Can You Drink Your Own Pee To Survive


We have all seen Bear Grylls on TV chug down a good amount of pee from somewhere in the desert with no side effects that were obvious to the TV audience.  For people lost at sea, it’s recommended to drink their own urine instead of the ocean water, to offset dehydration. Can You Drink Your Own Pee To Survive?

Yes, A person needs 2 liters of water a day and in an emergency that could double if the person was exerting their bodies to save themselves from death. Pee is 95% water and in a survival situation will give you more time to solve your situation. 

If you are healthy then you shouldn’t have problems drinking it. Urine contains 95% water and that alone will keep you alive. For awhile. Pee would be the easiest way to hydrate and even the safest.

 Can Drinking Urine Make You Sick

Urine contains about 95% water and another 5% excess compounds that your body doesn’t need. Some of those excesses are the same things that the body uses to stay hydrated. Chemicals like chloride sodium and potassium and electrolytes are crucial to cell structure and human body function. Pee also carries toxins that derive from your kidney’s that keep your body clean.

That why it’s important to keep hydrated in the first place.  Water flushes out your kidneys and keeps you from storing up toxins that end up throughout your body.

It also regulates the necessary things you need for your body to function well. Too many of good things like potassium can be bad for you in high amounts and lead to heart problems. So normal intake of water regulates the human body in a normal situation but what happens when there is no normal situation and you are in survival mode.

Urine would be made up of about 3000 compounds found in the human body. The body uses up what it needs and gets rid of the rest as a waste product when you take a pee. The waste could be extra nitrogen in the form of Urea ad Calcium and Sodium. Too many of these chemicals can cause dehydration that you trying to prevent by drinking your pee in the first place. 

Solar Still Survival

There a few ways to filter Urine in a Survival situation before drinking it straight out of your body

One way is to use a  Solar Still. The Solar Still is a preferred way for the military to purify the Urine in order to drink it along with other sources of water that are found in any type of environment. In most situations where is some kind of vegetation is in the area. You could set up a Solar Still by:

  1. Dig a Hole approximately 3 foot in diameter and 2-foot deep-don’t overexert yourself the more you sweat and active especially in the sun the faster you will dehydrate yourself.
  2. Fill the hole with vegetation. Try and find green broad leaves from trees nearby that are healthy. Take as much as you can and fill the hole with it.
  3. If there is saltwater (If not keep going) nearby add a bucketful of the saltwater to the vegetation in the hole.
  4. Place a cup in the center of the hole with the vegetation all around it.
  5. Find a sheet of plastic that will cover the hole with the plastic. One layer will do and place on top of the hole covering it. Shovel dirt on the outer edges to hold it down
  6. Push down on the center of the plastic over the cup. This will allow the water that condensates to trickle down in tracks on the inside of the plastic and fill the cup collector.

 Solar Stills enable you to drink Pee & Desalinate Saltwater 

  • You need a bowl or a container to pee in.
  • A cup for a collector-set the cup down in the bowl or container weighs it down with keys or a rock.
  • Use a piece of plastic to cover the Bowl and cup wrap a shoestring around the outside of the bowl to keep it airtight and secure.
  • Then just like you did with the plastic on the hole. Push down the center of the plastic over top of the cup-collector and weigh it down with a rock so the water that condensates trickles down the inside of the plastic and ends up in the cup.

The other concern with drinking Urine straight from your body is bacteria. You can run charcoal or pieces of charred hardwood from a fire. Basically, your crushing charged wood up in powder and running water through the carbon.

It’s not Activated Carbon but it will serve the purpose in a survival type of situation. The new portable water filters that you can carry in a backpack can remove microns bacteria and viruses that down to 0.01 Microns in size.

Distillation is the process of separating a component’s substance from a liquid mixture. this is done by evaporation and condensation. Distillation can result in complete separation. It is the best way to deal with contaminants. Here at MyWaterEarth&Sky on our Recommended Products page. You can find portable water treatment products like the Survival Straws, Microfilters or Distillers that Desalinates. They will remove salt from seawater. The Katadyn Power Survivor 40 E Watermaker Desalinator is one of the amazing Survival water purifiers that are available on    Amazon has a complete line of these amazing filtration units.

Some Portable Water Filter Straws make it possible to drink urine and other suspect water in survival situations directly from the source. The most common practice for distillation is used for purifying water of unwanted chemicals, contaminants, and even salt.

There are various ways to eliminate contaminants from any water source including Urine. There are many more problematic water contaminants with complicated and dangerous chemicals. Urine would probably not make that list.

Drinking Urine Is Good Or Bad

 

The question should be how long can you survive without drinking your pee?. People need about 2 liters a day. If you are exerting yourself dehydration will kick in faster. Some Doctors that study the effects of drinking urine believe that drinking your pee will give you a few more extra days. People like

Bear Grylls believes that survival is all about an hour to hour day today. Your urine is a collection of waste that your body expels. The more you recycled it, the more concentrated it becomes until it finally is toxic. if you use some filtering techniques with your Urine and moisture collected through the Solar Still your chances might be even a little better.

According to the Army Field Manual for Survival Evasion and Recovery specifically, list Urine on it’s Do Not Drink List alongside Seawater and blood. Drinking Urine can be especially dangerous to someone involved in a car crash or earthquake where there were crushing injuries. When muscle fibers are damaged the cells begin leaking potassium and phosphorous into the bloodstream.

A person who has been drinking his/her own Urine would be a risk. After a few days highly concentrate dangerous toxins would accumulate and cause Kidney failure. Then again if you are doomed from dehydration what is the difference? Just my humble opinion.

Some people believe that drinking Urine is a good alternative whenever water is scarce. It not only satisfies the need for liquid but it also actually keeps our body healthy. Some time ago there was an earthquake in Egypt. A survivor was pulled out of the rubble in Cairo after being trapped for three days. The man had kept himself alive by drinking his own urine. When he was finally rescued he was found in excellent health.

There were other stories of men who kept themselves alive drinking their own Urine in collapsed mines for weeks. The many stories circulated about earthquake victims and shipwrecked people who also drank Urine to survive. Soldiers have survived long tours in the wilderness surviving on urine along with the French Foreign Legion who’s men were trained to rub Urine on their face to prevent skin diseases.

 

How to Recycle Urine

Astronauts make a big sacrifice when they sign up for the Space Station duty and discover the water that comes on the rocket to the station is the water they carry in their bladder. They drink their own Urine. It’s purified in a system that is called “Peecycled”. The system takes all water vapor, sweat, and gray water produced and excreted by the Astronauts and turns it back into drinkable water.

On earth, you can boil water and purify it but that would require gravity which there is a lack of in space. The Recovery System looks like a big spinning keg, which creates artificial gravity. It’s heated and steam is produced. Dirt and contaminants along with the tiniest pee molecules are pushed towards the edge of the drum while the steam is carried away.

They closed their eyes and drink it down and get used to it because it’s the water at the station. 93% of all water is reclaimed on board. They can recycle 6000 liters of extra water for the Space Station each year.

The System cost more than 250 million dollars and is used daily to recycle Urine and Wastewater back into potable drinking water suitable for drinking bathing, food preparation, and oxygen regeneration. It would be extremely expensive and not practical at all to try and bring water with. “it tastes like Bottled water as long as you can psychologically  get past the point that it’s really recycled Urine and condensate from the air” Water is one of the most prized supplies that are used at the Space Station. Between the weight and the space that water use to take up going to space it became very expensive and making the Space Toilet and recycling of urine worth every penny.

Urine Therapy is alternative medicine used in the application of drinking Urine for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Doctors in Russia have used Urine for years to treat all sorts of illnesses. Some Western soldiers believe that you can drink your urine in the fields and that when rubbed on the skin can prevent skin illnesses.

Prevents Bacterial infection– Urine contains antibodies that and immune substances that protect the body from bacterial infections. Fungal Infections on the Skin-certain types of fungi are killed off by rubbing Urine on the Skin Allergies-Drinking Urine is believed to cure allergies because Urine contains antibodies that can prevent the rise of allergic symptoms.

Urine Therapy prescribes rubbing Urine on your scalp to prevent hair loss. That’s right I am not making this up. Cures Acne- Urine also contains the antibodies that can kill bacteria that cause skin problems like Acne. Fights Cancer-Urine Therapy claims that drinking urine may have properties that help cure cancer.

A Dr. by the name of Evangelos Danopoulos a professor of Internal medicine did studies in 1970-1980 He claims that Urine can keep Cancer cells from grouping and multiplying. these findings are disputed by experts like Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler from Georgetown University who say that Urine is unlikely harmful but has no known medical benefit.

Therapy recommends that before you start a Daley supplement of urine 2 glasses a day you should consult with your family Doctor. Depending on where you are in the world with all the problems we are now facing on global water scarcity.

There is no doubt in my mind that recycled wastewater and self-sustaining processes will be a thing of the future. As Water Scarcity becomes more and more of a problem here down on earth the technology is here that is well needed and is being welcomed as a problem solver especially  grey water.

Greywater is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with feces, either from the toilet or from washing diapers. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. More and more Greywater is being put back into the environment with out treatment. For a huge benefit 

In Israel, water problems are soon to be a thing of the past. Their solutions could help all the countries in that area of the region. One of the main ways they will succeed is by recycling their wastewater directly to a potable water supply for the region. They are doing what the astronauts at the Space Station are doing on a huge level.

There are huge benefits to Drinking Urine.  In fact, it will be a necessity in one form or another for years to come. Drinking Urine will take us one step closer to solving the world’s water scarcity problem that will be the biggest issue for years to come.

In the mean time Survivalist or victims that are caught out in the harsh environment of the worlds deserts mountains and oceans without precious water to drink can rely on the survival training they received and instincts and realize you gotta do what you gotta do- which maybe  some “Peecycling of your own” at least until the Calvary arrives.” 

 

Reference: MedicineNet article on Urine Therapy  Melissa Stopper MD

NASA- Water Recycling 

 

Related Questions:

 

What happens if you drink someone else’s pee?   These are harmless unless they start growing out of control. When urine passes through the urinary tract, it becomes contaminated with bacteria. Drinking urine, whether your own or someone else’s, introduces bacteria into your system that can cause gastrointestinal problems or other infections.

 What is the taste of urine?   Today, while a medical practitioner might possibly agree with Mayo that a diabetic’s urine smelled like “sweet whey or milk”, she’s unlikely to sip the urine for a sugar-like taste; much easier – and safer

 

 

Jim has over 30 years of experience in Water/Wastewater and Water Filtration as in Operations and as a Consultant. He has written over 300 articles on Worldwide Water Situation.

J.Galloway

Editor, MyWaterEarth&Sky

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