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Protein Powder and Diet Question

Hey all! Quick question for all you CKD members who lift. I'm lacking a bit of protein and wanted to start taking powder again like I did prior to finding out I had stage 3 CKD. I know I'm limited to about 46ish g a day. My protein powder is 22g per scoop (I would only take a scoop a day and drink plenty of water). Anyone taking it have any problems? I was worried it may be too concentrated but I'm doing heavy exercise and doc said it was okay.

Also, I'm a college student who isn't really able to afford a nutritionist. I'm trying to get into clean eating and wanted some direction from people who know their stuff? I eat fish and dairy, no meat/chicken. Anyone up for the task of helping with a meal plan for someone with stage 3A CKD? Would be greatly appreciated!

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Hello Radtastiical,

I am afraid I don't know anything about your protein powder but if you have asked your GP and a pharmacist and they confirm it is ok then we must trust their decision.

However as far as diet for CKD sufferers there is one excellent information site providing a healthy balanced diet plan at nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/....

This will talk about reducing salt intake, and eating a well balanced diet.

Do any of our community have any helpful tips for our member please?

Keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on. Best wishes,

MAS Nurse & Moderator.

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Your link doesn't work for me. Perhaps it's because you included ... at the end.

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Hi Radtastiical,

I went to a dietician a while back who agreed that because I was going to the gym and such that I could have 1g protein per kg of bodyweight and was around 96kg then and about 16% bf. I asked about protein powders and she said as long as it doesn't regularly go over my 100g per day it's fine to take. I have pkd. Thanks

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May I assume that your dietician was a renal dietician?

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She was a dietician that I was referred to by my nephrologist. Also I asked my neph about it any he said it's fine to take. I bodybuilded for about 10 years regularly taking over 200g -300g protein a day. And when I found out I had pkd my kidney function was all in normal range. My neph said dont do anything different why suffer when didn't have to. He said you only need special diets when your function is dropping or get to a certain point.

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Well, unless you were a competition-sized bodybuilder, I wouldn't be surprised if that much protein didn't have some affect on your kidneys, although I'm somewhat biased against protein since being diagnosed with ckd. ALL nephs say you only need special diets when your function gets to a certain point. What they DON'T say (with any degree of certainty) is what you should be doing to prevent getting to that point because there's such a paucity of conclusive research. And that's where you're on your own, unfortunately. Bottom line is that you should probably be doing what your neph and dietician say unless you REALLY wanna spend some time interpreting the few scientific and sometimes conflicting studies that are out there.

My neph never even mentioned getting a cystatin C test to verify my degree of CKD. I learned about it on my own. Should be interesting to see what he says at my visit in two weeks.

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Yeah my nephrologist said it was okay and I'm going on 0.8g per kg of body weight. Doing vigorous training so I feel like I may need it

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Do a little research on protein powders and kidney disease. It doesn't sound like a good idea. Stick with whole foods to get protein. Anything processed is harmful to already damaged kidneys. Consult you nephrologist or renal dietian.

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Question: why don’t you eat chicken? ( I’d limit or avoid the red meat/ dairy as much as possible)

chicken/ salmon are a great source of protein

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It's been about 12 years since I have eaten it. I used to be overweight so I just cut everything out

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ok, I was just wondering. (IMAO only) I’d think the chicken/salmon would be a bit better nutrition wise and on the ease of kidneys than the concentration of protein powder but to each their own :)

Other tips: drink plenty of water, really watch your salt intake.

Best wishes in your journey!

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I have about 1 and 1/4 kidneys and my nephrologist suggested no supplements, no protein powders, no vitamins, no painkillers. Many powders have additional vitamins and such which can make it hard for kidneys to filter. As well lifting needs to be regulated. I don’t do any additional items and my gfr increased 20 points in last 6 months.

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When you say "lifting needs to be regulated", can you please cite a source that opines on the subject? I haven't been able to find anything that's scientifically supported. thanks

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Try this search..”When Your Blood Work concerns a Doc Who Doesn’t Lift”..that is just one quick one I found...I have seen many articles that discuss increased creatinine kinase, lower gfr, associated with vigorous exercise/lifting, as well also associated with protein supplements.

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That is indeed a fantastic article ( journal.crossfit.com/articl... ) and I've experienced the abnormal CK after sprinting a quarter mile when I wasn't in shape. Doctor flipped when she saw my CK at nearly 1200. Told me to rest a few days and come back for a re-test. All was normal. As for Cystatin-C, don't even get me started, I wrote a long post on this board around a week ago that we should all get ours tested. It's too new to be used in the mainstream as the definitive marker, but I used the combined formula of creatinine and cystatin C which raised my creatine from 56 to 70. The cystatin C alone was 85, which is darned good. As for vigorous exercise/lifting, I'm still looking for info as to how MUCH exercise and lifting is safe. Best I got from my nephrologist was (at my prompting)..."well, if you can do 15 reps in a set, that should be ok". I interpreted this as him taking a shot in the dark, but I'm still gonna stick to it. I also "try" not to get to that last rep that has the greatest affect on building muscle mass. I'm puny and old (5'6", 61) and can stack 400lbs on the leg press and muscle up 8-10 reps with my chicken legs. Is it smart? Absolutely not. So I cut it to 225lbs and do more reps. Or I sometimes do the reps more slowly. Bottom line is that we need to be smart when there's a paucity of info on the subject. You CAN build muscle mass, but I think the best gamble is to do so very slowly. I think we should try to avoid that massive lactic acid burn on the last rep or two. If you find more info on the subject, please post it here. Thanks!

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Thank you for your reply. I have seen several articles, but I really haven’t seen, how much weight, how many reps, how often. I am extremely fortunate my doctor notice a gfr decline and we addressed it. From what I have read and been told, most doctors aren’t knowledgeable on kidney issues. As you probably do, I would make sure to be properly hydrating around the lift schedule. Congrats on your lifting. I am from a family of lifters, son included. I am unaware of cyststatin c so will be checking that out.

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That's the one thing I need to be more diligent of; sipping during lifting, which I don't do enough of. Thanks!

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Hi Sally! Unfortunately I'm a volunteer firefighter trying to get into fire school so have to work out like crazy. So I just needed a little boost to feed the muscles which is why I'm asking

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I was told to include hemp powder in my diet by my holistic kidney doctor, but only a few times a week, not daily. It has less protein than other supplements, but more fiber and some other benefits. Each person is different and has different nutritional needs. This works for me, but not for everyone.

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When my nephrologist learned that I lift, the first thing she said was don‘t use protein powers. I’m not convinced a general practitioner knows enough about ckd to guide us through the weeds of renal nutrition. Please check with a nephrologist or renal dietician. I know there are financial constraints but this is your body, your life.

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When I said doc in the original post I probably should have typed nephrologist...she's the one who okayed my one scoop of 22g a day. Just wanted some other opinions. I'm a vegetarian who eats fish on a budget so I don't get much as it is :(

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My renal dietitian only suggests plant based protein as a way to have enough for my age, sex, and weight.

DaVita has plenty of free online recipes and help. Try the website.

And best of luck to you.

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PS You only need to lift enough to carry your equipment while climbing a few flights of stairs and straightening charged hoses.

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Being a 125lb 28y/o 5'3 female it's soooooo much difficult than that haha. I have to do twice the work men do with a weight vest on that's more than 1/2 my weight. It's crazy! Will look into plant a protein, thank you!

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Hi, Radtastiical,

You should make sure that the protein powder is vegan and not whey based as consuming dairy products can raise your creatinine level and thus GFR. If you are going to give up meats for CKD - which is 100% right, you also need to give up fish as that is a meat.

Here are my two primary protein sources: Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean - Vegan, Low Net Carbs, Non Dairy, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, No Sugar Added, Soy Free, Kosher, Non-GMO, 2.03 Pound from Amazon - I make organic vegan protein fruit smoothies this way - just add some real fruit juice and frozen berries (I buy both at Costco) and a little ice. It's a bit pricey, but you can wait for the coupons at Amazon and also buy the much cheaper Chocolate Fudge flavor. The only appreciable sodium should come from the vegan protein powder.

I also have bought vegan veggie burgers and chicken-less meat substitutes - they have some sodium, so that's my sodium meal for the day - I try to keep my sodium under 1,000 mg per day. These vegan products taste great and you can make sandwiches with two small slices of bread. Just keep track of the sodium.

If you lift two or three days before your lab work, it will mess up your creatinine level and thus GFR as strenuous exercise raises creatinine in your blood - the lab results will show artificially higher results.

I have not seen a nutritionist, but my GFR went up 27% (went from Stage 3B back to Stage 3A). You need to educate yourself and put in the work. Here is how I did it. You can do it too. Let me know what you think. The book which helped me and that I recommend is written at the college level - it is a tome on CKD, which I hope you will appreciate. It's only $20 on Amazon. It was published on January 14, 2019.

healthunlocked.com/nkf-ckd/...

Beckett24

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I've been a vegetarian for 12 years, bit still eat fish and dairy :) been hearing a lot from everyone about vegan powders so definitely going to give it a shot. My nephrologist has yet to give me any dietary restriction

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I was trying to help you. Eating fish disqualifies you from being a vegetarian - it is the flesh of a living creature. You are not a vegetarian. And even a vegetarian can eat an improper CKD diet. You're welcome.

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A lot of people don't know what pescetarians are, so that's why I say vegetarian who eats fish. Thanks for the help. Just trying to manage my diet properly.

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