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Why Keto Urine Smells Like Meat | Check 2 Harmful Reasons

Are you worried about why your “keto urine smells like meat”? Well, it happens sometimes. There are several reasons behind this meat smell urine.

Although it is not dangerous, sometimes it may be harmful to your body. At first, you have followed all the instructions to check the symptom.

If after following all instructions still your urine smells like meat, then you should consult with your physician. 

The secret? Our bodies need to break down fat – which is something that we can’t do without the help of another chemical called cortisol or adrenaline.

It’s because they have so much activity in our brain when working with glucose and fats from plants (which takes time). Hence ketones come into effect.

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When you are on a keto diet, a massive amount of ketones are produced by your body. The excess ketones are released through your urine.

Whenever your keto urine smells like meat, these ketones are responsible. Also, ketones are the main reason behind keto urine color change. You can easily get rid of ketones urine smell by following some rules.

7 Reasons Why Keto Urine Smells Like Meat(2 Harmful)

A meaty keto pee smell may have several reasons. There may be numerous causes behind your keto pee smells like meat.

Keto urine strips need to be used to measure your ketosis level first. After confimation you should check the top 7 most common reasons are given below. 

High fiber intake

One source of bad odor comes down due to fiber intake. Individuals who are on a ketogenic diet consume high fiber foods several times.

Our body can not digest fiber. Excess intake of fiber creates pressure on the bladder muscles. Which in turn causes frequent urination within a tiny duration of time.

As a result, your body starts to release more ketones. The high level of ketones that are released through your pee causes your keto urine to smell like meat.

This problem can be easily solved by checking high fiber ketogenic foods like broccoli, avocado, berries, etc. By controlling the intake of these foods, you can omit ketones from urine.

Excess eating of protein rich foods

High protein is another reason behind smelly urine during ketosis. We consume a lot high in protein foods to reach a quick ketosis level.

Our body breaks down this consumed protein and generates ammonia. 

The produced ammonia is released with urine along with ketones. Because of these ammonia and ketone bodies, your ketogenic urine smells like meat.

Seafood, chicken, beef, eggs are high in protein. Sometimes when we are in keto, we eat much more protein rich foods.

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If you feel that your keto urine smells like meat then you should limit intake of these high protein foods.

Moreover, you should maintain a proper low carb high protein grocery list to avoid excessive eating of high protein low carb foods.

Consuming more B vitamins

B vitamins can change your urine odor. Excess eating of 2 types of B vitamins is the main reason behind urine smell like meat.

These are

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin

Vitamin B-1 (thiamin) 

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Both of these vitamins are found in low carb keto vegetables, eggs, ketogenic diet meats, etc. 

Our body can absorb a little amount of vitamin B2 and B1. The additional amount is expelled through urine. When these vitamins exit with ketones during peeing your urine smells like meat. 

Keto friendly dairy products like cheese, yogurt contains riboflavin. Also, this vitamin is found in other ketogenic foods like meats(beef, pork, chicken), keto seafood , eggs, etc.

You should stop overeating these keto type foods to reduce the meaty smelling keto urine effect.

Choline

Choline is not a vitamin. Someone thinks it’s a B vitamin type but actually, choline is a nutrient. Choline is found in our liver (1). Also, several healthy foods contain choline.

The Keto diet asks to eat more high protein and low carb foods. These healthy foods are choline rich. Due to this ketogenic foods may increase choline levels in our body.

Healthy humans naturally excrete a little amount of choline with urine. A Keto diet increases this choline level. That’s why your pee smells meaty when excess choline exits with ketones.

Choline is found in almost every keto food. Some examples are beef, chicken, egg, yogurt, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tuna, broccoli, etc.

Limiting consumption of these foods helps you to get rid of urine odor like meat. Moreover, for some extreme cases, choline promotes trimethylaminuria.

Trimethylaminuria is the main cause behind keto pee smells like tuna.

Dehydration & Urine Concentration

Dehydration creates urine concentration which is the main reason behind strong urine odor. If you are not drinking enough water during the keto meal plan, then urine concentration took place. 

The concentrated urine with ketones creates smelly urine. The concentrated urine contains ammonia which is the main culprit behind the meaty urine odor.

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Drink more water to solve this issue.

Now we have covered the most common reasons for meaty urine smell. Let’s check what are the harmful reasons for keto urine smells like meat.

You need to be very careful if you observe any of these critical reasons for keto smelly pee.

Harmful Reason 1

The most common is that you have an enzyme (carbohydrate dehydrogenase or CREB) disease. It may cause a high blood sugar level and damage the kidneys’ cells for several days at once. Some people with this condition tend to make their urine smell of beef jerky or bacon when they eat high protein keto foods. You should consult with a physician immediately if you have this disease.

Harmful Reason 2

You are suffering from trimethylaminuria. It is a disorder where the human body is unable to break down triethylamine (2). Trimethylamine is a chemical compound that has a strong smell. The odor of this chemical compound is like rotting meat or fish. When your body generates this compound, it passes through your urine. If this compound increases you can observe that your urine smells like meat. It has no relation with keto. In this case, only a doctor can help.

Other Type of Smells Observed During Keto

During a standard keto diet plan, a few other types of urine odors are also observed. However, in the majority of these cases, the reasons are almost the same. The frequently observed urine smells with reasons are described below.

Urine Smells Like Bacon, Ham or Beef in Ketosis

The keto diet promotes ketone body production in the liver due to the unavailability of glucose. Acetoacetate (AcAc) and 3-beta-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) are the two main ketone bodies (3). The ketone body levels are increased because of the continuous intake of the low carb keto diet, or fasting, and prolonged exercise. The excess ketone bodies are released through urine. Urine odor changes because of this excess ketone body excretion. The urine smells like bacon, ham, or beef is directly related to this fact. Furthermore, fasting or prolonged exercise also boosts ketone density in urine, especially on ketosis. In fact, these two factors may double the ketone in ketosis. As already several ketone bodies are released through urine on a keto diet. Urine smells like bacon, ham, or beef in ketosis may also occur due to excess eating of asparagus. For some rare cases, too much consumption of keto-friendly garlic and onion may create either bacon or beef or ham odor in urine.

Urine Smells Like Ammonia on Keto

The waste product released through urine causes ammonia smelling urine. After a couple of days following a low carb high fat lifestyle, ketone production increased rapidly. This happens because of rapid fat burning. As a result, the excess ketones start to release through urine. Some waste products are also released with urine in this stage. These waste products and ketone body elements change the urine odor from normal. Ammonia-smelling urine is the most common side effect observed in this stage. Low fluid intake is another reason behind ammonia smelling pee.

Urine Smells Like Almonds

Urine smells like almonds are not directly related to the keto diet. The most common reason for almond-smelling urine is probably due to Maple syrup urine disease or MSUD. In this disease, our body cannot process certain amino acids. Amino acids are produced during the breakdown of proteins from foods. People with MSUD are unable to break consumed proteins. One common side effect of MSUD is sweet-smelling urine (4). Several keto foods like eggs, almonds, chicken, broccoli, etc are high in protein. A high intake of these ketogenic foods increases protein intake. This high intake causes sweet-smelling or nut-smelling urine like almonds for people with MSUD. Also, uncontrolled diabetes also promotes sweet-smelling urine (5). In, some extreme cases, this urine smells like almonds.

Final Thoughts

The Keto diet is a low carb and high fat diet. It forces your body cells to burn fat instead of blood glucose. Your body produces ketones during this glucose deficiency. These ketones are the main body fuel when you are on a keto diet. They cause the body to burn fat and increase energy, which will lead you towards a higher level of satiety and an improved appetite. But sometimes people eat a lot of keto foods to achieve fast ketosis. They think that excess eating will help them to acquire the benefits of ketogenic diets within a short time. It’s not a healthy practice, this can create an adverse effect. Keto urine smells like meat and ketosis pee color are the two major side-effects of this unhealthy eating style. Identification of the main reason behind this smelly pee is not easy. As there are several reasons behind pee smells like meat and some of the reasons are harmful to you. So we suggest if you are facing the problem of a strong meaty urine smell for more than 2-3 days, consult your physician immediately.