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Is Protein Bad For Your Kidneys

Is It Bad To Drink Protein Powder Everyday

Is a high protein diet bad for your kidneys??

The fact that protein contains calories makes it harder to lose weight if you drink protein shakes in addition to your usual diet, or if you dont exercise at all. According to the American Heart Association, adults need 46 to 56 grams of protein per day, depending on their weight and health status.

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Should Everyone Avoid A High

Dr.Calle advises patients with chronic kidney disease to take the better safethan sorry route. They probably should limit protein, he says.

His advice also applies to people who have a history of kidney stones or certain rare genetic conditions like phenylketonuria . That can put them at higher risk of forming kidney stones, which may potentially affect their kidney function, too.

But even if your kidneys seem to be firing on all cylinders, its still a good idea to check with a doctor before making any drastic changes to what you eat. Diets arent one-size-fits-all. A doctor can help you find an eating plan thats appropriate for your health goals.

But What Is A High Protein Diet Exactly

If were going to start talking smack about high protein diets, we need to define what we mean, and people are generally bad at doing that. Sometimes its defined as percentage of total calories, sometimes its grams per pound of bodyweight, and the cutoffs are always arbitrary and vary by researcher, field, or consensus.

The RDI suggests 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight, or 0.8 grams per kilogram. Anyone whos been in the strength game for a while will be more familiar with another number: 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, every day. Two hundred grams for a two-hundred-pound person.

Were not trying to say that is the optimal amount of protein to consume many get by just fine on much less but thats the number we hear thrown around the most.

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Why Might I Need To Control Protein Sodium Phosphorus Calcium Or Potassium

Eating the right amount of protein, sodium, potassium or phosphorus may help control the buildup of waste and fluid in your blood. This means your kidneys do not have to work as hard to remove the extra waste and fluid.


Your body needs protein to help build muscle, repair tissue, and fight infection. If you have kidney disease, you may need to watch how much protein you eat. Having too much protein can cause waste to build up in your blood. Your kidneys may not be able to remove all the extra waste. It is important to eat the right amount of protein each day. The amount of protein you need is based on your body size, your kidney problem, and the amount of protein that may be in your urine. Protein intake should not be too low, or it may cause other problems. Your dietitian or healthcare provider can tell you how much protein you should eat.


Healthy kidneys control how much sodium is in your body. If your kidneys do not work well, too much sodium can cause fluid buildup, swelling, higher blood pressure, and strain on your heart. Your dietitian or healthcare provider can tell you the right amount of sodium you should have each day.



As kidney function gets lower, extra phosphorus can start building up in the blood. High phosphorus levels can cause bones to get weaker. Your dietitian or healthcare provider can tell you if you need to limit goods that are high in phosphorus.


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Extra Protein Has No Negative Impact On The Kidneys

Consider the kidneys to be your bodys water filter. They help the body get rid of unwanted chemicals, metabolites, and other waste. Yes, theyre important for metabolizing and excreting nitrogen waste from protein digestion. However, this does not imply that consuming more protein will put a clients kidneys under stress.

One reason for perpetuating this misconception is that studies have revealed that a high-protein diet can make the kidneys work harder, especially in patients who already have chronic renal disease and compromised renal function. According to many studies, increased protein intake does not cause renal disease or reduced renal function in healthy people.

To go into more depth, researchers discovered that consuming extra protein alters the way your kidneys work, resulting in hyperfiltrationwhich isnt always a negative thing. Hyperfiltration is a sign that the kidneys are adjusting to a higher protein diet. Theyre just doing a better job of metabolizing higher protein intakes.

Consider those who have donated a kidney. The one kidney that was left behind now has to deal with extra protein. Wed see that in donors if increased protein levels harmed healthy kidneys. We, on the other hand, do not. That one kidney just adjusts, and there is no greater risk of renal disease in donors.

Is A High Protein Diet Bad For The Kidneys

This idea gained steam after some studies were published in the late 1980s and early 1990s that showed the more protein people consumed, the greater their glomerular filtration rate , a marker for waste filtration in the kidneys. Scientists claimed that increased GFR meant the kidneys were experiencing undue stress.

But later studies showed that it wasnt the case for folks with healthy kidneys.

Theres also research that specifically looked at athletes. A crossover study of resistance-trained males found that guys who ate 3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight had no harmful effects on kidney or liver function. Another study of bodybuilders consuming upwards of 1.3 grams per pound bodyweight also had no problems with the way their kidneys cleared creatinine, urea, and albumin.

So, problem solved, right?

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How To Use Whey Protein Powder In The Kidney Diet

Measure out one serving to use throughout the day with the scoop supplied. In your morning coffee, try a pinch of vanilla whey protein powder. Mix a teaspoon of whey protein powder with six ounces of orange soda for a creamy orange-flavored delight with added protein.

Make a root beer float with extra whey protein powder and six ounces of cool root beer for a delightful evening treat. Finish the scoop of whey protein powder by combining it with a half cup of applesauce later in the evening. For a refreshing, delicious, and high-protein evening snack, place the applesauce in the freezer for a few minutes.

Pretzels Chips And Crackers

Is Protein Bad for your kidneys (Particularly Protein Shakes!)

Ready-to-eat snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers tend to be lacking in nutrients and relatively high in salt.

Also, its easy to eat more than the recommended portion size of these foods, often leading to even greater salt intake than intended.

Whats more, if chips are made from potatoes, theyll contain a significant amount of potassium as well.


Pretzels, chips, and crackers are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. Additionally, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.

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Benefits Of Whey Protein

The amino acids in the whey protein prove to be essential for the growth of healthy muscles and connective tissue. It improves body composition and enhances athletic performance. Whey protein works to repair and grow muscle tissue, especially after working out. Consumption of whey protein helps prevent bone loss in the elderly. Whey protein is highly recommended for people with cardiovascular complications. It is also very important for cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments and have difficulty supplying the bodyâs nutritional requirements due to appetite loss, nausea and fatigue.

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Apart From Affecting The Kidneys Unregulated Protein Intake Would Hamper The Body In Following Ways:

Upset Digestive System: Whey and Casein Proteins are milk-derived and hence are rich in lactose. Ones who are allergic to lactose would find it difficult to digest and suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and flatulence.

Obesity: It might be surprising, but protein supplements can cause excess weight gain too. Remember that if your routine does not match your protein intake, the unutilized calories turn into fat. This fat when accumulated causes obesity.

Brittle bones: Protein can weaken your bones! Meat derived protein products are highly acidic. Consumption of these could trigger blood acidity levels. To combat blood acidity, the body releases calcium and phosphate. These alkaline substances come from the bones hence you lose bone mass when you go high on animal protein supplements, which renders the bones weak and brittle.

Disturbed Blood Sugar Levels: You might love your protein supplements, but do you know that they are brimming with additives and artificial sweeteners, which trigger blood sugar levels. Though whey, soy and casein protein is known to bring down the blood sugar levels, people suffering from diabetes or low blood pressure need to be extra cautious before consuming.

Severe Hair Loss: Hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. It does not make sense that you increase your protein intake and cut back on vitamins, fats, and carbohydrates. This might lead to heavy hair loss and balding.

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Understanding The Renal Diet: Protein

The most common question that dietitians hear from patients diagnosed with CKD is “what should I eat?” It can seem confusing when you hear or read different things. Renal diets minimize the amount of waste in the blood and decrease the amount of work the kidneys do. Protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus are the main considerations of a renal diet.Over the next few blog entries I’ll be discussing the general dietary guidelines for CKD to hopefully answer that question.

Kidneys are your bodys filters. When you have CKD you lose the ability to get rid of nitrogenous protein wastes from foods you eat or drink, and it starts to build up in your blood. This is called uremia. Symptoms of uremia are nausea, bad taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, nausea and weakness. If you have CKD stages 1 or 2 eating less protein can slow down the progression of kidney disease. Protein comes from both animal sources like beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, and dairy and plant sources including beans, legumes and tofu. Protein powder supplements are usually made from whey or soy and are not recommended on a low protein diet. If your tests show you have protein in your urine or high blood urea levels , or both, eating less protein becomes very important. Too much protein can irreversibly damage your kidneys. Protein requirements are determined by your stage of kidney disease, your weight, your urine protein results, whether or not you have diabetes, and your nutritional status.

Proposed Pathways Linking High

Is Dietary Protein Intake Bad For Your Kidney? *** More ...

Mechanistically, high protein intake may lead to increases in kidney volume and weight in humans, which was demonstrated in a mouse model as mesangial matrix expansion with tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Although research has not fully elucidated the exact mechanisms of protein-induced glomerular hyperfiltration, it is thought to occur as an evolutionary feedback mechanism facilitating the excretion of increased amounts of protein-derived nitrogenous waste. Other factors proposed as underlying mechanisms to facilitate the increased excretion of nitrogenous waste include changes in endocrine mediators , leading to vasodilation, and changes in neurohormonal responses within the kidney.

Although some instances of short-term glomerular hyperfiltration, such as that which occurs during pregnancy, may not be associated with a decrease in kidney function, it is possible that prolonged, recurrent glomerular hyperfiltration induced by consumption of a high-protein diet may lead to kidney damage through multiple pathways over time . Experimental data demonstrated that, in a rat model, incrementally higher levels of protein intake caused an increase in proinflammatory gene expression in a dose-dependent manner, and that, in pig models, long-term exposure to a high-protein diet led to 55% greater renal fibrosis and 30% greater glomerulosclerosis.

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You May Get A Sugar High

âLots of protein powders have tons of flavorings, sugar, and additives to make them taste better. When possible, try to find a protein powder that is minimally flavored otherwise, all that sugar can add up to something similar to a soda!â says Kostro Miller. This is particularly concerning for those who buy protein powders as supplements in protein smoothies, as they will already have a good amount of carbs and natural sugar from fruit.

âOverall, Iâd say itâs best to avoid protein powder if you can opt for another way to spike your smoothie with protein. You can try adding more yogurt, seeds and nuts for this purpose. Even tofu can help add more protein to a smoothie without compromising the taste, which is one of my favorite tricks for making creamier smoothies,â recommends Velikova.

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Some People May Be Allergic To Whey Protein

Because whey protein comes from cows milk, people with a cows milk allergy may be allergic to it.

Nevertheless, cows milk allergies are very rare in adults, since up to 90% of people with cows milk allergies outgrow them by the age of three .

Symptoms of a cows milk allergy may include hives, rashes, facial swelling, throat and tongue swelling and a runny or stuffy nose .

In some cases, a cows milk allergy may trigger anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Again, its worth remembering that a cows milk allergy is rare in adults, but it can have severe consequences.

Moreover, an allergy to whey protein should not be confused with lactose intolerance.

Most allergies occur when the body produces an immune response to a protein. However, an intolerance is caused by an enzyme deficiency and does not involve the immune system .

If you have a cows milk protein allergy, try a non-dairy protein powder, such as soy, pea, egg, rice or hemp protein.

If you are unsure whether your symptoms are due to an allergy or intolerance, its best to check with your doctor.

Summary: Those who are allergic to cows milk may also be allergic to whey protein. Nevertheless, cows milk allergies are very rare in adults.

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What Causes Protein In The Urine

Healthy kidneys remove extra fluid and waste from your blood and transform it into urine. Healthy kidneys do not remove proteins and other important nutrients, which pass through and return to your blood. But when your kidneys are damaged, they may let this protein leak into your urine. This causes high levels of protein in your urine.

Anyone can have protein in their urine. You may be more likely to have protein in your urine if you have one or more of the risk factors for kidney disease. There are health problems that can cause long-lasting protein in the urine, and some that can cause short-term protein in the urine.

Protein And Body Weight Reduction

Is protein bad for my kidneys?

Oftentimes, clients looking for weight loss will consider a low-carb, high-protein diet. When successful, people sometimes think its the absence of carbs from the daily calories that achieved the results. However, meeting the right protein requirements is beneficial in two ways. The first is that protein consumption reduces clients appetite. This is because calories from protein take longer to breakdown than most carbs and fats. Consequently, clients will feel fuller longer when eating a diet consisting of high-quality proteins. This result of appetite reduction is commonly called spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. All it means to your client is theyll be feeling fuller longer and therefore less likely to eat and snack at unnecessary times.

We already mentioned the need for protein to support the maintenance and growth of lean mass. Clients who have more muscle tissue have a higher resting metabolic rate because muscle burns more calories than fat to survive. A higher resting metabolic rate means more calories burned each day. Basic weight loss principles tell us more calories burned means more weight lost. So, this is the second reason why daily protein intake is important for body fat reduction.

You likely already know some of this, but you need to be able to convince your clients and people who ask you for fitness and nutrition advice. Tell them why getting enough high-quality protein is so important:

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Your Kidneys And Protein

Your kidneys remove the waste products that your body makes when breaking down protein. If you have more protein waste, your kidneys need to work harder to remove them. This may stress your kidneys.

If you have too much protein waste, it can build up in your blood. This causes:

Eating more plant protein may help take some stress off your kidneys. A study found that healthy people on vegetarian diets have significantly lower levels of creatinine than people who eat both meat and vegetables. Creatinine is a waste product that your muscles make.

On the other hand, eating too much red meat may be bad for your kidneys. A 15-year study of 63,257 adults found that eating more red meat is linked to a higher risk for kidney failure . Those who ate the most red meat also ate the least fruits and vegetables.


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