People rarely think much about urination, unless you have to pee and cannot find a bathroom. But urination plays a very important role in keeping you healthy. Urine, generated in the kidneys, helps remove toxins and waste from your body.
Ideally, your body should release a certain amount of urine daily, based on the amount of water and other fluids you take in.
Under normal circumstances, the urine output for a healthy adult should be between 1,000 and 1,500 milliliters per 24 hours.
But at times, you may fall short of the appropriate volume of urine output. In some cases, people may suffer from oliguria, the medical term for urinary output that is less than 400 ml over the course of 24 hours.
There are many potential causes for decreased urine output, such as dehydration, an infection or trauma, a urinary tract obstruction, a side effect of certain medications, kidney problems and your diet.
If your urine output is less than the normal range, you may see swelling in your legs, arms, ankles or face. This can be a sign that you need to take steps to increase your urine output to prevent damaging effects on your kidneys.
Note: If you have persistent swelling, see your doctor to determine if there is an underlying cause that requires treatment.
Here are the top 10 ways to increase your urine output.
1. Drink Your Water
Dehydration is the most common cause of decreased urine output. Typically, dehydration occurs when you do not take in enough fluids or you’re losing fluids due to diarrhea, vomiting or another condition. If the fluids are not adequately replenished, your kidneys will retain as much fluid as possible.
So, the first step toward increasing your urine output is to drink more water to prevent or treat dehydration. Generally, a person’s daily water requirement is 1 quart for every 50 pounds of body weight. This means if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 3 quarts (12 cups) of water a day. Remember, eating water-rich fruits and vegetables will also add to your fluid intake.
However, bear in mind that drinking too much water can also be hard on your kidneys. So, do not overdo it.
Note: If you suffer from kidney disease, follow your doctor’s advice regarding how much water your body needs.
2. Drink Warm Lemon Water
Lemon juice works as a diuretic, hence it helps increase urine output. It also helps get rid of excess salt in your system that may be causing your body to retain fluids. In addition, lemon juice helps fight urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems.
The citric acid in it also enhances your body’s ability to naturally flush out unwanted toxins.
Simply mix the juice of ½ lemon into a glass of hot or warm water. Add some honey and drink it daily on an empty stomach for the best results.
Apart from lemon water, some other beverages that can be used as natural diuretics to improve urine output are green tea, cranberry juice and watermelon juice.
3. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root contains compounds that may increase urine production and decrease water retention in the body.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that dandelion works as a diuretic and increases urine production.
Its diuretic nature also helps cleanse both the kidneys and the liver.
- Boil 2 teaspoons of dried dandelion root in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes.
- Cover and steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain, add some honey and drink the tea.
- Drink 2 cups of dandelion tea twice daily for a few weeks.
Note: Dandelion root may react with certain medications, so consult your doctor before taking it.
4. Celery Seeds
Celery seed is a food spice and herbal medicine that is a natural diuretic. These seeds contain a compound called n-butylphthalide (NBP) that has a diuretic effect and helps the body eliminate waste products.
In addition to increasing your urine output, celery seeds also help lower cholesterol, prevent urinary tract infections and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
You can consume celery seeds by adding them to dips and sauces, or use them to make pickles, decorate or flavor your homemade bread, add it to soups and stews or make celery seed tea.
To make celery seed tea:
- Take 1 tablespoon of celery seeds.
- Add 2 cups of boiling water on it.
- Allow it to steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Strain and drink it once daily.
Note: This remedy is not recommended for pregnant women.
Parsley is another natural diuretic herb that can increase urine output. It can also help flush toxins as well as bacteria and germs out of the kidneys to improve kidney functioning.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reports that rats that drank an aqueous parsley seed extract produced more urine over a 24-hour period as compared to those that drank water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of crushed fresh parsley to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes, then strain it. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day for a couple of weeks.
- Alternatively, mix ¼ cup of parsley juice, ½ cup of water and a little honey and lemon juice. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks.
Note: Avoid parsley if you are pregnant.
6. Drink Coconut Water
Coconut water is a natural diuretic. When you drink a lot of coconut water, your body is able to flush out toxins from your body via urine.
It also helps prevent urinary tract infection by flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract.
Coconut water also offers other benefits. Due to its rich electrolyte content, coconut water acts as a natural sports drink but without the harmful additions that are present in commercial sports drinks. It has also been known to reduce blood pressure and aids in weight loss.
7. Corn Silk
Corn silk is diuretic in nature and can help stimulate urine production for the removal of waste and water from the kidneys.
It also helps prevent kidney stones and is useful for other urinary problems. In addition, it reduces water retention in the body and may be beneficial in treating high blood pressure.
- Remove the brown, dry silk from the top of the ear of corn.
- Wash and allow it to dry.
- Put 2 teaspoons of dried corn silk in a cup.
- Pour boiling water over it.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain it.
- Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a diuretic effect on the body, meaning it flushes out accumulated water and causes you to urinate more often. It also can be used to reduce water retention.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a cup of lukewarm water.
- Add a little honey and mix well.
- Drink it twice daily.
Note: If you have an overactive bladder, avoid apple cider vinegar.
9. Hot Compress Therapy
To improve renal function and increase urine output, you can opt for hot compress therapy.
A part of traditional Chinese medicine, hot compress therapy helps cleanse the body of waste products and toxins.
Such therapy also has strong effects on normalizing blood flow into the kidneys. This in turn helps improve the functioning of the kidneys and also aids in treating kidney disease.
Simply place a warm compress on your lower abdomen for 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day.
Generally, after 1 to 2 weeks of hot compress therapy, you will see an increase in urine volume as well as improvement in your appetite, energy level and sleep quality.
Note: This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women.
10. Limit Your Salt Intake
If you are noticing less urine output despite following the same diet plan, you need to check your salt intake.
The kidneys metabolize 95 percent of the sodium consumed through food, and when your salt intake is high, the kidneys have to work harder to excrete the excess salt. This leads to decreased kidney functioning, causing water retention in the body and less urine output.
A 2001 study published in Hypertension showed that high salt intake has a negative impact on renal excretion of water. The study emphasized the importance of low salt intake and recommended that the general population reduce salt intake from 10 to 5 grams per day.
So, avoid eating foods with added salt. This includes canned soups, frozen dinners and fast foods, which are often high in salt. Processed cheeses and meats also have added salt.