Last week, I had reason to Google “Why do we leave the water dripping in our house when it’s cold”… There was no clear answer and I Googled it because it seems unrealistic to expect that small trickle of water to cause enough flow to prevent water freezing in the pipe. However, one of the results that came up was a conspiracy site that claimed it was a myth created by water utilities to increase usage during slow usage seasons, such as winter when people aren’t watering gardens, filling pools, or allowing kids to play in sprinklers.
I’d done this search on my phone while watching TV and a few days later, I found the website still open on Safari, so I went close out my 12 open tabs and there was a new front page conspiracy theory. I read it and thought “WHAT THE F*CK!!! NO, DO NOT TELL PEOPLE TO DO THAT!!”
The claim was that sports drinks are a scam. It agreed people needed electrolytes, but there was no need to waist money on expensive sports drinks loaded with excessive amounts of salt and sugar. Humans create all the electrolytes they need, the problem is it’s expelled in urine. Their recommendation was to collect your own urine and run it through a Brita filtered pitcher and drink the now sterilized and clean urine to replenish your electrolytes. Please do not do this!!!! Pretty, pretty please!
As a historian, I find it weird that humans have been obsessed with drinking their own urine for millennia. During every great plague from the Justinian Plague in the 500s to the Black Death (2300s) to the polio pandemic in the mid-1900s, drinking one’s own urine has been offered as a possible cure/preventative measure.
The purpose of urine is to expel waste and toxins from the body. The purpose of a Brita filter is to remove heavy metals from water. Most of the waste and toxins expelled in urine are not heavy metals. This means a Brita filter will not purify urine to the point it is safe enough to drink. Interestingly, the most common electrolytes lost in urine are calcium, potassium, and sodium, and some Brita filters will remove these minerals from water… meaning it will remove them from urine, thereby removing the very reason for drinking the filtered urine.
At this time, I know of no at home filtration systems for purifying urine to the point it is drinkable (I’m sure someone will tell me I’m wrong, but I decided not to do an intensive Google search for a home urine filtration system because I don’t want Amazon giving me recommendations for one the next time I open it). Should you decide to try it anyway, you are actually not putting electrolytes back into your body, but the waste products and toxins it has already worked to expel.
The point is, don’t drink your own urine. Even in emergency situations, drinking your own urine is a bad idea. And a Brita pitcher, no matter how good the filter, is not designed to remove waste and toxins from urine making it safe to drink.