Former UFC light heavyweight champion and karate master Lyoto Machida is an avid believer in the health benefits of drinking urine. He learned the practice from this father. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, the senior, Yoshizo, discussed the merits of the practice.
Translation via Machida's manager Ed Soares.
Ariel Helwani: Does Yoshizo drink urine, why, and what are the benefits?
Yoshizo Machida: "The reason why is because it actually is a health reason. And what happens is when you eat and all the food that you eat and you digest, not all of it comes out, but when you drink urine in the morning, it helps flush your system out. So, it basically cleans your system every day when you drink your urine.”
AH: Does Lyoto drink urine daily?
YM: Yeah, I mean, the reason why… Lyoto did drink his urine every day up until you know for this fight but you know the reason he started really drinking his urine is about two or three years ago he had this cough, he would take medicine, take medicine, he wouldn’t get rid of it and he asked his Dad, “What should I do?” and he said, “Hey, drink your urine, that’s what’s going to keep your healthy,” and that’s exactly what he did, he drank the urine and within a few days, a few weeks his cough went away and he didn’t have that problem any more.
AH: Why does Yoshizo believe in drinking urine?
YM: It’s like a vaccine you know like you know sometimes when you take a vaccine for a disease, you know you’re taking of the same of what you’re trying to fight against and since the urine comes out of your body then you drink it again, it almost serves like a vaccine.
AH: Has Ed Soares ever drank urine before?
Ed Soares: I’ve never tried it. My partner’s tried it and he’s tried to make me try drinking it and I, you know, there was a time where they were talking about it and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to try it, I’m going to try it’ and I even went and urinated in the cup and it was hot and my partner said, ‘Hey, it’s better to drink it when it’s cold’ and I let it get cold and I looked at it and I just couldn’t bear to do it, I couldn’t bear to do it, but I am interested in it, it’s amazing to me, I just, I just haven’t had the guts to do it, yet
AH: What does urine taste like?
ES: [Yoshizo] said that you know just depends, sometimes it’s sweet, sometime it’s salty, it really depends on what you eat. He says that as a matter of a fact, my urine was very clean and I asked him why and he says, ‘I’m not sure, but it was very clean so I drank two cups today.’ He says during the war in Japan, all the Japanese soldiers would drink their urine to help them immune from themselves whatever they were trying to fight. There wasn’t medicine back then so that was their only form of medicine.
YM: if you want, I’ll do it right now and drink some.
[Yoshizo heads the bathroom. Ed's partner comes into the interview and explains urine tasting.]
“It all depends what you have eaten the night before, you know, and sometimes if you have a little bit of this salt of course it tastes salty. It all depends but you know it’s just a matter of habit, you know, like right now I mean there’s day where I think right off the fountain (hot).”
“Now he’s just going to wash it down with some water, he’s enjoying himself, and there you have it. Mr. Machida drinking his urine on a Wednesday afternoon in Montreal.”
Mr. Machida had some urine dribble down his chin while he drank the whole cup.
Diane Stresing disucesses the pros and cons of drinking urine for CVS.com.
Squeamishness aside, is it safe to drink your urine?
Evidence for the Health Claim
Many ancient medical and cultural practices in places such as Egypt, China, India, and the Aztec empire, consider drinking urine—one’s own or someone else’s—as a treatment or cure for a variety of ailments.
Even today there are number of alternative medical practices based in the teachings of Ayurveda that allow for urine consumption.
Although no medical evidence supports urine as an effective treatment for any of these (or other) illnesses, scientific studies have shown that some components of urine have medicinal properties. Most notably, urea (which, next to water, is the primary component of urine) possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics. And, it should be noted that research is underway to investigate the potential of other urinary substances to treat infertility and specific forms of cancer.
While urine’s purported healing properties have yet to be confirmed by rigorous research, drinking small amounts of your own urine is unlikely to produce serious harm if, for some reason, you are so inclined.
Evidence Against the Claim
Although sipping the occasional urine sample may not be immediately harmful, it should not be forgotten that urine can contain harmful substances in those who have taken drugs—legal or otherwise—or have been exposed to chemical residues in the environment.
Urine therapy advocates who tout urine’s healing properties point to the fact that urine contains vitamins, hormones, proteins, and other constituents generally accepted as beneficial. However, detractors point out that the body’s process of elimination is more than merely efficient, ridding itself of what it can’t store. Rather, the kidneys diligently retain what is useful and dispose of everything else deemed dispensable.
Even urine therapy advocates warn of the dangers of excessive urine consumption. During a worldwide conference of urine therapy practitioners, the Chinese Association of Urine Therapy warned that drinking urine has negative side effects, including diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and muscle soreness; and these symptoms increase with the amount of urine ingested.
Because urine is primarily water, drinking it in small amounts is probably harmless unless you’ve been exposed to medications or environmental toxins that your body is desperately trying to eliminate.