Cloudy urine refers to pee that’s murky and no longer transparent. It can result from many underlying causes, including certain foods and drinks.
Some causes of cloudy urine are harmless, while others may require medical attention.
Here are 7 foods and drinks that may cause cloudy urine.
Some people may get cloudy urine after eating large amounts of foods that are high in phosphorus and purines, such as milk and dairy products (
Phosphorus is a mineral that’s necessary for optimal bone health and many bodily functions (
When you consume high amounts of phosphorus, your body may release it in your urine, causing murky pee. However, this is uncommon among generally healthy people.
Dairy is particularly rich in bone-building calcium. For most people, eating milk and dairy products in moderation is not a concern. In fact, they can be a nutritious addition to your diet (
More often, urine that’s high in phosphorus may be a sign of kidney disease, high vitamin D levels, or a thyroid condition caused by too much parathyroid hormone in the body (
These conditions require medical attention.
Consuming too much milk or dairy could temporarily cause cloudy urine as your body works to excrete excess phosphorus. However, more often, urine that’s high in phosphorus is the result of an underlying condition.
Meat, including poultry and beef, is also high in phosphorus.
As is the case with dairy products, consuming too much meat may cause your body to excrete excess phosphorus via urine. As a result, your pee may turn from transparent to opaque (
However, having cloudy pee as a result of a high phosphorus diet is uncommon.
It’s more likely that eating too much of certain types of meat contributes to other causes of cloudy urine.
Highly processed or cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, salami, and pepperoni, may be high in salt.
Consuming too much salt can increase thirst and contribute to dehydration, which in turn may cause your urine to be darker, more concentrated, and cloudier (
To reap the benefits of meat without unwanted side effects, including cloudy urine, eat meat in moderation and limit high salt varieties, in particular.
Consuming too much meat could increase urinary phosphorus excretion and lead to cloudy urine. Processed and cured meats are also high in salt, which may contribute to dehydration and make cloudy urine even cloudier.
Some types of seafood, especially anchovies, shellfish, and sardines, are high in purines, a group of compounds that the body turns into uric acid.
When some people eat a lot of purine-rich foods, it can lead to high levels of uric acid in their urine. This is also known as hyperuricosuria. As a result, urine may appear cloudy (
However, seafood provides a ton of health benefits. It’s rich in lean protein, several minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and promote heart health (
For most people, the benefits of consuming seafood outweigh the possible downsides. If you’re concerned about your purine intake or a healthcare professional has advised you to limit purines, opt for seafood that’s lower in purines, such as salmon, flounder, and halibut.
Other high purine foods to limit include red meat, meat gravies, organ meats, alcohol, and foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.
In addition to a high purine diet, certain medical conditions can lead to excess uric acid in the urine. These conditions include gout, insulin resistance, and certain genetic conditions (
Certain types of seafood are high in purines, which get broken down into uric acid in your body and may cause cloudy urine in some people.
Cloudy urine can also result from a high sugar intake.
In particular, high fructose intake is linked to hyperuricosuria. Your body’s metabolism of fructose promotes the formation of uric acid (
As such, eating a lot of fructose can lead to excess uric acid in your pee, resulting in cloudy urine.
Fructose is naturally found in fruit, honey, and molasses. It’s also the main component of high fructose corn syrup, which is used in sodas and sugary drinks, candy and packaged desserts, salad dressing and condiments, certain granola bars, and some breads and crackers.
If you consume a lot of fructose, you may experience cloudy urine, but not everyone experiences this effect. Individuals with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or metabolic syndrome are more likely to have hyperuricosuria (
Besides their possible effect on urine cloudiness, foods and drinks high in fructose often offer little nutritional value. It’s best to limit these items on a balanced diet.
High fructose intake from sugary foods and drinks may lead to high urine levels of uric acid and result in cloudiness.
Salty foods like chips, canned soups, cured and deli meats, and salted popcorn may be behind your murky pee.
Eating too much salt can affect your body’s fluid balance and cause your kidneys to hold onto water.
If you eat a lot of salt and don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. This can lead to dark, cloudy urine and fewer trips to the bathroom (
What’s more, many foods that are high in salt contain other unhealthy ingredients and don’t provide many beneficial nutrients.
Most experts recommend keeping salt intake around 2,300 mg per day, or the equivalent of 1 teaspoon (6 grams) of salt, in addition to consuming plenty of water to stay hydrated (
Consuming excess salt can cause your body to hold onto water and may contribute to dehydration. This can result in concentrated, cloudy urine.
Having an occasional alcoholic beverage doesn’t usually cause problems, but drinking too much alcohol may contribute to cloudy urine.
Alcohol is considered a diuretic, meaning it causes your kidneys to release more water by suppressing the hormone that usually stops urination (
As a result, alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration. After a night of drinking, you may find that your urine is darker and cloudier than usual.
To prevent cloudy urine from alcohol-related dehydration, remember to drink water alongside alcoholic beverages.
Excess alcohol intake may also increase your risk of heart disease, liver disease, some cancers, and several other health issues. Experts recommend limiting your alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men (
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can result in cloudy urine. Remember to consume alcohol in moderation and drink water with it to prevent dehydration.
Coffee and tea are two possible culprits behind cloudy urine.
Coffee and some teas, such as green, black, and oolong, contain caffeine. When you consume caffeine, it causes several diuretic effects on the kidneys and increases urine excretion (
Drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks may lead to dehydration and urine cloudiness or color changes.
However, plain coffee and green and black teas also provide health benefits. They’re loaded with compounds that act as antioxidants and help prevent cell damage related to disease development (
Still, it’s important to drink these beverages in moderation to avoid dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water after consuming caffeinated coffee or tea.
Coffee and teas that contain caffeine can have diuretic effects and lead to dehydration and cloudy urine. Though they provide beneficial compounds, it’s best to drink them in moderation along with plenty of water.
Cloudy urine can be harmless, but it may also be a sign of a medical condition or serious underlying cause.
Some conditions associated with cloudy urine include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate problems, and sexually transmitted infections.
See a doctor if your cloudy urine does not go away or is accompanied by a foul smell, blood, pain, vomiting, or discharge. These may indicate an infection or other issue.
Cloudy urine is often harmless, but this isn’t always the case. Seek medical attention if you have other symptoms alongside cloudy urine, or if it doesn’t go away.
Some foods and drinks may contribute to cloudy urine.
These include foods that are high in phosphorus, purines, refined sugars, and salt, as well as alcohol and caffeine.
However, sometimes cloudy urine is a sign of something more serious. Consult a medical professional if you experience other symptoms alongside cloudy urine.