It’s important to find kidney-friendly drinks if you are managing kidney disease. Water is definitely important, and you should drink up (as long as your nephrologist has not put you on a fluid restriction). But let’s be real, water can get old sometimes, and you may be wondering what other drinks you can enjoy, without worrying about the effects on your kidneys.
Here are some tips to choosing the best drinks!
Why is avoiding phosphorus important in kidney-friendly drinks?
First, to determine what to drink with kidney disease, it is important to first discuss a really tricky mineral called phosphorus.
While phosphorus does play a big role in maintaining healthy bones in patients with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys just cannot excrete (remove) phosphorus from the body as fast or efficiently as they should.
As a result, this causes a buildup which can be very harmful – the body will respond to high phosphorus levels by pulling calcium from bones to balance it out. This weakens the bones and creates a buildup of calcium deposits which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, or death.
We know this all sounds very scary, but the good news is that many people can control their phosphorus level if you know what foods and drinks it is primarily found in!
Phosphorous is not a kidney-friendly drink ingredient!
It is important to note that several foods and drinks contain hidden phosphorus additives under a long, complicated names such as:
- Dicalcium phosphate
- Disodium phosphate
- Monosodium phosphate
- Phosphoric acid
- Sodium hexameta-phosphate
- Trisodium phosphate
- Sodium tripolyphosphate
- Tetrasodium pyrophosphate.
So what are some examples of kidney-friendly drinks?
Here is a great table to reference if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed about what to drink and what to avoid!
In general, check your beverages to make sure they don’t contain phosphorus additives. If you have diabetes, elevated blood sugars can worsen kidney function, so you want to limit sugar sweetened beverages like soda and opt for diet instead. If you have elevated potassium in your labs, check the label for any potassium added.
Water is an important, kidney-friendly drink.
Water is a kidney-friendly beverage! We know water can get boring, but it is essential to kidney health!
Here are some kidney-friendly water ideas to make it more flavorful!
There are lots of ways to make water exciting again – consider infusing water with fruit to put a fun spin on traditional water.
You can let the infused water sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature, at fridge temp for 3-4 hours, or up to 12 hours to increase fruity/tangy flavor.
– Blackberry-sage water
– Apple-cinnamon water
– Cucumber-lemon water
– Strawberry-basil water
– Mint-lemon water
– Blackberry-orange-ginger water
– Pineapple-mint water
– Raspberry-lime water
– Watermelon-rosemary water
– Pineapple-coconut-lime water
Check out our other kidney friendly blogs for more help!
-Blog reviewed and updated by Kaitlin Eckstein MPH, RD, LD September 18, 2022
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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.