Science, Tech, Math › Science What Is the Chemical Composition of Urine? Share Flipboard Email Print Sciene Photo Library/Getty Images Science Chemistry Biochemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 28, 2020 Urine is a liquid produced by the kidneys to remove waste products from the bloodstream. Human urine is yellowish in color and variable in chemical composition, but here is a list of its primary components. Primary Components Human urine consists primarily of water (91% to 96%), with organic solutes including urea, creatinine, uric acid, and trace amounts of enzymes, carbohydrates, hormones, fatty acids, pigments, and mucins, and inorganic ions such as sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), magnesium (Mg2+), calcium (Ca2+), ammonium (NH4+), sulfates (SO42-), and phosphates (e.g., PO43-). A Representative Chemical Composition of Urine Water (H2O): 95% Urea (H2NCONH2): 9.3 g/l to 23.3 g/l Chloride (Cl-): 1.87 g/l to 8.4 g/l Sodium (Na+): 1.17 g/l to 4.39 g/l Potassium (K+): 0.750 g/l to 2.61 g/l Creatinine (C4H7N3O): 0.670 g/l to 2.15 g/l Inorganic sulfur (S): 0.163 to 1.80 g/l Lesser amounts of other ions and compounds are present, including hippuric acid, phosphorus, citric acid, glucuronic acid, ammonia, uric acid, and many others. Total solids in urine add up to around 59 grams per person. Note compounds you ordinarily do not find in human urine in appreciable amounts, at least compared with blood plasma, include protein and glucose (typical normal range 0.03 g/l to 0.20 g/l). The presence of significant levels of protein or sugar in urine indicates potential health concerns. The pH of human urine ranges from 5.5 to 7, averaging around 6.2. The specific gravity ranges from 1.003 to 1.035. Significant deviations in pH or specific gravity may be due to diet, drugs, or urinary disorders. Table of Urine Chemical Composition Another table of urine composition in human men lists slightly different values, as well as some additional compounds: Chemical Concentration in g/100 ml urine Water 95 Urea 2 Sodium 0.6 Chloride 0.6 Sulfate 0.18 Potassium 0.15 Phosphate 0.12 Creatinine 0.1 Ammonia 0.05 Uric acid 0.03 Calcium 0.015 Magnesium 0.01 Protein -- Glucose -- Chemical Elements in Human Urine The element abundance depends on diet, health, and hydration level, but human urine consists of approximately: Oxygen (O): 8.25 g/l Nitrogen (N): 8/12 g/l Carbon (C): 6.87 g/l Hydrogen (H): 1.51 g/l Chemicals That Affect Urine Color Human urine ranges in color from nearly clear to dark amber, depending largely on the amount of water that is present. A variety of drugs, natural chemicals from foods, and diseases can alter the color. For example, eating beets can turn urine red or pink (harmlessly). Blood in the urine may also turn it red. Green urine may result from drinking highly colored beverages or from a urinary tract infection. Colors of urine definitely indicate chemical differences relative to normal urine but aren't always an indication of illness. Additional Sources Putnam, DF. NASA Contractor Report No. NASA CR-1802. July 1971. View Article Sources Rose, C., A. Parker, B. Jefferson, and E. Cartmell. "The Characterization of Feces and Urine: A Review of the Literature to Inform Advanced Treatment Technology." Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, vol 45, no. 17, 2015, pp. 1827-1879, doi:10.1080/10643389.2014.1000761 Bökenkamp, Arend. "Proteinuria—take a closer look!" Pediatric Nephrology, 10 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1007/s00467-019-04454-w Wonhee So, Jared L. Crandon and David P. Nicolau. "Effects of Urine Matrix and pH on the Potency of Delafloxacin and Ciprofloxacin against Urogenic Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae." Journal of Urology, vol. 194, no. 2, pp. 563-570, Aug. 2015, doi:10.1016/j.juro.2015.01.094 Perrier, E., Bottin, J., Vecchio, M. et al. "Criterion values for urine-specific gravity and urine color representing adequate water intake in healthy adults." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 71, pp. 561–563, 1 Feb. 2017, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.269 "Red, brown, green: urine colors and what they might mean. Departures from the familiar yellow are often harmless but should be discussed with a doctor." Harvard Health Letter, 23 Oct. 2018. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Chemical Composition of Urine?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/the-chemical-composition-of-urine-603883. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 26). What Is the Chemical Composition of Urine? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-chemical-composition-of-urine-603883 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Chemical Composition of Urine?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-chemical-composition-of-urine-603883 (accessed April 13, 2021). copy citation What Is the Chemical Composition of Blood? Chemical Composition of the Human Body How to Color Urine The Chemical Composition of Human Sweat Kidney Anatomy and Function Human Reproductive System Is It Safe to Drink Urine? What Is a Fart Made Of? Formulas of Ionic Compounds What Are the Elements in the Human Body? Smoke Chemistry and Chemical Composition The Chemicals Responsible for the Color of Urine and Feces What Is a Chemical Indicator? What Is the Chemical Composition of Vinegar? Sodium Chloride: The Molecular Formula of Table Salt What Is Table Salt?