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Do You Know Why Urine Smells like Popcorn

Do You Know Why Urine Smells Like Popcorn? You Better Know This!

Do you have the slightest idea why urine smells like popcorn? Are you having a similar experience and feel it’s a cause for concern? Urine generally smells mild. However, several things can cause it to have a completely different smell. 

It’s normal for people to feel concerned when their urine smells like popcorn. It’s even worst knowing that you haven’t tasted popcorn for days. So why is the urine smelling this way? 

Firstly, having urine that has a popcorn smell isn’t a health concern. You’re safe and sound. Several factors could be responsible for the smell, with the most common being the food you ate. 

Let’s find the answer to the question.

Why Urine Smells Like Popcorn

Urine can smell like popcorn for several reasons. However, one of those reasons is the food you consumed. There’s a chance that you consumed a lot of proteins and fewer carbs. 

Your body is now converting excess protein and stored fat to energy, instead of carbohydrates. Normally, the body converts carbohydrates to energy. 

But because you consumed excess protein, it has to work with what’s available. The conversion and use of protein as energy sources leads to an increase in ketone in the blood. Now, when ketone enters the urine, it starts smelling sweet or like popcorn. 

Other Causes And Symptoms

Human urine normally contains 95% water, but this percentage may change due to the body’s waste products. Too much protein intake can cause minor fluctuations in odor while peeing.

When our body doesn’t get enough sugar or glucose to burn, it produces ketones. Ketosis is carrying a high level of ketones in the blood or urine. So it’s a common cause for people with ketoacidosis to make water like popcorn.

A temporary change of urine is okay, but if you notice it for a long period, you should see a doctor.

So let’s have a look at the primary causes that make such changes to your body.


Frequent urination primarily indicates diabetes. And sweet popcorn flavored urine almost ensures it. Excessive exercise, alcohol intake, or fasting may cause ketosis in our body by increasing ketones. As these activities increase the amount of burning fat, the body starts producing ketones that can be tested with a urinalysis test. 

This condition may indicate that a person has type-1 diabetes. However, this can also happen to someone with type-2 diabetes due to hypoglycemia. So, you have to check the sugar level of your blood.

Even if a diabetic person doesn’t control his diabetes, he may also suffer from excessive ketones with his urination.

A high blood sugar level named hyperglycemia may take place in your body even within 24 hours. It also makes the fruity aroma of your urine. 

Let’s check the other symptoms of diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Dehydration and excessive thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Weight loss
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue

If you have diabetics, you may take meds, insulin and have low-carb meals. Insulin helps to regulate your body sugar, and reduced sugar will improve your urine smell as well. But it’s for those who have an excessive amount of sugar in their blood.

Excess Protein Intake

Have you recently made any changes to your diet? If so, you possibly added some protein to your regular meal that may cause this difference in your urine.

Especially if you follow the keto diet and take a lot of protein instead of carbohydrates, your body uses protein and stored fat to produce energy instead of using carbs.

Apart from this, each food contains certain chemicals that may cause different smells while making water. So a great change in food habits may change the odor of your urine. Especially if you take,

  • Excessive protein that contains ketones
  • Coffee contains many chemical compounds that leave the body through urination

If you think this causes your urine to smell like popcorn, drink a lot of water. Extra water will quite easily dissolve the chemicals and reduce the odor.

Moreover, try to maintain a balanced diet and avoid packaging and junk foods to eliminate that popcorn smell.

Lack of Water

Drinking less amount of water produces a highly concentrated, strong-smelling, and low quantity of urine that may smell like buttered popcorn. As dehydration causes less water with urine, you have to drink many fluids to prevent the popcorn smell from moving forward. 

Make sure that you’re dehydrated when you feel:

  • Dizziness
  • Frequent thirst
  • Concentrated and decreased amount of urination
  • Headache
  • Weakness

It’s important to rehydrate your body when you feel these symptoms. Drink plenty of water to make up for the loss, and take 8 glasses of water each day.

Avoid coffee, tea, or alcohols that are diuretics because they cause more urination and dehydrate you more.

During Pregnancy

At the time of pregnancy, you will notice some changes while urinating. This may happen for a couple of reasons. When a woman gets pregnant, her sense of smell differs from a normal woman. 

On the other hand, during pregnancy, some hormonal changes happen that may cause urine to smell like popcorn. At the very early stage of pregnancy, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone (HCG) increases in the blood that makes urine unusual.

Gestational diabetes is temporary diabetes that some women face during their pregnancy. Most of the time, it goes away after giving birth. So this diabetes can also cause that odor of urine when someone’s pregnant. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Normally bacteria cause infections when they travel up the urethra. The urethra works as a tube to carry the urine from your bladder to the outside. As women have more possibilities to get affected by a bacterial infection, they suffer a lot from this disease. 

Sweet or popcorn smelled urine is a common symptom when you suffer from this disease. So do a urinalysis test to clarify the condition, and you may have some other complexities.

  • Frequent urge to pee
  • Burning sensation while peeing

So you may take some pain killers to relive instantly, but doctors may prescribe you some antibiotics for this case.

Genetic Disorders

Maybe it’s the less likely cause of such cases, and there’s not much treatment available for it except maintaining some lifestyle changes. 

Foetor Hepaticus is a disorder that usually causes a bad odor while breathing. But sometimes, it may cause your urine to smell like buttered popcorn. 

The treatment process mainly depends on the root causes of this disease, and sometimes lifestyle changes may help.

Another genetic disorder may occur named Maple syrup urine disease, which is a rare one. If you inherit a mutated gene from both of your parents, only then will you be affected. 

This complexity stops your body from breaking amino acids that need the most to function the body well. Some common symptoms of this disorder are:

  • Urine smells like sweet or caramel 
  • Seizures
  • Delayed growth

Long term effect of this disease causes brain damage, so amino acid supplementation is preferable using an intravenous line.

Diagnosing Of Urine Smells Popcorn

As there are a lot of causes that possibly change the smell of your urine, you have to sort it out first. If you know the reason behind it, you have to go for further treatment. Moreover, you have to diagnose to overuse the cause even if you already know.

So, a urine test or urinalysis makes sure if you have any kind of urine infection or hormonal imbalance. 

Even you can easily diagnose diabetic ketoacidosis yourself through a urine test at home. A little thing you have to do is to manage urine ketone test strips from any drug store.

When To Consult A Doctor?

If you get a fruity smell after urination, it’s better to wait for several days. In most cases, the smell subsides after and while, and it happens due to the food habit changes. So if you get the underlying cause behind it, try to resolve it at home.

But if your symptoms don’t go away after 3 or 4 days, you should immediately make an appointment with your doctor.

On the other hand, Diabetic patients and people who are pregnant should be more aware of these complications.  

Possible Treatments

The treatment methods may vary depending on the cause of the symptoms. Antibiotics work better in case of treating any urinary infections. 

As genetic disorders have no such remedy, some dietary and lifestyle changes can surely help lessen the foul smell of urine.

Amino acid supplements work excellent for maple syrup urine disease along with some eating habit changes.

Preventing Popcorn Smell from Urine

You may follow versatile ways to get rid of the smell of your urine. If you ever experienced such odor or not, keep in mind some tips to never get such a sweet popcorn smell after making water.

  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids the whole day to prevent dehydration
  • Try to avoid much protein intake at once, rather eat a sufficient amount of protein every day
  • Include healthy foods in your diet 
  • Urination before and after sex prevents urinary infections
  • Avoid vaginal sprays to protect them it’s pH value
  • Try to know the side effects of birth control pills before using
  • Exercise according to your body condition 
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Check your blood glucose levels after a couple of months
  • Don’t eat too many desserts, bread that may spike your glucose level of the bloodstream
  • Avoid coffee or alcohol, which are diuretics 

My Urine Smells Like Popcorn? When To Visit A Doctor

Do you perceive the smell of popcorn when you urinate? You’re not alone! Several factors could be responsible for such smells. And we have shed light on those factors. 

Cases of urine smelling like popcorn are usually temporary. The smell may go away over time. But if you notice that a particular food is responsible, stop consuming them and see if the smell disappears.

Consult your doctor if the smell doesn’t disappear after three to four days.  Your doctor will ask you to run a urinalysis test to ascertain the cause of the popcorn smell. In most cases, the doctors will check for pregnancy, diabetes and other possible health conditions that can contribute to such smells. 

Watch out for possible signs of diabetes such as blurred vision, tingling hands and feet, and excessive taste. These are all signs of diabetes, so go see your doctor.

Final Verdict

There are diverse reasons why urine smells like popcorn.  It could be because you ate excess protein, which the body now uses as energy. This process leads to a rise in ketone in the blood, which causes urine to smell like popcorn. Other reasons urine may smell like popcorn includes diabetes, pregnancy, urinary tract infection, and dehydration.

Urine smell may change due to a lot of reasons, especially for dietary and lifestyle changes. But it’ll be a matter of concern if the odor of popcorn persists for a long time. 

Make sure you have no other symptoms of diabetes, urinary infection, or genetic disorders. If any of the signs match you when your urine smells like popcorn, immediately contact a doctor.

So, try to follow the preventive tips to avoid such foul odors while urinating.

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