Asparagus: Why does it make our urine smell?

We’ve all noticed that our urine smells funny after eating asparagus, and may appear to be slightly foggy or more yellow than normal. This happens to everyone to some extent, and there is an explanation behind the phenomenon.

Asparagus contains certain compounds that, when broken down and metabolized by humans, release a strong odor and are excreted through the urine. These compounds are called mercaptans, and they are actually the same things that give skunks their distinctive smell! If you have not noticed a distinct odor in your urine after eating asparagus, it may be because either your body does not break down these compounds into the strong-smelling chemicals, or you don’t have a great sense of smell. However, it could also mean that you are just very well hydrated. The more dehydrated someone is, the stronger the scent and deeper the color of the urine. So, one option to minimize the smell is to stay very well hydrated before, during, and after eating asparagus. But, if you do experience the strong odor don't be worried - it's actually a good thing because it means your kidneys are functioning properly!


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