotics.

Cow urine and dung for COVID-19

People haven’t just advocated the use of human urine to treat COVID-19. A 2021 report looked at the use of cow urine and dung to treat COVID-19.

According to the report, people have used cow urine and dung in India and other countries for wellness since ancient times. However, it also represents a significant public health concern.

There’s no scientific evidence to support using cow urine or dung to treat COVID-19, and various diseases can spread through this method, including ringworm, Q-fever, and salmonellosis.

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Experts say the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 can be to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized or approved four vaccines for COVID-19. Experts consider these vaccines safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death due to COVID-19.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that you can also protect yourself from COVID-19 by:

  • avoiding physical contact with people who have or might have COVID-19
  • washing your hands frequently
  • moving group activities outside, if possible
  • improving ventilation indoors
  • wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing, if necessary

Should you become ill with COVID-19, the FDA has authorized or approved treatments that can help prevent serious illness, including:

  • molnupiravir (Lagevrio)
  • nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid)
  • remdesivir (Veklury)

There’s so much health information available online, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell what’s true and what’s false. When looking at health information online, always ask yourself the five W’s:


Who runs the site that you’re on? Is it run by a government, medical, or educational institution? Or does a social media influencer run it?

A reputable site should list who’s running it, their credentials, and whether they have any affiliations.

Also, who reviews the information on the site to ensure that it’s accurate? Ideally, an expert in the field needs to review health information for accuracy.


What claims is the site making? Do you feel the site is trying to sell you on a specific idea or product?


When was the information published, and when did an expert last review it? Verify that the source has up-to-date information, not information that’s several years old.


Where does the site’s information come from? Is it based on peer-reviewed research or anecdotal?

People must base online health information on accepted medical standards and the findings of peer-reviewed scientific research. A reputable site will list sources, so be sure to check them out.


Why does the site or page exist? Is it geared toward providing general health information? Or is it promoting a specific idea or product?

When in doubt, ask your doctor

If you have questions or concerns about health information you’ve found online, raise them with a doctor. They can address any questions or reservations you may have.

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There’s no scientific evidence that drinking urine can protect you from COVID-19. In fact, it may hurt you.

Drinking urine reintroduces potentially harmful wastes back into your body and can also contain bacteria. Additionally, the salt in urine can promote dehydration.

Experts say the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 can be to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccination, be sure to raise them with a medical professional.