Managing fluid intake is an essential aspect of kidney health, especially for individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) who are striving to avoid dialysis. Understanding the role of fluid intake, following a kidney-friendly diet, and adhering to fluid restriction guidelines can make a significant difference in preserving kidney function and overall well-being.

An older man drinking water while listening to music.

In this blog, we will explore practical tips and strategies to help you manage your fluid intake effectively, empowering you to take control of your kidney health journey.

Fluid Balance and Kidney Health:

Maintaining a proper fluid balance is essential for kidney health in individuals with kidney disease. The kidneys play a vital role in regulating fluid levels in the body. Excessive fluid intake can overwhelm compromised kidneys, causing them to work harder and potentially leading to fluid retention, swelling, high blood pressure, and other complications. 

Kidneys and a stethoscope on a blue background.

Understanding this connection is crucial as it underscores the significance of adhering to prescribed fluid restrictions to support kidney function and overall well-being.

The Importance of CKD Fluid Intake:

Effective fluid control is essential for stabilizing critical aspects of health in kidney disease patients. It supports maintaining balanced blood pressure levels, preventing disruptions in essential electrolyte concentrations, and ensuring the overall function of the kidneys.

A woman pouring water into a pitcher.

By adhering to fluid restrictions, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of fluid overload, which can lead to uncomfortable swelling (edema) and potential cardiovascular complications.

Fluid intake plays a crucial role in maintaining kidney health for individuals with CKD. Here's why it matters:

1. Ensuring Proper Hydration:

An elderly woman drinking water from a glass.

Optimal hydration supports kidney function by facilitating the removal of waste products and toxins from the body. It helps maintain blood volume, promoting healthy blood flow to the kidneys.

2. Managing Fluid Overload:

For individuals with CKD, impaired kidney function can lead to difficulty in eliminating excess fluid from the body. This can result in fluid overload, which can worsen kidney damage and lead to complications. 

A glass of water is being poured into a blue background.

Monitoring and managing fluid intake can help prevent fluid overload and preserve kidney function.

3. Controlling Blood Pressure:

A nurse is checking a woman's blood pressure.

Fluid intake affects blood pressure, a significant concern for individuals with CKD. Following fluid restriction guidelines can help manage blood pressure levels, reducing the strain on the kidneys and slowing the progression of kidney disease.

Tips for Managing Fluid Intake with CKD:

An older man drinking water from a glass.

1. Know Your Fluid Allowance:

Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate fluid allowance based on your individual needs and stage of CKD. Keep track of your daily fluid intake to ensure you stay within the recommended limits.

A glass measuring cup sits on a cutting board next to vegetables.

2. Choose the Right Fluids:

Four colorful drinks on a tray with straws.

While it is essential to stay hydrated, not all fluids are created equal. Opt for kidney-friendly fluids, such as water, herbal teas, and clear broths. Avoid or limit beverages high in sodium, phosphorus, and added sugars, such as soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks.

So, which foods add to your daily liquid intake? Check our blog entitled: Watch Out, These Foods Add to Your Daily Fluid Limit!

3. Monitor Your Thirst Levels:

Thirst can be misleading for individuals with CKD, as it may not accurately reflect the body's hydration needs. Use your prescribed fluid allowance as a guide rather than relying solely on thirst as an indicator of when to drink.

An elderly man drinking water from a bottle.

4. Space Fluids Throughout the Day:

An alarm clock and a glass of water on a table.

Rather than drinking large amounts of fluids in a short period, aim to spread your fluid intake evenly throughout the day. This approach helps prevent sudden fluid overload and supports better management of fluid levels.

5. Make Dietary Adjustments:

Certain foods have high water content and can contribute to fluid intake. Be mindful of foods like soups, fruits, and vegetables, and factor them into your overall fluid allowance.

A woman is eating a plate of broccoli with a fork and knife.

6. Engage in Dialog:

Keep an open line of communication with your healthcare provider, dietitian, or renal coach. Discuss any challenges or concerns you may have regarding fluid intake. They can provide personalized guidance and adjust your fluid restrictions if necessary.

A nurse is sitting with an elderly woman on a couch.

Remember, You're Not Alone:

The journey of managing fluid intake with CKD may feel overwhelming at times, but know that you are not alone. RenalTracker's Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program understands the challenges you face and is here to provide personalized support and guidance. 

Our expert coaches can help tailor a fluid management plan that suits your needs and lifestyle, empowering you to take control of your kidney health.

An older couple drinking water from a glass.

The Bottomline

Effectively managing fluid intake is crucial for individuals with CKD who seek to avoid dialysis and preserve kidney function. By following these tips, understanding your fluid allowances, and working closely with your healthcare team, you can make informed choices and maintain optimal hydration levels. 

RenalTracker's Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program is here to support you every step of the way, providing credible guidance and personalized coaching to help you successfully manage your fluid intake and achieve your kidney health goals.

Remember, you have the ability to positively impact your kidney health through proactive management of your fluid intake. Start implementing these tips today and take control of your kidney health journey, one sip at a time.


Water intake and progression of chronic kidney disease: the CKD-REIN cohort study

Fluids - Kidney Kitchen

The Dos and Don'ts of Fluid Management for Kidney Disease

Can water intake prevent CKD? A brief review of the evidence - The Lancet

Hydration for kidney health - Kidney Research UK

Food that Counts as Fluid on the Kidney Diet - DaVita

Fluid Control for Kidney Disease Patients on Dialysis - DaVita

The chronic kidney disease Water Intake Trial (WIT): results from the pilot randomised controlled trial | BMJ Open