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Yellow Mellow: The Colour of Pee and Hydration

Did you know that the colour of your urine can tell you a lot about how hydrated you are?


Urine contains waste products and one of these is a chemical called urobilin, which is yellow. So, if you’ve ever wondered why urine is yellow, it’s because of the urobilin in it! In fact, the colour of your urine depends on how much urobilin is in it as well as how much water there is.


Urine that is pale yellow indicates that there is a lot of water in it, which means that you have been drinking enough water and you are hydrated. Urine that is dark yellow indicates that there is less water in it and more urobilin. This means that you probably haven’t been drinking enough water and you are dehydrated.


Use the urine colour chart below to see how hydrated you are!



1 to 2 (Clear, Very Pale Yellow): Hydrated

You’re well-hydrated. Keep drinking at the same rate!

3 to 4 (Pale Yellow, Bright Yellow): Mildly Dehydrated

Your body needs more water. Have a drink of water now!

5 to 6 (Amber): Dehydrated

You’re dehydrated. Have a few glasses of water now!

7 to 8 (Burnt Orange, Tea Coloured): Very Dehydrated

You’re severely dehydrated. This can be dangerous so make sure you drink a large bottle of water now!


How much water does my child need?

You can work out how much water your child requires based on their age.

4-8 years = 1200mL

9-13 years Boys = 1600mL Girls = 1400mL*

*NHMRC Guidelines


Remember that most cups are about 200mL. It is best to drink full drinks (about 200mL) a number of times during the day, rather than constantly sipping small amounts.


Tips for staying hydrated:

  • Drink lots of water! Take a water bottle with you when you’re going out e.g. school, kindergarten, shopping centre, park, etc. Drink water especially after physical activity.
  • Choose to have water rather than sugary drinks.
  • Have water with every meal and snack.


Does your child struggle to drink water? Click here to see how you can make drinking water more fun!


Madison Brook (Occupational Therapist)





Healthdirect. (2019). Urine colour chart.

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