T Nation

Protein in Urine?

Hey everyone. I have a friend here who is concerned that he might have a kidney problem and not able to digest the protein he eats properly. The only sympton of this, if it even is a symptom, is that when he eats tuna (1-3 cans) he notices that his urine has an odor of fish. He’s worried he might have a kidney problem. I am not sure if this is completely ridiculous or a legitimate concern, so I thought I would come to the board. Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks a lot!

I’m definitely not a doctor, but if you eat too much of anything you end up smelling like it in one way or another, sweat, urine, etc.

Tuna, like asparagus, makes just about everyone’s pee smell funny. Don’t sweat it.

ask your friend to see a doc. Ask the doc to perform a urine phase contrast. It will check for protein and blood in the urine. And FYI, protein in the urine is an indication of impaired kidney function. Better to be safe than sorry

I get the same thing with onions, artificial cappucino flavoring, garlic, some cereal grains, and MD6, just to mention a few. Not necessarily a problem, just something that happens.

Ok, I just thought about this one again. It doesn’t make sense that his urine smelling like tuna would be an indication of protein in his urine. To the best of my knowledge, protein doesn’t have a smell. There’s no tuna protein, there’s protein that comes from tuna. Therefore, how would the protein have a fishy smell? It would be similiar to saying that the protein in a vanilla powder tastes and smells like vanilla. No, it’s the added flavor that does. His body is simply just removing waste.

When I am consuming large amounts of protein my urine will be bright yellow and have a very strong odor and what it means for me is that I am not drinking enough water and I am excreting what is at the very bottom of my kidneys, so I drink a bunch of water and it goes away. This goes back to people having kidney problems on Atkins or high protein type diets, they just aren’t drinking enough water. One article I read said your pee should be clear by lunchtime or you aren’t drinking enough water. If you are properly hydrated your pee will never be more than lightly yellow tinted and have no odor.

My urine used to smell like Campbell’s Chunky Soup.

The proper test to check for protein or blood is a simple urinalysis. I really wish people wouldn’t spread misinformation. Having said that, your friend probably has nothing to worry about. A “smell” to your urine does not indicate anything specifically. Mine smells like coffee, big deal. And to whomever said that protein in your urine means you have kidney problems, that’s true in a lot of cases but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything either. Go out and exercise vigorously and do a urinalysis and you’re going to have protein in your urine, regardless of renal function. Young, healthy individuals most likely won’t have kidney problems.

Mine always smells like Cherrios after I drink coffee. Otherwise it just smells like piss.

Campbells Chunky Soup huh? The soup that eats like a meal?