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Is Protein Powder Bad For Your Kidneys

High Amount Of Sodium Intake

Is Whey Protein Damaging For Your Kidneys?

Another very common reason for getting kidney stones is the high amount of sodium intake.

The modern diet is heavy on sodium. Each time you consume something salty, you are putting sodium in your body. And the nature of the modern diet can make it difficult to track just how much sodium we are putting in our bodies. And the result is we consume more than the body needs.

In response to this excess of sodium, the kidney pulls in more calcium as a substitute for it. This eventually leads to an excessive accumulation of calcium in the kidney, which can, in turn, lead to the formation of calcium stones.

Furthermore, if an excess of oxalate or phosphate accompanies this excess of sodium, it can lead to more complications. Hence, the careful monitoring of sodium intake is a necessity to prevent kidney stones.

Is Excess Protein Bad For Your Kidneys

Myth-busting protein consumption assumptions.

Of all of the myths that abound when it comes to nutrition, the assumptions that surround protein consumption and kidney damage seem to be the one everyone talks about most often. How did it start? From the research, I did this particular myth started from research on patients with kidney disease. And why is that?

Of all of the myths that abound when it comes to nutrition, the assumptions that surround protein consumption and kidney damage seem to be the one everyone talks about most often. How did it start? From the research, I did this particular myth started from research on patients with kidney disease. And why is that?

People with kidney disease have difficulty of filtrating protein, and thats why in some cases they are on a low-protein diet. So, the conclusion was made that because patients with kidney disease could not filtrate protein, then it must be that too much protein must be hard on the kidneys. Awesome right?

In reality, studies have been done on higher protein intakes, and the result is that higher protein intake is completely safe. In the short-term, the body adapts to the higher protein intakes which changes some markers of kidney function.

This is part of the adaptation process to the additional protein. However, long-term consumption of higher amounts of protein do not have a negative impact on kidney function.1,2,3,4,5



Samantha Carter Ms Rd Ld

Samantha Carter, MS, RD, LD has been a registered dietitian since 2012 and a DaVita dietitian since 2017. She has previous experience in acute-care hospitals and long-term nursing facilities. Samantha finds her previous work has given her a passion for kidney disease and an understanding in complications associated with the disease. Besides nutrition, Samantha also has a passion for the outdoors, traveling to adventurous places, and playing sports .

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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.

Do Meal Replacement Shakes Help You Lose Weight

Are Meal Replacement Shakes Bad for Your Kidneys?  Expert ...

The reason most people choose to consume meal replacement shakes is that they want to lose weight effectively. And these drinks really can help people lose weight.

It is particularly effective for people who have been cursed with bad genetics that makes it harder for them to lose weight. Meal replacement shakes are designed to make you feel full. And it does so by putting in no more than 200-250 calories into your body.

If you compare this to the average snack or a meal, you would otherwise consume to fill the craving, you will start to notice how effective these drinks really can be.

A lot of people, however, seem to confuse these drinks with protein shakes. In the next section, we will help you differentiate between the two.

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Other Protein Powder Side Effects

Kidney issues may not be a huge concern with protein drinks, but if you overdo it on the protein supplements or whey protein, side effects that have nothing to do with your kidneys are possible. According to Harvard Health Publishing, eating too much protein may set you up for:

  • High cholesterol
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea

However, Harvard Health also notes that these effects may not be caused by the protein directly, but may be connected to eating the wrong types of protein, like a lot of processed meats, that are also higher in unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients.

Read more:5 Sketchy Things to Avoid in Your Protein Powder

Is It Bad To Drink Protein Powder Everyday

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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Building Muscle Through Protein

Protein is an important part of our diet and key to building and maintaining all types of body tissue, including muscle.

It contains amino acids, the building blocks used for muscle growth.

Protein powders, available as shakes, bars and capsules, are one of the most popular muscle-building supplements.

They’re legally available to buy over-the-counter as well as online.

They’re marketed as helping to promote your body’s muscle growth, aid metabolism , help you reach peak physical performance, boost energy and fight the ageing process.

“Users may choose to take them before, during and after training to enhance performance and improve recovery, add them to meals to boost their protein, or drink them between meals as a high-protein snack,” says Azmina Govindji from the British Dietetic Association .

“But they could get the same benefits from introducing high-protein foods to their diet as snacks or adding them to their normal meals to enhance the protein content.

“Although protein shakes are convenient, not all of them are suitable to be used as a meal replacement, because they don’t have all the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain.”

This means that bodybuilders who turn to protein supplements, instead of simply eating protein-rich foods, could be wasting their money.

There’s also evidence that, in the long term, consuming too much protein can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and can also worsen existing kidney problems.

Higher Protein Intake Is Not Associated With Decreased Kidney Function In Pre

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

In this study, 355 pre-diabetic men and women were split into following two different dietary systems

  • A moderate protein diet: 15% of energy
  • A high protein diet: 25% of energy

The higher protein diet worked out at 1.6 grams protein per kilogram of body weight.

Throughout the study, lab tests demonstrated increased serum urea and urea excretion were consistent with increased protein intake.

After a 12-month period, there were no indications that the participants on higher protein diets had experienced any adverse effects on kidney function.

Interestingly, there was even a slight indication of improved kidney function with increasing protein intake.

In short, the study found no detrimental effects of a high protein diet on kidney health and no negative changes to any health markers.

Key Point:

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Protein And Kidney Disease

If you have chronic kidney disease, kidney function is already decreased. Because of this, you have to be extra careful with how much work you make your kidneys do. Healthy kidneys can handle the extra load of excess protein, but damaged kidneys can’t. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, eating more protein than you need makes your kidneys work harder, and this can speed up the progression of kidney disease.

On the other hand, a March 2018 report in Chronic Diseases and Translational Medicine notes that a low-protein diet may slow the progression of kidney damage in those with moderate to advanced kidney disease or failure. Another report published in PLOS One in November 2018 had the same findings. Researchers also concluded that eating less protein can help improve heart health in those with chronic kidney disease.

Healthy Kidneys And Whey Protein

The University of Connecticut conducted a studied called “Dietary Protein Intake and Renal Function,” showing there isn’t any concern for people with healthy kidneys who consume high amounts of whey protein. The study references recent research on high protein diets for both weight loss and athletes, which have found no negative impact on kidney function. The conclusion finds there is no evidence that supports the idea that high protein intake is a cause of kidney damage or dysfunction.

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Preparing Green Pea Protein Powder

One of the biggest benefits of protein powder is its versatility. Protein powders can be mixed with water, but I personally believe green pea protein powder does not have a good taste with water alone. Here are a few ideas to start your creativity on a high protein treat:

  • Mix in with fruit flavored smoothies
  • Stir into oatmeal, porridge or other hot cereal
  • Add into baked goods like muffins, brownies or waffles
  • Whisk into milk consider plant-based milk substitutes if following a vegetarian diet
  • Blended into a smoothie and freeze inside popsicle molds

Looking for more information on green peas? Read Food Facts Friday: Green Peas for nutrient information and recipes.


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This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

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

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You May Be Forgetting About Whole Food Sources Of Protein

“Protein powder is a good supplement however, it should not replace whole food protein sources like meats, poultry legumes, and nuts/seeds,” says registered dietitian Alana Kessler, MS, RDN the founder of Be Well by Alana Kessler.

There are some instances of powders containing heavy metals which over time can have a titration effect leading to health problems. BPA and pesticides have also been uncovered in some powders,” Kessler tells us. “Consider the manufacturer and look for chemical-free powders,” she adds.

“A nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders. The researchers evaluated 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, bisphenol-A , pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions,” says Nieves. According to the report, “some toxins were present in significant quantities. For example, one protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.”

Dieticians Say Extra Protein Can Do More Harm Than Good

There is a warning that gym supplements are often doing more harm than good to people using them.

The British Dietetic Association says high levels of additional protein can cause side-effects, which can include nausea as well as kidney and liver damage.

It wants clearer warnings about what is in the powders and tablets.

Manufacturers say consumers are well protected with only 11 reported reactions in 11 years.

“The more protein in your diet the more you have to get rid of,” she said.

“People who have these high protein diets are now running into problems with their kidneys because of the amount of protein they must get rid of.”

The body needs protein for muscle growth and many gym-goers use it to try to get bigger quickly.

Gym supplements come under food law, so although they have to be labelled properly what is in them can vary.

They are different to medicines which legally have to ensure contents are more specific.

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Does Too Much Whey Protein Cause Side Effects

Whey protein is one of the most popular supplements on the planet.

But despite its many health benefits, theres some controversy surrounding its safety.

Some claim that too much whey protein can damage the kidneys and liver and even cause osteoporosis.

This article provides an evidence-based review of whey proteins safety and side effects.

Is Whey Protein Bad For Kidneys

Is whey protein bad for your kidneys?

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Our Kidneys Filter Proteins Waste Products

As our body metabolizes protein, the process generates various nitrogenous waste products such as urea, uric acid, creatinine, and hippuric acid .

These waste products need filtering out of the body for excretion, and this responsibility belongs to our kidneys.

This task requires a lot of hard work, which is quite normal for the kidneys they receive and process approximately 1.2 liters of blood per minute. This amount accounts for around 25% of all cardiac output, which shows the importance of the organ .

If waste products build up in our body, they become toxic, and so the kidneys play a crucial role in removing these products.

As a result, many people assume that higher protein intake leads to a higher kidney workload, and the extra demand causes kidney strain.

You May Get A Sugar High

“Lots 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!” 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.

“Overall, I’d say it’s 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,” recommends Velikova.

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Does A High Protein Diet Have Any Benefits

Rather than focusing on the potential harms of a high protein intake, its worth considering the health benefits too.

There is evidence that higher protein consumption can lead to a range of positive effects.

Here are three of the most important

  • Protein increases lean body mass, which is associated with better metabolic health .
  • As the most satiating macronutrient calorie-for-calorie, protein reduces appetite and food cravings, and therefore leads to healthier eating behaviors .
  • Protein is important for bone health and protecting against loss of bone mass. This is particularly true as we age and the rate of muscle protein synthesis falls .

Key Point:

Benefits Of Whey Protein

Best and Worst Protein Powders

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 body’s nutritional requirements due to appetite loss, nausea and fatigue.

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Whats In Your Protein Powder

When comparing and purchasing sports nutrition powders, consumers should pay close attention to the list of ingredients. Additives, such as caffeine, creatine, and sweeteners, are sometimes in these powders but are not mentioned in advertisements. When consumers are unaware of these additives, they can be especially harmful. For example, consuming several cups of coffee or tea throughout the day in addition to a protein powder that contains caffeine could have unpleasant side effects, including tremors, migraines, and insomnia. Creatine, a popular sports supplement, increases the amount of water in your muscle cells, leading to significant weight gain and putting you at a higher risk for dehydration, stomach pain, and muscle cramping. Creatine can be particularly dangerous for people with kidney or liver disease and has not been studied for safety in children or adolescents under the age of 18. In addition, the American Heart Association recommends a daily added sugar limit of 25 to 36 grams, but some protein powders have as much as 23 grams of added sugar per scoop. Others contain artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame, which can be harmful in large quantities. For these reasons, consumers need to know exactly what is in their daily protein shakes and how it may affect their health.


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