Do you think you have unusual urination habits? Maybe you pee twice as often as your co-workers, or you won’t go for hours even after drinking like a porpoise.
Everyone is different, and you’ve likely encountered people at both extreme ends of the spectrum (maybe it’s you, who knows). You have to wonder – what is the normal number of times to pee per day?
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?
This 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.”