Why Does Asparagus Make My Pee Smell?

Ingredients in asparagus give pee a distinct smell -- and have a few things in common with Adam Sandler. Find out what on the DSC Blog.


Sulfuric compounds are like the Adam Sandler of bad smells—the source of so many offensive releases. Rotten eggs. Room-clearing farts. And, you guessed it, the smell of asparagus in pee.

We’ve discussed the implications of the color of your urine, but its aroma also provides clues to your health status. Sweet-smelling pee is common among diabetics, while odorific urine—you know, the polar opposite of terrific—often accompanies maladies such as kidney stones. The stench associated with asparagus isn’t dangerous, but it is the result of sulfuric compounds created during the digestion of asparagusic acid, a compound unique to our favorite springtime stalk (Ed note: best prepared wrapped in bacon).

However, if you have a friend who claims that their piss don’t stink, they may be telling the truth: According to Marcia Pelchat, associate member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, not everyone falls victim to asparagusic acid’s curse. “There could be two different explanations,” she says. “The first is that some people can detect the odor and others can’t. The second is that some people produce the aroma while others do not. These two explanations are not mutually exclusive.”

Because the malodorous side effects are temporary—and should be promptly flushed down the toilet—you should feel free to continue enjoying asparagus as part of a balanced, kitten-approved diet.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question—especially when it comes to your body, your health or your hygiene. Send us the things that you’ve always wondered about to bm@dollarshaveclub.com.