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Should you pee in wetsuits or keep your bladder under control? Surely, you have asked yourself this question. We will answer it in this article. Also, we will review the truths and lies about peeing in wetsuits.
“I Don’t Usually Pee in Wetsuits“: LIE
Surveys say that 90% of divers admit to peeing in wetsuits. The remaining 10% lie. Why do we know?
Because there is a natural phenomenon called immersion diuresis. This occurs when we immerse ourselves in a liquid that is at a lower temperature than the air where we were exposed to previously. At this moment, the skin blood vessels narrow to send the blood to the center of the body to keep it warmer. With this vasoconstriction, the hypothalamus, which seems to be a bit confused, thinks that “there is excess fluid” and orders the kidneys to go to work, we all know the consequences that this implies.
Therefore, the question is not whether you are going to pee in wetsuits, but rather: What should you know about peeing in wetsuits?
If I Do Not Drink Liquids Before A Dive, I Will Not Pee in Wetsuits: LIE
Sweating, immersion diuresis, and breathing compressed air can cause a diver to become dehydrated. Giving up fluids before a dive will not make you not pee. We have already explained why. However, it will put you at risk of dehydration and with it at risk of a decompression accident. Besides, drinking too little fluid causes a build-up of waste products, which will make your urine more concentrated and smell worse.
Peeing in Wetsuits Can Damage Their Fabric: TRUE
Human urine is 90-95% water. The rest are compounds like urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine, inorganic sulfur, and others. This means that it is slightly acidic and its pH ranges from 5.5 to 7. In other words, urine is corrosive. The habit of urinating on the wetsuit will gradually affect its qualities, make it stiffer, and less comfortable. Most wetsuits only last three to five years. Assume it.
Needless to say, we are talking about peeing in wetsuits in the water. If you have to do it, do it at the beginning of the dive. The water will have time to rinse off the urine. Just before getting out of the water, open your wetsuit and let the water run inside. On the surface, wash the suit thoroughly after use, especially if it is a borrowed or rented suit.
Don´t ever pee in your wetsuit when it is still dry and/or you are not yet in the water. In addition to being socially frowned upon, it will start to stink quickly, you’ll get itchy skin and it will be disgusting.
Withholding Urine Has Health Consequences: TRUTH
Definitely, no. Urine is NOT a sterile liquid. On the contrary, it contains bacteria and other organic elements that can cause an infection if you retain it for a long time.
On the other hand, holding back urine causes the bladder to distend, unnecessarily straining its structure.
Peeing in Wetsuits Has Health Consequences TRUTH
Do you wear a hood when you dive? Well, if so, urine can travel along your wetsuit to your ears and cause an infection.
On the other hand, if urine spends many hours in contact with our skin, it can cause skin irritations. We already said that it´s corrosive, have we? Also, if the water softens the skin, the urine damages it much more.
Peeing in Wetsuits Keeps Your Body Warm: LIE
It is a fact that urine has body temperature. Therefore, yes. Your body will be warmer for a while, but then the thermal sensation will make you colder, even, if you are in very cold waters, it can bring you closer to hypothermia.
We explain why. When you pee in wetsuits you reverse the vasoconstriction that your body has made to keep the blood warm in the center of the body. The capillaries in the skin dilate again, but you and I know that this warm liquid is going to cool down, don’t you? Then, you will be losing heat and wasting energy.
On the other hand, the goal of the wetsuits is to create a thin layer of water around your body that is heated thanks to the insulation. In this way, we need less energy to maintain temperature. We insist: a THIN layer of water.
If urine pockets are created inside the suit, these can be hot at the beginning, but, after a while, they will inevitably cool down and our body will have to spend more energy heating them.
Drysuits have a built-in urinal: LIE
Is it really a lie? Not so much. The truth is that they do not have a standard urinal, but you can put one in. It is called a “Pee valve” and there are two versions: a female and a male. However, they often cause infections. The other option is adult diapers.
In the article, we have seen 7 truths and lies about peeing in wetsuits. Do you have any doubt? Send us your question! After all, to pee or not to pee in wetsuits is your decision.