man holding his nose

Stinky smelly urine in the morning?

Or does your urine smell bad or like burning rubber at other times of the day?

Can anything be done about this bad smell in the morning or whenever it happens?

I myself don’t have bad smelling urine, but I wanted to get to the bottom of this common problem; many people are perplexed over this issue; sometimes the smell is a strong urine smell, and sometimes it’s that of burning rubber.

And, sometimes the bad smell or “strong” odor occurs only in the morning.

I consulted with David H.C. King, MD, Medical Director, Urology Services, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. He explains, “Urine will often have a strong odor in the morning because it is very concentrated.”

But what about at other times of the day other than morning?

Dr. King says, “Certain foods and vitamins such as asparagus and vitamin B can also cause urine to have a strong aroma.”

The B vitamins in this case would be vitamin B complex and B-12 (found in animal-derived foods). Even a multivitamin can cause a strong odor.

Asparagus contains a compound that when broken down after the vegetable is eaten, releases an unpleasant odor. Asparagus can also give your excrement a greenish tinge; don’t be alarmed; this is harmless.

Other causes of smelly urine

Dr. King says, “Bladder or even kidney infections will also cause malodorous urine. It is important to have a urinalysis done to check for infections if you have a bad smell to the urine.”

Bladder infections are also known as urinary tract infections. Other symptoms of a UTI are burning, urge to urinate but nothing comes out, and urinary frequency.

Kidney infections are actually a type of UTI. They can start in the bladder and make their way to the kidney and become life-threatening.

If your urine smells bad due to a kidney infection, you’ll have other notable symptoms of the infection including fever, abdominal pain, groin pain, and pain or burning when relieving yourself.

If you suspect a kidney infection, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dr. King says, “If there is no infection, then diluting the urine by drinking at least two to three liters of water a day and eating a bland diet should be able to help decrease the bad smell to the urine.

“Much more rare cause of malodorous urine can be related to metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria or liver failure.”

dr. kingWith 20+ years in general urology, Dr. King specializes in prostate disorders, kidney stones and urinary problems in men and women.