What is the best protein powder for kidney disease?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for kidney disease. It is made with a short list of kidney-friendly ingredients. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for kidney disease.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is kidney disease?

Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, refers to any condition that impairs kidney function. The kidneys are organs responsible for removing waste and extra water from the blood (as urine), keeping chemicals such as sodium, potassium, and calcium balanced in the body, and making hormones that help control blood pressure and red blood cell production. There are several types of kidney disease, each with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. Some common types include:

1. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): This long-term condition is characterized by a progressive decline in kidney function, leading to a buildup of waste products and fluid imbalances in the body. It is often caused by conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

2. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): AKI is characterized by a rapid decline in kidney function, resulting in a sudden accumulation of waste products in the blood and an electrolyte imbalance. It is usually caused by dehydration, severe infection, medication, or decreased blood flow to the kidneys.

3. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): PKD is an inherited progressive condition where fluid-filled cysts develop in the kidneys. It can cause complications like high blood pressure and kidney stones.

4. Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis refers to inflammation of the glomeruli, tiny filtering units within the kidneys. Glomerulonephritis can be caused by infections, immune system disorders, and other diseases.

Symptoms of kidney disease can vary depending on the underlying cause and the stage of the disease. Some common signs and symptoms include fatigue, decreased urine output, fluid retention, swelling in the legs or face, blood in the urine, high blood pressure, and electrolyte imbalances.

Treatment for kidney disease aims to slow down the progression of the disease, manage symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatment options may include medications, lifestyle changes, dialysis (a process that helps filter blood when the kidneys are unable to do so), and in severe cases, kidney transplantation.

Is protein powder good for kidney disease?

Protein is an important nutrient that plays a crucial role in the overall health of the human body. Moreover, protein malnutrition is common in patients with chronic kidney disease. It is therefore important the CKD patients prioritize meeting their daily protein requirements (more about this later). It is possible to consume too much protein, however, and doing so can lead to kidney damage for some people.

When protein is digested, it is broken down into amino acids, which are used by the body to build and repair muscle tissues. Excess amino acids (those that are not used by the body) are excreted by the kidneys. When you eat a diet high in protein, your kidneys have to work harder to filter out excess amino acids, which can lead to kidney damage over time.

A high protein diet can also increase the levels of urea – a waste product created when protein is broken down – in the blood. Research shows that high levels of urea and other nitrogenous waste products can cause kidney damage and increase the risk for chronic kidney disease in individuals with impaired kidney function. Individuals with kidney disease therefore need to be mindful of how much protein they eat.

People with kidney disease should use protein supplements in moderation. Basically, the only time a protein supplement is needed is when daily protein requirements are not being met. 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, daily protein intake in the range of 1.0-1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight is recommended.


What is the best protein powder for kidney disease?

Researchers have found that egg white protein is a great source of complete protein for people with kidney patients, especially those undergoing dialysis treatment. Dialysis patients have high protein needs, but need to limit phosphorus intake. Egg whites are low in phosphorus (only 5mg per egg white), and can lower phosphorus levels in the blood. If nothing else, egg whites are safe for people with impaired kidney function; egg consumption has not been associated with the risk of developing CKD based on a number of epidemiological studies. 

Not all egg white protein powders are created equal, however. Many of them contain a cocktail of artificial and heavily-processed ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long-term gut health problems. The latter is particularly concerning for kidney patients. Recent studies have shown that gut health plays a key role in the pathophysiology of kidney disease. 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.

It follows that you should choose a protein powder with a short list of simple ingredients. By avoiding emulsifiers, thickeners, flavorings, and most sugar substitutes, you will be prioritizing your gut health, which is directly related to the progression of chronic kidney disease. Keep reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for kidney disease is that we do not use food additives, period. Even in small amounts, ingredients like these can cause painful side effects, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. 

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 do not look like real food and are difficult to digest. As a result, they stay in your gut longer than they should, giving your gut bacteria more time to feed on them. When bacteria eat, they produce gas, which can lead to bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort. Gas can also slow down the movement of food through your colon, causing constipation.

Sometimes, partially digested additives can make your colon absorb too much water or prevent it from absorbing enough water. This can result in a condition known as osmotic diarrhea, and might explain why protein shakes make you run to the bathroom.


Eating food additives regularly can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, giving rise to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other chronic inflammatory disorders. Food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also change the makeup of your gut microbiome. An altered gut microbiome, as you just learned, contributes 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 protein powder for CKD patients is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein contain lactose – the sugar in dairy – which is notorious for causing painful side effects, especially for people with lactose intolerance. Most adults suffer from some degree of lactose intolerance, meaning they lack the enzymes needed to digest lactose. As you now know, the inability to completely 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 kidney disease is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Most protein powders are made from these protein sources, which have had everything but the protein removed. 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 research shows that regularly consuming refined ingredients like these can alter the composition of your gut microbiome. Again, an altered gut microbiome is the last thing you want if you have kidney disease.

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for CKD patients with egg whites. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried, making them a gut-healthy alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. 

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, egg whites contain enzymes that help you break them down. What is more, egg whites are low in fiber, low FODMAP, alkaline (maintain healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (promote 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 the best protein powder for kidney patients.

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.