Energy and Protein Boosters for Dialysis Patients 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

Are you eating enough to have a good nutritional status? Dialysis patients often experience short- or long-term appetite problems that interfere with food intake, causing them to feel tired and sluggish.

Your dietitian may recommend an energy or protein supplement when your protein intake is low. Supplement recommendations are based on your nutritional needs and preferences, and the nutrient composition of the product. Your dietitian may have samples for you to try so you can select the product or flavor you like best. Some supplements are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store, and others are available through mail order. Prices vary so shop around and compare to get the best deal.

Check out some energy and protein supplements available in the charts below. These lists do not include all acceptable products, so ask your dietitian for additional recommendations.

Liquid renal supplements

Liquid supplements made specifically for dialysis patients are high in calories and protein, and low in sodium, potassium and phosphorus. An 8-ounce portion may be used as a meal replacement or as a supplement to the meals you eat. These supplements can also be used for an on-the-go meal on dialysis days or when you’re too busy to prepare a meal.

Product Disclaimer: DaVita is not affiliated with and does not endorse any particular brand of product on the following lists.

Re/Gen (4- and 6-ounce cartons)

Flavor

Regular or sugar-free strawberry or vanilla

Calories

230-375

Protein

10-14 g

Sodium

20-188 mg

Potassium

23-30 mg

Phosphorus

45-90 mg

Nepro with Carb Steady (8 ounces)

Flavor

Butter pecan, vanilla or berry

Calories

425

Protein

19 g

Sodium

250 mg

Potassium

250 mg

Phosphorus

170 mg

Novasource Renal (8 ounces)

Flavor

Vanilla

Calories

475

Protein

21.6 g

Sodium

225 mg

Potassium

225 mg

Phosphorus

195 mg

Protein supplements for the dialysis diet

If you need extra protein without the high calories, there are several protein products available. Single-ounce liquid protein products pack lots of protein in one gulp. Protein powders must be mixed with moist food or liquids. Those made from egg whites or whey protein are usually lower in potassium and phosphorus than soy-based protein powders.

EggPro powder (2 tablespoons)

Flavor

Orange, grape or lemonade

Calories

70

Protein

16 g

Sodium

30 mg

Potassium

10 mg

Phosphorus

<10 mg

LiquiCel, 1 ounce

Calories

37

Protein

10 g

Sodium

137 mg

Potassium

123 mg

Phosphorus

10 mg

Pro-Stat, 1 ounce

Flavor

Grape, tangerine or punch

Calories

72-81

Protein

15 g

Sodium

15 mg

Potassium

18 mg

Phosphorus

<7 mg

Proteinex Liquid

Calories

60

Protein

15-18 g

Sodium

20 mg

Potassium

15 mg

Phosphorus

<10 mg

Pure Protein Whey Powder (1 scoop, 33 g)

Flavor

Vanilla or chocolate

Calories

130

Protein

23 g

Sodium

55 mg

Potassium

160-220 mg

Phosphorus

108 mg

Bar supplements for dialysis patients

Energy and protein bars are widely available these days, and although most are not specifically made for the kidney diet, many bars are low enough in sodium, potassium and phosphorus to be included. It’s important to check the nutrition facts on each bar, because brands have a mix of acceptable bars and those that are not kidney-friendly.Use these guidelines when choosing a protein bar that’s good for you, or ask your dietitian for help:

  • Protein: 15 g or more
  • Potassium: 200 mg or less
  • Phosphorus: 150 mg or less
  • Sodium: 300 mg or less

Balance Bars

Calories

200

Protein

15 g

Sodium

170 mg

Potassium

150 mg

Phosphorus

<150 mg

EAS Myoplex

Calories

230-340

Protein

17-30 g

Sodium

120-290 mg

Potassium

120-270 mg

Phosphorus

<70-210 mg

PowerBar Protein Plus

Calories

270-360

Protein

20-30 g

Sodium

180-290 mg

Potassium

80-200 mg

Phosphorus

<100-160 mg

ProMax Protein Bars

Calories

270-300

Protein

20 g

Sodium

180-240 mg

Potassium

55-240 mg

Phosphorus

<70-210 mg

Pure Protein Bars

Calories

180-300

Protein

19-32 g

Sodium

210 mg

Potassium

20-120 mg

Phosphorus

<28-70 mg

ZonePerfect Bars

Calories

200-210

Protein

14-15 g

Sodium

200-290 mg

Potassium

50-1560 mg

Phosphorus

<105-200 mg

*Check each bar as some exceed these values and should be avoided.

Start feeling a boost today

Supplements including high energy and protein liquids, powders and bars that fit with a dialysis diet are available in a wide assortment of varieties and flavors. When you are not eating enough calories or protein, supplements can help boost energy and provide the nutrients you need. Check with your dietitian to find the right kidney-friendly supplement that best meets your needs.

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