Perhaps you’ve seen documentaries or heard stories where people have had to drink their own urine in order to remain hydrated in survival situations. It would take a seriously extreme situation to make you consider drinking your own urine, but it could happen. In worst case scenarios, there may be no access to any form of hydration. That is when you would wonder: can drinking urine make you sick?
Dehydration is a common way to die in survival situations, and urine presents an option that seems like it could prevent death. Drinking urine is just reabsorbing the waste that your body tried to get rid of in the first place. Not only can it make you sick, but it won’t add much survival value to your cause, either.
Can You Drink Urine to Survive?
If drinking urine to survive dehydration is your grand plan in an emergency scenario, then you’ll really want to spend some time considering other options. Urine is made up of water, that is true, but it contains more waste than clean water.
It’s like drinking the water that your filter removes from your drinking cup. You will only be putting unwanted elements back into your body.
Facing a survival situation makes drinking pee look like a smart option. It is simply putting the water you excreted back into your body, right? Not exactly. Drinking pee to survive is actually more dangerous than not drinking anything. Why, you ask? Your pee has a large amount of salts in it. This means that you may find yourself even more dehydrated after drinking urine than you were before.
How Many Times Can You Drink Your Urine?
Let’s say that you do find yourself in a situation where you do not have access to any source of water. You will feel yourself drifting off due to dehydration and start to consider drinking your own urine.
It is something that many people have done in survival situations. It is a choice to make only when you have run out of other feasible options. But you need to realize that drinking your own urine is not a survival solution that can be sustained over a long period of time.
The number of times you can safely drink your own urine depends on how hydrated you were to begin with. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the more hydrated you are, the clearer your urine is. That’s because when you are properly hydrated, your urine contains more water than waste. As you become increasingly dehydrated your urine will become more yellow in color. This indicates the presence of more toxins that have been excreted as waste.
Each time you drink your own urine, it will be excreted the next time with more toxins. Realistically, the longest you can successfully drink your urine in a survival situation is about 2 days.
This is because each time you drink your urine it becomes more concentrated with toxic waste. Drinking it for more than a couple of days after reaching dehydration will produce similar results as a total kidney failure.
Preventing the Need to Drink Urine
There is no way to predict finding yourself in a sudden survival situation. However, if you are planning to embark on explorations where you may find yourself running short of water, there are ways to plan ahead, as much as possible.
One helpful thing to do is carry a water bottle that contains a filter. Make sure that you fill the bottle before you leave and perhaps carry an extra canteen of water if possible. As you make your way along your journey, fill your portable filter water bottle at any water sources you come across, such as streams.
While you may still find yourself in dire need of hydration, this is a good way to attempt to prevent the need to drink your own urine.
Can drinking urine make you ill? The simple answer is yes. Drinking too much urine can lead to vomiting, increased dehydration, and symptoms like kidney failure. You will be best protected if you do not drink your own urine, if at all possible. Consider what equipment you can add to your collection which will help you avoid drinking urine even in desperate situations.