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.

Product

Notes

Calories

Protein

Sodium

Potassium

Phosphorus

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

Regular or sugar-free strawberry or vanilla

230-375

10-14 g

20-188 mg

23-30 mg

45-90 mg

Nepro® with Carb Steady (8 ounces)

Butter pecan, vanilla or berry

425

19 g

250 mg

250 mg

170 mg

Novasource® Renal (8 ounces)

vanilla

475

21.6 g

225 mg

225 mg

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.

Product

Notes

Calories

Protein

Sodium

Potassium

Phosphorus

EggPro® powder

2 tablespoons

37

10 g

137 mg

123 mg      

10 mg

LiquiCel®

1 ounce orange, grape or lemonade

70

16 g

30 mg

10 mg

<10 mg

Pro-Stat®

1 ounce grape, tangerine or punch flavor

72-81

15 g

15 mg

18 mg

7 mg

Proteinex® Liquid

 

60

15-18 g

20 mg

15 mg

<10 mg

Pure Protein® Whey Powder

1 scoop (33 g) vanilla or chocolate

130

23 g

55 mg

160-220 mg

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 is 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

Product*

Notes

Calories

Protein

Sodium

Potassium

Phosphorus

Balance Bars®

Flavors vary

200

15 g

170 mg

150 mg

150 mg

EAS Myoplex®

Flavors vary

230-340

17-30 g

120-290 mg

120-270 mg

70-210 mg

PowerBar Protein Plus®

Flavors vary

270-360

20-30 g

180-290 mg

80-200 mg

100-160 mg

ProMax® Protein Bars

Flavors vary

270-300

20 g

180-240 mg

55-240

70-210

Pure Protein Bars®

Flavors vary

180-300

19-32 g

210 mg

20-120 mg

28-70 mg

ZonePerfect® Bars

Flavors vary

200-210

14-15 g

200-290 mg

50-150 mg

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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