Dark brown urine - do I need to worry?

Completed my last long training run before the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 in a couple of weeks. At about 22 miles I needed a wee and was a bit freaked out at the colour (dark brown). I felt fine and carried on for another few miles. Strange thing is I've run almost this far before and rarely ever urinate en route as I drink less water than today. Today I think I drank about 1250-1500ml of water and 60mg of 2:1carbo fuel with added electrolytes. Is this kind of thing normal or do I need to seriously increase my fluid intake? 



  • Lack of hydration.  Take on more fluids pre and post lsr and ensure you're carrying enough during the run to sustain you - balancing that can be tricky so don't go ott - but do try to ensure you take on lots of water the night before and sufficient pre run to get you through, for instance, the first ten miles (that's a comfort thing, so work that one out for your own requirements). 

  • How well do you hydrate the day before your long run?

    You could still be dehydrated even if you think you are drinking enough during your run - especially in warm weather.

    Good hydration is a case of little and often before, during and after.

  • Yes drink more 

  • i always drink gallons the day before a long run, then little and often before,during and after.....not an expert, but never had brown wee so most probably works!image

  • Pre run hydration was not good. Cup of redbush tea and a small glass of water. Lesson learned...

  • Whit??  Think pints man.....PINTS!  The day before.  Then sensible before/during and replenish well after.

    Redbush tea....pfft  image


    Btw, my favourite post lsr drink (because I can't tolerate super sweet recovery snot drinks)...... sugar free Vimto.  The recovery drink of champions. Honest.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Make sure you hydrate sufficiently before the race and drink to thirst on the way round.
  • Make sure you drink plenty after as well - to rehydrate and flush out toxins/waste products, especially those related to muscle breakdown. I had a nasty experience after a race recently have not really rehydrated properly - symptoms suggesting that I had early rhabdomyolosis (not good!)

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I've been having this discussion with hydrophobics for the past three weeks. 

    I'm honestly impressed with how seriously some of you guys take this subject. 
    Keep it up.

  • the darkness could indicate their is blood in the urine..or it could hide it.but this is something that happens with runners occassionally as well but still needs to be checked out

  • I concur with Rich1 - I had full blown rhabdomyolosis last year (2 weeks in hospital) not a good experience. To be fair my experience was not just down to hydration although this was a contributory factor.

  • and not just water - if you are that far dehydrated you need electrolyte replacement too dont forget. .

  • Hi David

    realistically it could be one of a few things, without testing the urine it isnt possible to determine what the disscolouration was due to.

    A rule of thumb would be, if it was a dark yellow to orange it could be highly concentrated due to dehydration.

    Brown (similar to dark coloured tea) it could be Rhabdomyolysis indicating excessive muscle break down.

    More imoportantly pinkish to red could indicate haemolysis, a breakdown of red blood cells in the body, which could be indicative of kidney damage.

    If this persists or if youre worried go and see youre GP for peace of mind.

  • Rhabdomyolisis sounds a bit extreme for 22miles!! Especially if you're taking on 1500ml of liquid during run, but I suppose it's based on things like previous training / genetics and diet so always a factor.

    I would just air on side of caution and drink more generally. I tend to not drink too much before runs as it makes me wee a lot and therefore slows me down, but have paid for it in the past.

    In short PPPPPP (proper preparation prevents p*ss pore performance) and in this case brown wee too.

    I know nothing about Rhabdomyolisis by the way, so will have to get some bedtime reading. Just basing this on personal experience.

  • SloanRanger wrote (see)


    hehe, I thought you cleverly used a sweat related pun image

  • I just had it after the end of the TDS - really dark brown. I was at the hospital anyway (as I also had breathing problems after the finish) and they took a sample...nurse looked at it and said 'Coffee?' Turned out to be over 5% blood.

    Guess they had seen a few UTMB'ers coming through and said just to drink shed loads of water over the next few days and keep an eye incase it did not get better. It got lighter each time until by about 36 hours after the finish it was clear again. Phew.

  • Nice one Andi, if only I was a bit quicker on the uptake...

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