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Beets - After Effects of Eating?

  • s

Such an indelicate subject, but I'm wondering if I should get me to a doctor! I ate 2 largish beets yesterday, and my urine turned bright pink just a few hours later. And it's still pink 24 hours later. Is this normal?? It was alarming at first as it looked exactly like my cat's urine looks when he has FUS/FLUTD. Luckily I remembered the beets before I made myself an appointment with the vet. ;-) I haven't eaten beets since I was a teen, so I really don't have prior experience to call upon.

If this is normal, are you aware of any other food culprits?

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  1. It's normal, and should clear up soon. You could up your water intake to try to flush it out sooner. I don't know of other foods that have similar effects, other than asparagus imparting a certain odor.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Persephone

      I once knew a woman who, in a misguided attempt to control her weight, ate so many carrots that eventually her skin turned orange.

      1. re: mw

        Omigod, I DID that in college...2 lbs. a day til the nurse thought I had mono because the palms of my hands and the whites of my eyes had a yellow cast...(g) BTW, the unique coloration of one's bodily, ahem, waste after beet consumption is so close to magenta, that after the initial SHOCK, it's hard to mistake it for anything else..until you remember what you ate, it IS a little unsettling!!

        1. re: mw

          YES! I drank so much carrot juice over a period of time that I turned orange too! A local supermarket was selling fresh carrot juice cheap so I would buy it and drink it like orange juice. One day, lolling around on my sofa, I caught a glimpse of the bottom of my foot and thought I had hepatitis.

          1. re: mw

            I turned my baby orange. His favorite foods were mushy carrots, sweet potatoes, and guava. The nurse called him the Little Surfer cause of what looked like a QT tan.

        2. More than likely you're fine. It would be a huge coincidence if you had blood in your urine enough to color it on precisely the day after eating a lot of beets. It's happened to me on many occasions (I love fresh beets) and the first time I just knew I was a dead woman! Lots of water will dilute what you're producing and soon it should look like spring water! If not, then you can worry. Pat
          P.S. Urine is not the only waste product that may be colored, if you get my drift.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pat Hammond

            Squid Ink Pasta? That has a remarkably scary aftereffect!

          2. Thanks Persephone and Pat for the quick replies. I think I may make it thru the night now. ;-)

            I haven't eaten asparagus in years either, to know what that smells like. I'll have to try it this summer. Inquiring minds and all that ya know.

            Oh, thanks for erasing the extra post - an accident when I refreshed the screen to see if I had any replies.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Sarnie

              I only notice the "beet effect" at *ahem* the other end, but the "asparagus effect" takes place IMMEDIATELY and all it takes is ONE. Amazing.

              1. re: CliffA

                i'm not sure why it amuses me, but there's a great bit of scientific research on the "asparagus effect". initially, it was believed that it was a genetically transmitted ability to create the chemicals that have that smell. further research proved that it was a genetically transmitted ability all right, but the ability to SMELL the chemicals. in other words, everybody does it, only some people can tell!

                1. re: russ parsons

                  Get out of town! I find that amusing and, at the same time, rilly hard to believe.

                  1. re: CliffA

                    yes, I heard the same thing years ago at a party among MIT profs....So those people who think that THEIR *** doesn't smell just can't smell it!!

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      Aha...a new theorum...if someone "passes wind" in the forest, and there is no one there???

            2. ive had similar experiences - i wont give you the bloody details - so dont worry, but you COULD make an appointment with the vet, just to be sure:P.

              1. Even though I expect the 'beet effect' now, it's still unnerving. I'm really glad that you asked.

                1. I worked for a family doctor in Vermont years ago. Every summer, when the beets started appearing in the local markets, we'd get a few calls. If there was a panicky young person on the line saying they had seen blood in their urine or stool, the first question was: "Have you eaten beets recently?" I met a urologist some years later in Los Angeles, who didn't believe me when I told him that beets could color people's urine. He'd never heard of it, but country doctors know all about it.

                  My daughter will only eat golden beets, because she finds the aftermath of red beets so disconcerting.

                  Most chile afficionados know that spicy chiles can make your mucous membranes burn on both ends of the alimentary continuum.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: zora

                    Ahh, one of the challenges of chowhound-style travel in Schezuan province! When you say, "The hotter; the better", you pay!

                  2. Perfect timing for this post!

                    I've just been reading "The RE/Search Guide To Bodily Fluids", by Paul Spinrad and he discusses beet, asparagus, coffee,rhubarb,senna, cascara, and multivitamin aftereffets. Multivitamin is most common, followed by coffee, then asparagus.

                    The author claims that some people '...have a genetic trait that causes beets to redden their urine..."
                    But he doesn't say why.

                    This is a fascinating book, which I'm only able to read in small doses, as it can be rather graphic.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jackie Avery

                      I'm surprised they didn't include crabmeat. At least crabmeat from blue crab has that effect.

                      1. re: Jackie Avery

                        Well darn, my local library has that book, but it's noncirculating. I'll have to keep it in mind the next time I'm in the mood to sit at the library and read. Sounds very interesting!

                        1. re: Sarnie

                          Seems there is an edition available for $13-$16. Amazon link below

                          Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

                      2. c

                        I won't go into the details of the time I ate a small bagful of red swedish fish. I thought I had internal bleeding.