What is the best protein powder for dialysis patients?

drink wholesome makes the best protein powder for dialysis patients with a short list of kidney-friendly ingredients. It is perfect for people looking to boost their protein intake without the extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you.

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drink wholesome makes the best protein powder for dialysis patients.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

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. 

The recommended protein intake for non-dialysis patients is 0.6 to 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day with > 50% HBV proteins. HBV stands for high biologic value, and refers to protein sources such as eggs, fish, poultry, meat and dairy. For patients on dialysis, the daily protein intake recommendation is 1.0-1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, which is a lot of protein! 

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 powders can help.

Adding protein powder to your diet is an easy way to ensure that you are meeting your protein goals. That said, people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should use protein supplements in moderation. When you digest dietary protein, you break it down into amino acids, which are used for building and repairing muscles. Any extra amino acids that your body does not need get excreted by the kidneys. If you eat a lot of protein, your kidneys have to work extra hard to remove the excess amino acids, which can cause kidney damage over time.

A high-protein diet can also raise the levels of urea in your blood, which is a waste product created when protein breaks down. Research shows that having too much urea and other waste products in your blood can cause kidney damage and increase the risk for chronic kidney disease in individuals with impaired kidney function. This is all to say that protein supplements can be a useful nutritional tool for dialysis patients, but must be used in moderation. Moreover, not all protein powders


What is the best protein powder for dialysis patients?

Although high dietary protein intake is associated with better outcomes for dialysis patients, some high-protein foods increase the dietary phosphorus burden, which is associated with worse outcomes. In case you forgot, when you have CKD, 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 of any dietary protein. 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 powder as many contain ingredients that are not good for you.

Many protein powders, egg white protein powders included, contain a cocktail of added emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and flavorings. Ingredients like these can not only cause painful side effects, but also long-term gut health problems. The latter is particularly worrisome for kidney patients.

Recent studies have shown that gut health plays a key role in the pathophysiology of CKD. Specifically, alterations to the composition and function of the gut-microbiome – the community of microorganisms living in your gut – can contribute to the progression of CKD. For this reason, you should choose a protein powder made with a short list of simple, gut-friendly ingredients. Continue reading to learn more.


Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for dialysis patients is that we do not use food additives, period. Even in small amounts, ingredients like these can cause painful side effects, especially if you already have gut issues. 

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

Food additives are not real food and are hard for your body to break down. As a result, they hang around in your gut, giving your gut bacteria more time to eat them. When bacteria chow down, they create gas, which can lead to bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. Gas can also slow down food as it moves through your colon, causing constipation.

Sometimes, additives that have not been fully broken down can cause your colon to absorb too much water. This can cause osmotic diarrhea, a side effect that sends people running to the bathroom.

Eating food additives regularly can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, causing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other chronic inflammatory conditions. Food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also change the composition of your gut microbiome. An altered gut microbiome, as you just learned, is a contributor to the progression of chronic kidney disease.

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

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best dialysis protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein contain lactose – the sugar in dairy – which is known to trigger painful side effects, especially for people with lactose intolerance. Most adults suffer from some degree of lactose intolerance, meaning they lack the enzymes required to digest lactose. As you now know, the inability to break down food is one of the main reasons people feel bloated and sick to their stomach.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for dialysis patients is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Almost every other protein powder is made from one or both of these protein sources, which have been stripped of everything but the protein. They go through a lot of processing, sometimes using solvents like hexane.

Your digestive system is meant to break down minimally or unprocessed foods, not protein concentrates or isolates. This is why studies show that regularly consuming ingredients like these can alter the composition of your gut microbiome. As you now know, an altered gut microbiome is the last thing you want if you are a dialysis patient.

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best dialysis protein powder with egg whites. Egg whites are just pasteurized and dried, making them a gut-healthy alternative to heavily-processed protein concentrates and isolates. 

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, egg whites are loaded with enzymes that help you break them down. They are also low in fiber, low FODMAP, alkaline (maintaining healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria). In fact, our happy customers have reported fewer gut issues with our egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement.

In summary, our egg white protein powders, because they are good for your gut, are one of the best protein powders for dialysis patients. If nothing else, egg whites are safe for people with impaired kidney function as egg consumption has not been associated with the risk of developing CKD based on a number of epidemiological studies. 


simple and delicious

“I genuinely love this product. It’s the only protein powder I take. In todays day and age so many additives in ingredients mess with our endocrine system, mess with our stomachs, and aren’t good for us long term. This powder is awesome, clean, simple, and tasty.” – Nitasha

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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.