When it comes to managing the nutrient level in the kidney diet, the task seems mission impossible to many. Ensuring that the level of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus are appropriate doesn’t make it any easier.
In such a situation, choosing the right kidney-friendly protein source may appear like a daunting task and we don’t blame you. In fact, we believe that the best option for you would be to seek the best protein supplements for kidney patients.
Note: Kidney patients who are NOT on dialysis should NOT consume protein powder since they are following a lower-protein diet.
In this article, we explore everything that you need to know about renal-friendly protein supplements.
- Understanding kidney disease and protein needs
- Types of protein supplements for kidney patients
- Precautions and safety measures
- Best protein supplements for kidney patients
- Incorporating protein into kidney patient’s diet
Understanding kidney disease and protein needs
You must be aware that our kidneys play an essential role in filtering out waste from our bodies. However, the filtering process becomes impaired in renal diseases and it leads to toxins build-up in our body.
Although protein is essential for several reasons including growth and repair, it must be limited in such cases. The dietary restrictions only tend to increase as the kidney disease progresses to the end stage.
Naturally, determining the appropriate amount of protein becomes a hectic and daunting task for many. We won’t be surprised if you find yourself asking, “How. much protein do kidney patients need?”
In simple words, protein intake for people at an early stage of kidney disease can be high but it must be reduced as the disease becomes more and more severe.
In technical words, kidney patients who don’t have diabetes must consume a maximum of 0.8 grams per kg of body weight every day.
It is essential to note that consuming too much protein can lead to excess strain on the kidney. Whereas, too little protein consumption can lead to muscle wasting, malnutrition, and other health issues.
By understanding how much protein kidney patients need, you can prepare an apt dietary plan for you and your loved ones. This will not only slow down the progress of the disease but also prevent unnecessary complications.
Types of protein supplements for kidney patients
Following a kidney-friendly diet is difficult. People don’t just have to limit their protein intake but ensure that the food doesn’t have high potassium, phosphorus, and sodium either. Therefore, the best option is to attain daily protein requirements through kidney-friendly protein supplements.
Note: Pre-dialysis or non-dialysis patients should not consume protein powder since they are following a lower-protein diet.
There are several different types of protein supplements and some of them are as follows:
- Whey Protein
Whey Protein is one of the most sought supplements in the market. The primary reason is its capacity to absorb quickly. This makes it much more effective for athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts.
However, the protein is derived from milk which makes it an impossible option for people who are lactose intolerant or have advanced kidney disease. People with kidney or liver disease must also avoid high intake of whey protein because it can increase the workload on these organs.
- Casein Protein
Casein is yet another popular supplement that acts slower as compared to whey protein. It’s the best choice for people who want prolonged slow release of protein. It is often used by athletes and bodybuilders who want nighttime recovery or a slower digestion rate.
Since casein protein also comes from milk, it is unsuitable for lactose intolerant people. Apart from this, people with kidney or liver disease must also limit their intake of casein protein supplements.
- Soy Protein
It is one of the excellent kidney-friendly protein supplements which is low in fat and cholesterol. It’s safe to conclude that soy protein makes a good choice for vegans and vegetarians.
Like any other supplement, however, a particular group of people cannot consume it. This mainly includes people with soy allergies because it may result in allergic reactions. Additionally, people with hypothyroidism must also avoid this supplement as it may impair thyroid gland function.
- Egg white Protein
Egg white contains high-quality protein that is low in fat, cholesterol, and other nutrients such as potassium and phosphorus. This makes it a good alternative for lactose intolerant and soy allergic people.
However, if you have an intolerance towards egg whites, you must strictly avoid this protein supplement as it can upset your digestive system and result in skin rashes. In some cases, it can also increase the workload on our kidney and liver.
- Collagen Protein
Collagen protein is one of the popular supplements in the market that is known for its low phosphorus and sodium level. The product is an excellent option for people who want to improve their nails, hair, and skin along with overall health.
The supplement is normally well-tolerated by most but some people may experience digestive issues. Moreover, collagen protein supplements are derived from animal sources which makes them unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans.
- Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is a plant-based supplement that has low sodium and phosphorus levels. This makes it a good alternative for vegans and vegetarians. Especially since this protein supplement is easy to digest.
However, one must be aware that hemp may contain trace amounts of psychoactive components found in marijuana. People who are subject to drug testing such as athletes must avoid using hemp protein supplements.
- Rice Protein
Rice protein is yet another plant-based protein supplement that has low levels of phosphorus and sodium. So, it is an excellent option for people who prefer plant-based products. Additionally, it is easy to digest in nature.
Some people may experience digestive issues when using rice protein supplements. People who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivity cannot have this supplement.
Precautions and safety measures
When you don’t know the guideline, protein supplements can do you a lot of harm. Therefore, you must always take precautions and safety measures into consideration. Some things to keep in mind are as follows:
- Consult your Nephrologist
Before you start a new supplement or diet regimen, you must always consult your Nephrologist. They can offer you personalized recommendations based on your unique health needs and medical history.
They can also help you determine an appropriate daily protein intake, identify any potential risks or interactions with other medications or supplements, and recommend kidney-friendly protein supplements that are safe for you to use.
- Monitor protein intake
When it comes to people with advanced kidney disease, they have a very small margin of protein requirement. Consuming too much protein can increase the workload on your kidneys and may worsen kidney function. Moreover, maintain a healthy weight and avoid overeating.
By keeping a close eye on your protein intake, you can ensure that you’re regularly eating the right amount of protein and meeting the daily requirements.
- Choose kidney-friendly protein supplements
Not every supplement is made equally. Some may have high levels of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. These nutrients may build up in the bloodstream and cause complications.
Some protein supplements may also contain added sugars and preservatives which can further contribute to impaired kidney function. So, it’s better to choose a supplement that aligns well with your goal and health conditions.
- Avoid supplements with added ingredients
As a kidney patient, one of your priorities must be to avoid supplements that have additional ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, preservatives, or herbs.
It can add a significant amount of strain on your kidneys or interfere with your existing medications. In fact, some additives may even trigger adverse reactions and result in symptoms such as skin rashes, digestive issues, or respiratory problems.
Therefore, it is wiser to opt for supplements that are much purer and simpler.
- Stay hydrated
When consuming protein supplements, the kidneys work harder to process the protein, so maintaining proper hydration levels is essential to support their function.
It also helps to dilute waste products in the urine, reducing the risk of their accumulation and potential complications.
This is particularly important for people who must manage their waste product levels in blood such as urea or creatinine. So, staying hydrated must be one of your priorities while focusing on protein consumption.
Best protein supplements for kidney patients
When it comes to choosing the best kidney-friendly protein supplements, you must choose the one that meets your specific dietary needs.
Here are a few protein supplements that are often considered suitable for individuals with kidney disease:
- NephroLife Prorenal:
NephroLife Prorenal is a specialized protein supplement that has gained recognition for its potential benefits in supporting individuals with kidney disease. This particular protein supplement has been formulated with the specific nutritional needs of kidney patients in mind.
Designed to address the challenges faced by individuals with compromised kidney function, NephroLife Prorenal aims to provide essential nutrients while taking into account the limitations and restrictions often associated with kidney disease.
One notable feature of NephroLife Prorenal is its focus on high-quality protein sources that are gentle on the kidneys. This means that the protein content is carefully selected and optimized to be low in phosphorus and potassium, two minerals that can pose challenges for kidney patients.
By offering a protein source that is mindful of these limitations, NephroLife Prorenal strives to support kidney patients in meeting their protein requirements without adding unnecessary strain to their already compromised kidneys.
- Himalaya HiOwna:
Himalaya HiOwna is a well-known protein supplement that has gained popularity for its potential benefits in supporting overall nutrition and well-being. It has been formulated to offer a holistic approach to nourishment.
One notable aspect of Himalaya HiOwna is its focus on delivering essential nutrients in a convenient and easily consumable form. This comprehensive blend aims to provide a well-rounded nutritional profile that can contribute to overall health and vitality.
- Nutrilite All Plant Protein:
Nutrilite All Plant Protein is a renowned protein supplement that has gained recognition for its unique formulation and focus on plant-based nutrition.
This supplement stands out for individuals seeking a protein source that aligns with their vegetarian or vegan dietary preferences, providing an alternative to animal-based protein supplements.
One notable feature of Nutrilite All Plant Protein is its composition, which combines the power of multiple plant protein sources. This blend typically includes proteins derived from soy, wheat, and pea, offering a comprehensive amino acid profile.
This is particularly important as it ensures that individuals consuming this supplement receive all the essential amino acids necessary for proper bodily functions.
- Inlife Whey Protein:
Inlife Whey Protein is a popular protein supplement that has a good reputation among fitness enthusiasts. This supplement offers a range of options that cater to the specific nutritional needs of those with kidney disease.
One notable aspect of Inlife Whey Protein is its focus on providing a concentrated dose of protein in a convenient and easily digestible form. This supplement is also known for including all the essential amino acids required by our body.
- Pro360 Protein Powder:
It is yet another well-known protein supplement that is popular among individuals looking to boost their protein intake.
This supplement offers a range of options that are carefully formulated to cater to the specific nutritional needs of various individuals, including those with kidney disease.
One notable feature of Pro360 Protein Powder is its commitment to providing high-quality protein from different sources. The protein blend often includes whey protein, casein protein, and soy protein, among others.
This combination aims to provide a comprehensive amino acid profile, ensuring that individuals consuming Pro360 Protein Powder receive a diverse array of essential amino acids necessary for various bodily functions.
Choosing the right kidney-friendly protein supplement isn’t easy but this comprehensive guide can help you make the right decision. It includes everything that you must know about protein supplements.
However, we would still recommend you consult the best nephrologist in Delhi. His 18+ years of experience can help you manage your renal disease. Contact him today.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can you take protein supplements with kidney disease?
Only kidney patients on dialysis are recommended to take kidney-friendly protein supplements. For pre-dialysis patients, excess amounts of protein are harmful.
What is the recommended protein for kidney patients?
Renal patients must only have 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per kg of ideal body weight every day. More or less than this level can result in unnecessary complications.
Can protein powder increase the creatinine level?
Yes, consuming excessive protein-based food sources can result in an increase in creatinine levels in the blood.
Which protein is not harmful for kidneys?
Food sources with low protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus are not harmful for kidneys. The list includes mackerel, shrimp, cabbage, onion, garlic, etc.