This is Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell (and what it means for your health)



Written by: Lindsay Sibson

Okay, I am going to get a little weird with you on this one… but it is not the first time I’ve talked about bodily excretions (here, here and here).

All in the name of good health, I have written quite a few articles on “going number two” because it is SUPER vital to be doing daily in order to eliminate toxins and keep you feeling great.

However, as much as I have written about the importance of hydration and eating vegetables, I’ve never breached the topic of urination.

ALAS – worry no more, because you are about to learn all about “Asparagus Pee” – you know… that funky smelling pee you get after eating asparagus. Does it happen to you too?

WHY this topic?

Because I ate asparagus at lunch today and later thought to myself, “WHY does this happen?”

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details of what that funky smelling asparagus pee is all about, let’s first take a look at the BENEFITS of eating asparagus:

  • Packed with nutrients: fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, chromium, B vitamins, copper, iron, protein, zinc, magnesium, calcium, manganese and selenium.
  • Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits.
  • Supports and promotes healthy digestion.
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels .
  • Contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine:
    • Serves as a natural diuretic.
    • Increases urination, which releases fluid and helps your body get rid of excess salts.

WHY You Get “Asparagus Pee”

Two factors are involved in asparagus causing urine odor:

1. Your ability to produce odor-emitting substances from asparagus.

2. Your ability to perceive odors.

However, researchers are not in agreement about WHICH asparagus-derived substance is the culprit for producing the odor. There have been 21 different substances that have been proposed!

Depending on which study you read, between 22 to 50 percent of people report having pungent pee after eating asparagus. Some studies indicate that very few people metabolize asparagus in a way that generates odor-producing substances.

If your body DOES produce the odor, the second factor that contributes to “asparagus pee” is whether or not you can detect the odor.

REALLY, science… REALLY? You are going to leave us hanging with this mystery? Sheesh!

As I dug deeper into the land of the internet, I did find this bit of information stating that some researchers believe that during digestion, the sulfurous amino acids in asparagus break down into chemical components that create the smell in ALL people. These components are airborne, which means that the odor wafts upward as your pee and can be detected by smell only 15 minutes after you eat asparagus!

Fortunately, no research suggests that there is a link between asparagus consumption, urine odor and health risk. In other words, if your urine has an odor after eating asparagus, there is no reason to exclude it from your diet and you still reap the health benefits described above.

WELL, there ya have it! The story behind why you get stinky pee after eating asparagus.

If you ever wondered WHAT causes “asparagus pee,” please feel free to validate my weird thoughts by saying “Hello” in the COMMENTS below.


Lindsay Sibson

Lindsay Sibson

Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.

Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (

Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
Lindsay Sibson

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