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: 230-240
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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