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Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell Like That?

Asparagus sits on a wooden cutting board next to a knife.
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Asparagus is a staple side dish in homes and restaurants. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, and for those who like it, the veggie is a delicious way to get in some needed nutrients. But there’s one drawback, and we bet you know what we’re about to say.

Why does asparagus make your pee smell like that?

Is it kind of a crass question? Sure, but you know that, just like us, you’ve wondered this before as well. The explanation is actually pretty straightforward and not gross at all.

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Store your asparagus the right way.

The reason asparagus makes your pee smell funny is aspargusic acid (yes, it’s a thing), and it’s only found in, you guessed it, asparagus. When the acid is broken down in the body, it turns into sulfur-containing byproducts. When you pee, the sulfur-containing byproducts are in your urine, and they don’t smell pleasant because the scent of sulfur isn’t pleasant.

Typically, your urine will have the asparagus scent 15-30 minutes after you eat the vegetable, and it can last for up to 14 hours. Some people, however, never experience it. Their bodies are either able to break down the sulfur byproduct or they just can’t pick up the scent.

The next time you’re making salmon or a steak and need a side dish, go ahead and prepare some asparagus—just be prepared when you head to the bathroom later.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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