Hydration: Pee on a Stick

The cat has been out of the bag for a while ever since Dr. Stacy Sims shared her super secret method to determine hydration status. Based on her methodology we have used pee sticks for over three years with all of our athletes and now we are sharing it with you! I’m sure you’ve heard of the ‘pee clear’ method of determining if you’re hydrated. Well, the truth is it is not effective nor is it a scientific way to establish hydration levels! We’re about science here at BASE so read on and enjoy your new found tool to dial in a perfect hydration plan! We thank Dr. Stacy Sims for her passion and willingness to share her knowledge with our coaches and our athletes at BASE.

Base Tri Fitness Urinalysis Directions For Base Tri Fitness Athletes

BASE Tri Fitness was founded on the principles of providing its athletes with a Balanced Appropriate Specific Endurance program. Please review this information. It is your choice to monitor your hydration and if you choose to the coaches at BASE Tri Fitness will help you understand and get the most out of your program. Urinalysis is a great option for female athletes and athletes who consistently have trouble with body water loss (heart rate creep, cramping in certain instances, weight loss during warm workouts, etc). If you’ve struggled in the past or are unsure if you’re hydrating appropriately this is a great way for scientific feedback. “Pee Clear” only gets you so far! I recommend using these strips: Rapid Response Urine Dipstick 10SG 10 parameter. They are usually available on Amazon.com.  We recommend that you test your urine first thing in the morning for a baseline measurement and to establish how to hydrate in the morning. We also recommend testing before you start your training session and after. This will help you establish if your current hydration strategy is adequate for your body. For more details on what the different measures mean read on!


When in high hormone phase of your menstrual cycle (about 10 days to 2 weeks leading up to your period) you may notice that you find it hard to hit prescribed intensities and also find recovering more difficult (i.e. your next workout is not as solid as you thought, etc). Lots of things account for this: your internal temperature is raised, our body fluid balance is whacked out, your carbohydrate metabolism is compromised, and your body does not use protein as effectively for recovery. Your sleep can also be messed with. It will be very enlightening for you to check your hydration before a workout and then after the workout to ensure you are properly hydrating.


The common school of thought in the past about cramping was that it was due to “low sodium”. While sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium are needed for muscle contraction and relaxation, it is important to note that it is not sodium in and of itself that you need to ingest (well, okay I’m over simplifying -you do but just pounding sodium isn’t going to fix it). It is the process of actually allowing your body to ABSORB fluid into our vascular space to remain hydrated. Plain water won’t cut it. Insert my ‘sell’ on Osmo. Several of you use Infinit or other hydration products – that is OK – but remember your fueling strategy may change once you start to look at your hydration and workouts. As always send your coach an email with questions about your specific drink mix if you do not use Osmo. Remember if you use Osmo you can order it by logging into your account and then using the code AMBLaurenUpdyke for 10% off. OSMO is also available at various retailers around town including Tri Tech Multisport.

What Do I Do With The Info?

Review the strip and compare the colors to the bottle to find the range/measure of the reagent. Then compare it to the list below. Disclaimer: This is not a method of diagnosing or treating any medical illness.

Reagent Normal Not Normal Traning Scope Notify Coach?
Leukocytes (LEU) No change in color If positive, the reagent   will turn the color purple. The severity of leukocyte presence will be indicated by the darkness of the purple. The day after a hard training day indicates inadequate recovery. Take an easy day. General positive test indicates onset of illness (bacterial or viral). Sleep, hydrate, increase vitamins and minerals, and monitor HR and Leukocytes Yes
Nitrates (NIT) N/A N/A for training scope N/A No
Urobilinogen (URO) N/A N/A for training scope N/A No
Protein (Pro) Yellow Any green indicates positive for protein presence. This is normal within a few hours after exercise. If STILL positive in the AM post training, it indicates inadequate recovery. Increase protein intake   across the day, take an easy aerobic or active recovery day to facilitate   blood flow and recovery Yes
pH 6.5-8.5 In the AM humans are   usually slightly acidic           (pH= 6.5-7.0) and generally becomes more alkaline      (pH= 7.5-8.0) by evening. If you use OSMO Preload there can be a buffering effect so pH may sit between 7-9. pH can also change   based on food choices No
Blood (Blo) Negative Any green spots/color   development on reagent area within 60 seconds indicates the presence of   hemoglobin.  Females may see this up to 3 days before their period begins. Muscle and cellular damage. RARE occurrence so BACK OFF training intensity. Yes if not female or not   near period
Specific Gravity (SG) 1.005-1.015 Distilled water sits at 1.000. Normal body water/hydrated status in humans is 1.005-1.015. When you   reach 1.020 this indicates low body water (1% body water loss), and greater indicates dehydration. 1.020 will hinder your ability to reach the 3 p’s: Power, Pace, Potential! Note in training log.
Ketones (KET) Negative Not usually present in urine. If so, indicates poor carbohydrate metabolism Indicates poor aerobic fueling/fuel utilization Yes
Bilirubin (BIL) N/A N/A for training scope N/A No
Glucose (GLU) N/A N/A for training scope N/A No