What are the best protein drinks for dialysis patients?

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

drink wholesome makes the protein drinks for dialysis patients. They are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with egg whites. This makes them perfect for people with impaired kidney function, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 


“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”



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drink wholesome makes the best protein shakes for dialysis patients.

How much protein do dialysis patients need? 

Why should dialysis patients eat egg whites? 

What are the best protein shakes for dialysis patients?

Why drink wholesome?

How much protein do dialysis patients need?

If you are beginning hemodialysis, you are likely going to make several lifestyle changes. One of the most common changes is increasing the amount of protein in your diet. Not only does protein play an essential role in the creation and maintenance of every cell in our bodies, but dialysis also removes proteins from the blood. This means that your protein needs are now higher than they were before the treatment. 

If you do not eat enough protein to make up for what is lost during dialysis, your body will break down muscles to get the protein that it needs. This can lead to weight loss, fatigue, and put you at higher risk for infection. It is therefore imperative that you find ways to increase the amount of protein in your diet. This is where protein supplements can help. That said, protein supplements should not replace normal food. Whenever possible, you should eat balanced, nutritious meals. For most people, this should be more than enough to cover their protein needs. Some people may need an extra protein boost, however, which is where protein supplements are essential. 

Why should dialysis patients eat egg whites? 

Although high dietary protein intake is associated with better outcomes for dialysis patients, many high-protein foods (meat, dairy, etc.) increase the dietary phosphorus burden, which is associated with worse outcomes. In case you forgot, when you have kidney disease, you should keep your phosphorus levels low. This is one of the main reasons why many doctors recommend egg white protein for renal patients. Egg whites have one of the lowest phosphorus to protein ratios. They can also help lower phosphorus levels in the blood, which makes them a great way to increase serum albumin while simultaneously reducing serum phosphorus. That said, the sure to consult your healthcare provider about your specific nutrition needs, as they may vary depending on the type of dialysis treatment that you receive. Moreover, be sure to read the ingredient list before using a protein supplement because not all protein supplements are created equal. 

not all protein shakes are created equal

What are the best protein shakes for dialysis patients?

There are two types of protein supplements: ready-to-drink (store-bought) protein shakes, and protein shakes made with protein powder. In order to make dialysis protein shakes with protein powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people therefore prefer to buy ready-to-drink protein shakes, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably feel sick to their stomach. Ready-to-drink protein shakes are full of additives, which is why I recommend that you make your own dialysis protein shakes with protein powder. That said, not all protein powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink protein shakes!

Why drink wholesome

First of all, drink wholesome makes egg white-based protein powders, which, as you just learned, are a great option for dialysis patients. Egg whites can help you boost your protein intake and reduce the amount of phosphorus in your blood. drink wholesome is also additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria.

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein drinks for dialysis patients is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are hard to digest, and sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

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vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1

When buying protein powder for bone healing, one ingredient to avoid in particular is artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful food additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria), and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best protein shakes for dialysis patients is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Firstly, whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are very high in phosphorus. They are also and known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein drinks for dialysis patients is that we do not use protein isolates. Most protein powders, on the contrary, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “collagen protein,” “pea protein, and” “whey protein” as opposed to “collagen,” “peas,” and “whey.” I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. If you think about it, your gut was designed to digest naturally occurring foods, not laboratory formulated imitations, so if you feed it anything but real food, it might get upset. 

matcha protein powder lifestyle image 2
chocolate protein powder serving suggestion

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein shakes for dialysis patients with egg whites. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein.


easy to digest

“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse

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drink wholesome is makes best protein drinks for dialysis patients.


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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.