Can You Filter Your Pee to Drink?

Sometimes in a survival situation, the only liquid available is your urine. This can be a disgusting alternative, but it might save your life. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about this strange idea.

Your pee is made up of water, electrolytes (salt, and chloride), and a compound called Urea. When our bodies have a build-up of ammonia, our liver combines two ammonia molecules with one carbon dioxide molecule making urea. Urea is a solid that is dissolved in liquid very easily so it is expelled through our urine.

Your urine also contains a pigment called urochrome. This gives your pee that yellow color. By paying attention to the color of your urine, you can tell if you are drinking a healthy amount of water or not. If you are well hydrated, your pee should look somewhere between clear to pale yellow. If you aren’t drinking enough water, it will look like a darker yellow or amber. 

Is Drinking Pee Harmful to Your Body?

Our urine is how our body gets rid of waste, so reintroducing it to our system doesn’t do good things. Putting urea back into your kidneys can cause a build-up of Urea, leading to kidney failure. Another downside is by drinking your pee, you put all that sodium and chloride that your body flushed out back into your body. This will cause a build-up of sodium which will lead to extreme dehydration.

Some people think that infection and disease are other risks. There is evidence that your urine contains a host of bacteria including, Escherichia coli, which can cause pneumonia. Bacillus, which causes anthrax. And Staphylococcus, which can cause skin infections. 

Can You Filter Your Urine?

Yes and no. As we said earlier, urine contains water, electrolytes, and urea. Using an activated charcoal filter, you would be able to remove the chloride from the urine. To remove the bacteria, you would use a ceramic filter. And by reverse osmosis or distillation, you could remove the salt. But you would still be left with the Urea. The average ceramic filter can filter everything 0.5 microns and bigger. The problem is that Urea is .00005 microns. So no matter what you do to the water, it will still contain the Urea. Therefore if you filter your pee it might save you from dehydration or some kind of disease. But it still wouldn’t be harmless to your body. 


In this article, we have concluded that filtering your urine might reduce the risk it imposes on your body, but it doesn’t eliminate it. Filtering your urine can get rid of the electrolytes, sediment, and bacteria. But it can’t remove the urea. Reintroducing urea to your body can cause a build-up of urea in your kidney causing kidney damage or even kidney failure. In conclusion, in you are in a life of death situation and you have the option to filter your pee, it probably is better than death. By removing the salt and potassium in your urine, you are actually able to be hydrated. But it should be taken sparingly. This, although an unpleasant experience, might be the best choice in this situation.

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