Contents of Urine

What are the components of urine?

The body takes nutrients from food and uses them to maintain bodily functions including energy and self-repair. Once the body has taken what it needs from the food, waste products are produce. Adults can produce about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount, however, may depend on many factors including the amount of fluid and food a person consumes and how much fluid is lost through breathing and sweating.

Urine contents:

In addition to water, other contents of urine include:


Urea is a substance produced when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body.


This substance results from the breakdown of hemoglobin—the red pigment found in red blood cells. Bilirubin is modified in the kidneys and becomes a component of urine, which contributes to the yellow color of urine.


Creatinine is formed from the breakdown of creatine phosphate, which is a molecule found in muscle fibers.

Uric acid

Uric acid results from the breakdown of nucleic acids, which can be found in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).


Ions that are secreted in the urine include sodium, chloride, bicarbonate, potassium, and hydrogen ions. Sometimes, these ions will be transported back into the blood depending on the body’s needs.

Related Topic:
Abnormal Contents of Urine


National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Your Urinary System and How It Works. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. NIH Publication No. 07–3195, August 2007

Tortora, G. and Grabowski, S.: PRINCIPLES OF ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY. 10th ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003.

Seeley, R. et al: ESSENTIALS OF ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY. 5th ed. McGraw – Hill, 2005.

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