Generally, normal urine constitutes approximately ninety-five percent water and five percent waste products, including ammonia, urea, creatinine, pigmented blood products, and inorganic products. There is a belief that drinking urine comes with benefits, though these have not yet been scientifically proven.
Therefore, this article talks more about how the assumptions of consuming your urine in a survival situation can be essential, the potential health risks it might cause, and how one can purify urine using reverse osmosis or distillation. Let’s have a look at each of them independently. You will love to follow Ready and Armed if you are interested in more topics like this one.
The Belief that Drinking Your Urine Would be Beneficial in a Survival Situation
The belief that drinking urine is associated with some benefits dates back to the early nineties where it was believed that urine could whiten teeth and cleanse mouths. Similarly, others also thought that urine was a perfect medicine for various conditions.
However, recent health advocates have claimed that some of the benefits associated with drinking urine include improving eyesight, supporting thyroid health, healing wounds in the mouth, boosting the immune system, and replacing lost nutrients.
Additionally, others also use urine as an emergency source of water. For instance, one might end up drinking their urine when they do not have access to any other water source after a natural disaster or a shipwreck.
Other components found in your urine, like small quantities of vitamins, hormones, and antibodies, also play a vital role in improving your health. Urine is also believed to be a potent diuretic that can make your body release more water and salt.
Although some people typically use diuretics to lower blood pressure, it is believed the safer way to do so is by consuming urine. However, it is important to note that no research has proven drinking urine can improve your health and lower blood pressure.
Some of the Potential Health Risks of Drinking Urine
Even though there are some associated benefits of drinking your urine, it can also cause some harm to your body, especially if you are healthy and lack any underlying condition. However, people at a higher risk of being affected by the contaminants found in urine are people with chronic diseases and children.
Consuming urine can present some serious health risks. We have listed those risks below:
Typically, urine is not sterile or pure because as it leaves the kidneys, it usually passes through the urethra and goes into contact with your skin as it leaves the body. Similarly, your urine also contains bacteria, irrespective of if you are healthy or not.
That is why drinking urine might expose you to various diseases. Despite urine containing antibodies, it also has bacteria present, including antibiotic-resistant strains-pseudomonas, staphylococcus, salmonella, E. coli, and shigella.
While bacteria might not cause an infection to all people who consume urine, it can certainly increase the risk of diseases. Those with weak immune systems are especially at risk.
Urine is a diuretic that increases your risk of dehydration when consumed because the salts in it reduce the amount of usable water in your body. Even though some people consume urine because they have nothing else left to drink, there is no evidence to suggest that one would survive when doing so since dehydration could still get the best of them. For this reason, most experts do not recommend drinking your urine, even if there is no clean water, because of the waste and salts excreted in the urine.
Drinking urine causes some electrolyte imbalances because it contains other electrolytes and salts. Typically, if one is dehydrated and consumes large amounts of urine, they have dangerous electrolyte imbalances.
Other risks associated with drinking urine include:
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals, for example, traces of medications
- Burning of wounds in the throat or mouth
- Delayed medical treatment, especially when one believes that urine can treat that particular ailment.
How to Purify Urine Through Reverse Osmosis or Distillation
Most people think that filtering urine will leave them with just water because urine contains both water and waste products. However, it is not true because urine is made up of dissolved ions, salts, and molecules of urea that can pass through the filter. Similarly, other forms like chemical or UV light treatment only kill microbes but do not eliminate the molecular-sized substances found in urine.
Therefore, the only way to safely drink your urine in a survival situation when there is no other water source is by removing the dissolved contaminants or lowering their concentration. Unfortunately, you can only do so using two ways, which are reverse osmosis and distillation.
In reverse osmosis, high pressure is used to force water through a thin membrane that only allows water molecules and not even salt to penetrate. Distillation typically involves evaporating your urine to let out water molecules and allow them to cool and condense in a different drinking vessel.
Even though these two methods usually enable you to isolate drinkable water, it is also tough to isolate every trace of the contaminant’s smell and taste. In addition, the water obtained after the two processes might not benefit your body because essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus are not present.
In summary, it is essential to note that drinking urine does not help improve your health or lower blood pressure but might even worsen your health. Therefore, if you are seeking some natural remedies on the matter, you are encouraged to consult a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable on the subject.
Similarly, when your access to water is scarce, it is essential to seek a healthier source like clean rainwater, water in food, condensation, or fruits and vegetables. It is not recommended to consume your urine because it has several unwanted effects, including dehydration, which can worsen and intensify any underlying condition, and other unwanted effects, including the increase of skin infections and electrolyte imbalances.
Since there are no proven benefits of consuming urine, it is vital to consider the possible benefits and side effects of this practice before putting your health at risk.