Numerous low-Mr metabolites--including creatinine, citrate, hippurate, glucose, ketone bodies, and various amino acids--have been identified in 400- and 500-MHz proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectra of intact human urine. The presence of many of these was related to the specific condition of the donors: humans in different physiological states (resting, fasting, or post-exercise) and pathological conditions (e.g., diabetes mellitus, cadmium-induced renal dysfunction). We have also monitored the metabolism of simple nonendogenous compounds (methanol and ethanol) and of acetaminophen. The pH-dependencies of the NMR chemical shifts of some urine components are reported. Our studies show that high-resolution 1H NMR spectroscopy provides a fast, simple method for "fingerprint" identification of urinary compounds. In some cases, analytes can be quantified by standard additions or by comparing integrated peak areas for the metabolites with those for creatinine. Determinations of creatinine by 1H NMR spectroscopy compared well with those by an independent chemical assay based on the Jaffé reaction.