Illustration: Olimpia Zagnoli
- It’s handy in a crisis … kind of.
You hear about survivalists or people stranded in the desert swigging their own urine, but experts agree that’s a bad idea even in an emergency. Pee is about 2 percent salt, which will dehydrate you. Plus it’s chock-full of toxins your body is trying to get rid of. A healthy person’s urine is sterile, though, which means it can be used to clean wounds.
- It helps you delay gratification.
Holding it when you’ve got to pee takes self-control, and that discipline can spread to other parts of your brain. A Dutch study found that people with a full bladder were more likely to choose a big reward later than a small reward soon. So when you’re torn between whether to watch the online trailers for Real Steel or avoid them so that the movie will be a surprise, a few Red Bulls may help you resist temptation.
- It’s a potential fuel source.
If hydrogen fuel cells are the power source of the future, pee is a potential gold mine. Each molecule of urea, the main component of urine, has double the hydrogen atoms of a water molecule and holds on to them less tightly. That means the atoms are easier to split off, promising a cheaper and more efficient source of hydrogen gas than H20. An Ohio company is trying to commercialize the technology.