AUG 12, 2018 8:47 PM PDT

In a Life or Death Scenario, Should You Drink Your Urine?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

If you’re stranded somewhere without any potable drinking water, and your body is dying of thirst, should you consider drinking your own urine to survive? This long-standing myth has gained a lot of traction in recent years among survivalists, but all the science points to the answer being “no.”

Although urine contains water that your body could use if there were no other drinkable fluids available, it's also comprised of a bevy of other potentially-hazardous stuff that could make the situation even worse for you.

For one, it’s full of sodium. Sodium works as a dehydrator, causing the opposite of what you’d want if you were dying of thirst. Additionally, urine contains urea, a contaminant your body naturally expels through urine to remove it. Drinking it again would merely make your body work harder to remove it a second time.  

The dehydration and high urea levels impose the threat of organ failure and death, but the risks don’t end there. Urine also contains high levels of harmful bacteria, which can induce gum disease, nausea, and other forms of sickness.

If you happen to find yourself in one of these post-apocalyptic scenarios with no potable water nearby, perhaps your best bet is to keep looking instead of drinking urine.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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