How Long Does it Take to Pee After Drinking Water?

The human body is fascinating, and many of us are keen to learn everything we can about the unseen processes that take place inside us.

Wondering how long it takes for us to pee after drinking water? We’ve shared everything you could possibly want to know in this guide.

It takes 15 minutes to two hours for a healthy person to urinate after drinking water. The exact time to urinate depends on how much water is already in your body, whether or not you have an overactive bladder, the volume of water you drink, your age, and more.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • Most people pee within 15 minutes to two hours of drinking water.
  • The kidneys in the body form urine, which flows into the bladder and is stored until the bladder is full.
  • There are several factors that affect how long it takes to pee after drinking water, including the volume of water consumed, the weather, and certain medications and health conditions.
  • You can reduce your peeing frequency by drinking plain water, drinking water sparingly, and avoiding diuretics.

🚽 How Long Do You Pee After Drinking Water?

A well-hydrated person with a close-to-full bladder will need to pee within five to fifteen minutes of drinking water.

A dehydrated person with an empty bladder may take up to nine hours to pee after drinking water.

There are numerous factors affecting how long it takes to pee after drinking water. We’ve shared these later in this guide.

drinking from grayl ultrapress

Time to Pee After Drinking Water, By Age

Our bladders aren’t designed to ever get “full”. Instead, once they’re around one-quarter full, they signal to our brains that we need to pee. This prevents the damage that could be caused by the bladder actually becoming full and potentially bursting.

Your age plays a role in when you’ll need to pee after drinking water.

AgeBladder size (ounces)Bladder size (mL)Time to fill bladderTime to pee
Babies (0–12 months)1–2 ounces30-601 hour~15 minutes
Toddler (1–3 years)3–5 ounces89-1482 hours~1 hour
Child (4–12 years)7–14 ounces207-4142–4 hours30 min. – 1 hour
Adult16–24 ounces473-7108–9 hours (2 ounces per hour)~2 hours
Source: Healthline

Time to Pee After Drinking Water, By Gender

Most people would agree that men don’t need to pee as often as women. There’s no scientific evidence to point at why this is – men and women have similarly-sized bladders, and both perform in the same way.

📌 However, some studies, showing the difference in peeing frequency in tracked urination diaries, show that women do pee more than men, on average – even when the men were found to have a higher-than-average fluid intake.

So, is there a difference between men and women when it comes to time to pee after drinking water? Potentially, but we don’t have a definitive reason why.

👨‍⚕️ How is Urine Formed in the Body?

There are four stages that take place in the process of producing urine. These are filtration, reabsorption, secretion, and urination.

How water travels through the body

Filtration

First, the kidneys remove excess water and waste products from the blood in a process called filtration. The unwanted fluid is urine. It travels to the urinary bladder from the ureters, and is stored until the body eliminates urine when we pee.

Reabsorption

While urine is formed, most of the water and some of the solutes that the kidneys filtered out of the blood are reabsorbed. This prevents important nutrients (like glucose) and water from being unnecessarily wasted.

Secretion

Certain toxins and drugs also need to be expelled from the body in urine. The secretion process transports these toxins into the body. Certain medications, toxins, and pigments in foods cause urine to form a yellow color.

Urination

Finally, when the urinary bladder becomes full, the central nervous system tells the body that it’s time to pee. We pee by relaxing the urinary sphincter muscles, causing the urine to leave the bladder.

📖 Factors Affecting How Long it Takes to Pee After Drinking Water

There are 11 factors that affect the length of time it takes to pee after drinking water:

1. The Volume of Water Consumed

Your liquid intake is the most obvious cause of infrequent or frequent urination. The average peeing frequency is every four or so hours, with a “normal” water intake.

We’re advised to drink six to eight cups of water, or about two liters, per day. An excess water intake of more than eight cups will cause you to pee more frequently than your peers.

📌 How long does it take to pee if your fluid intake is lower than average? Potentially hours. Your peeing habits are closely linked to your water consumption.

The more water you drink, the more your body contains. That’s why you probably notice that, after your first pee of the day, you don’t need to pee for several hours because you haven’t been drinking throughout the night.

On the other hand, you probably notice that you pee more frequently towards the end of the day because you’ve been drinking steadily from morning to evening.

Drinking water

2. The Type of Beverage Consumed

Certain beverages, including those containing caffeine and alcohol, and soft drinks, are known to cause frequent urination.

Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. They don’t affect urine formation, but they make us feel like we need to pee more often. So, if you drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks, you’re more likely to naturally pee more often.

Unsweetened fruit juices and carbonated drinks are also known to have a diuretic effect.

Alcohol is a diuretic that does have an effect on urine formation. When we drink alcohol, our bodies produce urine at a faster rate because they try to get rid of alcohol as quickly as possible. Alcohol also causes bladder irritation, making us want to pee even when we don’t need to.

3. Your Activity Level

Love working out? You might pee more frequently OR less frequently than your peers – it depends on how well you hydrate.

For instance, if you sweat it out at the gym for an hour every day and you don’t properly hydrate after your workout, your body will have less water to expel, and you’ll probably pee less frequently. On the other hand, if you overcompensate by drinking your entire bottle of water after a workout, you’ll probably need to pee not long after.

Woman drinking water after workout

4. Your Age

We’ve already covered how age affects how often you pee due to the size of your urinary bladder. Babies and toddlers have a smaller urinary bladder than adults, so they have more frequent urination.

Adults are also able to better control their liquid intake and bladder urges, so they’re less likely to pee frequently compared to children.

5. Your Gender

We also mentioned earlier in this guide that there’s no definitive proof to say that men pee less frequently than water. However, anecdotally, and based on studies that reference pee diaries, women are known to pee more often than men.

Don’t take this one as a definite – but feel free to conduct your own experiment with a partner or family member of the opposite sex (and a similar age). Make sure you both drink the same fluids at the same times throughout the day, and see who needs to pee more frequently.

6. Your Diet and Salt Intake

If you eat a lot of salt in your diet, you’ll need to pee sooner and more frequently after you’ve had a drink.

Excess salt needs to be diluted by water in the body. So, when we eat salty foods, our bodies store more water for this job. When the salt is processed, this water fills up the bladder, increasing the frequency of irritation.

📌 Aside from salty foods, there are other foods that are known to increase urine formation. Foods with a high water content, like certain fruits and veggies, soups, and some cheeses, will increase your overall water intake and cause you to pee more often.

7. The Weather

Just like exercise, the climate affects how much water your body loses through sweat, and the volume of urine formed as a result.

In hot climates, our bodies sweat to cool down. If you don’t drink plenty of water to make up for the water lost during sweating, you may end up dehydrated. Your body will contain less water, so you’ll urinate less frequently.

Or, you might drink more water than normal when the weather is warm, increasing your frequency of urination.

Cold weather works in the opposite way: we don’t sweat as much, and we don’t lose as much water. For this reason, we’re less likely to drink water because we don’t feel thirsty. Most people pee less frequently in the winter, when they’re often exposed to cold weather, for this reason.

Person drinking water in a hot weather

8. Your Mental Health

Yes, your emotional health really can have an effect on your peeing frequency.

If you have anxiety around using the restroom, you may stop yourself from peeing when you need to, which may lead to urinary retention (when you’re unable to pee even when you feel the urge).

Anxiety is also known to put your body into “fight or flight” mode, which may make you feel the need to pee when you don’t need to.

9. Your Physical Health

Your physical health has a more obvious effect on how often you need to pee.

Certain health conditions are known to lead to increased urination or urinary incontinence. Type 1 and type 2 are some of the most common health conditions affecting bladder function.

📌 How long does it take to pee after drinking water if you have diabetes? You may pee twice as often as somebody who doesn’t have diabetes. That’s because your body is trying to get rid of excess sugar, and the easiest way to do this is through urination.

Obesity and increased body weight may also lead to urinary incontinence or increased urination.

There are several other health conditions that may affect your urinary and bladder health, including kidney stones, weakness of the pelvic muscles, nervous system damage, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections.

If you think you’re peeing far too often or not enough, discuss your symptoms with a doctor.

10. Medications

Certain medications act as diuretics, causing us to urinate sooner than usual and more frequently after drinking.

📌 Medications for kidney disease, heart failure, and high blood pressure are all known to increase peeing frequency.

Your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not your medication is a known diuretic.

Person taking medication

11. Pregnancy

Finally, pregnancy is known to increase the urge to pee.

The uterus puts pressure on the bladder, increasing the frequency of urination, because the bladder has less space for storing urine.

The increased amount of blood in a pregnant woman’s body also increases her need to pee throughout the night.

📥 How to Reduce Peeing Frequency

There may be many reasons why you want to reduce your peeing frequency. Maybe you’re planning to take a long road trip or you want to train your bladder to pee less frequently overnight.

The best ways to reduce peeing frequency are:

  • Drink water sparingly. Sip water throughout the day, rather than drinking a big glass of water in one go.
  • Drink plain water and avoid diuretics. Caffeine, fruit juices, and alcohol are known diuretics, so stay away from them if you want to avoid peeing more often than usual.
  • Avoid foods with a high water content, like celery, cucumber, and berries. These will increase your body’s overall water content.
  • Stay away from salty foods. They encourage your body to hold onto more water, which will eventually need to be expelled.
  • Increase your body temperature. This will cause you to release water through sweat, so you’ll have less water to pee out.
  • Reduce your anxiety. If you’re an anxious person, work on managing your anxiety to reduce your need to pee as a fight-of-flight urge.
  • Pee before you go to bed. This will reduce your likelihood of waking up in the night to pee.

In all scenarios, make sure you’re still drinking enough water to stay hydrated. If you find yourself limiting your water intake to deal with an embarrassing or uncontrollable peeing doctor, you might be putting your health at risk – and you might have an underlying health condition. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned.

❔How Long After Drinking Water Do You Pee? FAQ

How much urine can the bladder store?

The average bladder can store around 500 millimeters of urine. Your sex, age, and health history affect how much urine your own bladder can store.

How many times should you pee per day?

Most people with a healthy urinary tract pee six to eight times in a 24-hour period. If you pee significantly less frequently than this, you might not be drinking enough water. Consider buying a 2-liter water bottle to make sure you get enough fluids throughout the day. If you pee more frequently than this, you might drink more than the average person or have an overactive bladder.

What is the average length of a pee?

The average length of a pee is seven seconds. This depends on how much water you’ve consumed and how desperate you are to pee. The fuller your bladder, the more water will need to be released, and the longer your pee will be. If it regularly takes you longer to pee, or you feel like you can’t completely empty your bladder, book an appointment with your doctor.

Why do I pee straight after drinking water?

You might pee straight after drinking water if your body already contains a lot of water or if you have an overactive bladder or issues with kidney function. Speak to your doctor if your peeing habits are affecting your quality of life.

How long does it take for water to digest?

It takes 5-120 minutes for water to digest before you pee. Since water is a chemical entity, it isn’t actually digested by the body like food. Once it reaches the gastrointestinal tract, water is used to aid digestion and support chemical relations all around the body. Water that isn’t absorbed by the bloodstream passes out of the body as urine.

Why is my pee yellow?

Yellow pee is caused by a pigment called urochrome, which suggests you need to drink more. Highly-concentrated urine is a sign of poor hydration, but bright-yellow urine is also caused by certain supplements (like vitamin B2) and foods (such as carrots).

Is clear pee good?

Yes, clear pee is good – it’s a sign that you’re healthy and hydrated. However, if your clear pee is accompanied by unusual or extreme thirst, see your doctor to rule out diabetes and kidney problems.

Should I pee at night?

It’s normal to pee once or twice overnight. However, if you wake up on numerous occasions to pee at night, it suggests you have an overactive bladder or you’re drinking water too close to bedtime. To avoid peeing so much at night, stop drinking at least two hours before bed, avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine, and make sure to maintain a healthy weight (being overweight can put more pressure on your bladder).

How can I make myself pee?

If you need to make yourself pee for whatever reason, your easiest option is to drink a tall glass of water. Some people find that tea and coffee have a natural diuretic effect, causing you to pee faster. Fruits like watermelon and grapes, veggies like onions and bell peppers, and herbs like juniper and horsetail all act as natural diuretics, too. If you’re really struggling, see your doctor and ask about the possibility of using diuretic medication.

How can I slow down the time between peeing and drinking?

Got a long road trip ahead? You can slow down your pee time by drinking water sparingly (only when you feel like you need it), avoiding coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks, increasing your body temperature, and avoiding foods with a high water content. Increase your bladder strength by regularly exercising your pelvic floor muscles.

How long does it take to pee after general anesthesia?

You should be able to pee within a couple of hours after anesthesia, depending on your fluid intake prior to surgery. Some people experience urinary retention after general anesthesia due to a disruption in the nerves that control the urination process. In this case, it may take you six to eight hours to pee after anesthesia. Make sure to drink water regularly after your surgery to encourage the urination process.

How long does it take to pee after drinking caffeine?

Most people pee within 5-45 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it increases your urge to pee, even if your urine volume doesn’t increase. For this reason, you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, like coffee, tea, and energy drinks, before bed.

Do some people have smaller bladders?

No. In spite of our differing body sizes, most of us have very similarly-sized internal organs. So if you need to pee faster than your friend, it’s probably not because your bladder is smaller or a reduced bladder capacity. The only time that this is true is if you’re comparing an adult’s bladder to a child’s bladder. Children, toddlers, and babies have smaller bladders than adults, so they often need to pee more frequently.