A slow faucet. A calm, flowing spring. Jason waterfalls. Do you have to pee yet or do you need a cup of warm water? If you have eaten some asparagus or coffee recently and head to do your business, after taking a short breath in you might do this
and think to yourself, “Why the heck does this even happen?”
First, let’s chat with our dear friend Archibald Asparagus. For some time, people believed that the smell came from fertilizers or a compound in the asparagus.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that something in asparagus, creatively named asparagusic acid, breaks down in your tumtum. These primarily sulfur based breakdown products are to blame for the explosion of smell. The stomach's ability to breakdown asparagusic acid varies from person to person, as well. That means the smell can range from the occasional, mildly unpleasant smell to smelly cat cursed by Professor Snape, always.
Having some not so serious FOMO? Not everyone’s stomach breaks down asparagusic acid, leaving 10 percent of the population odorless. You lucky ducks can keep nomming that asparagus in pee-ce!
Now, onto coffee...
Caffeine and alcohol are mild diuretics. Diuretics make your body get rid of excess fluids (aka you go potty). Additionally, not all of the compounds in coffee or tea are used and your body gets rid of the rest in the River Pee. This also can happen with foods that are rich in B6 and other vitamins (Salmon, Brussel Sprouts, etc.) and can change the color of urine. Sounds un-pee-lievable? Take a B vitamin and try it out.
So next time you take an asparagus or coffee tinkle, you can sigh and think, “What a relief!” (In more ways than one.)