Summer is here, and what better way to beat the heat than by enjoying a refreshing drink on a summer day. However, it may be challenging for CKD patients to enjoy a cold, refreshing drink without worrying about the ingredients to include in their drinks and their fluid restriction. This is because CKD patients may need to monitor their fluid intake and potassium and phosphorus consumption. Before sharing the 5 kidney diet summer drinks recipes to you, let's talk about potassium and phosphorus in drinks first.

kidney diet summer drinks

The Phosphorus and Potassium content in drinks

Phosphorus and Potassium should be monitored not only in your drinks but in your meals as well. Phosphorus performs a range of essential bodily functions including keeping the bones strong and healthy, as well as removing waste, and repair damaged tissues. This nutrient is also responsible for filtering and removing waste from the kidneys, promotes healthy nerve conduction, and manages the body’s energy usage and storage.

It is possible for people with Chronic Kidney Disease to have too much phosphorus buildup as their kidney function declines. When phosphorus is consumed in large amounts, it builds up in the blood and may cause complications such as weakened bones and heart problems. 

Meanwhile, potassium is responsible for key functions of the kidneys, heart, muscles, and the transmission of messages through the nervous system. It also regulates fluid balance and prevents or manages high blood pressure. Healthy kidneys maintain normal levels of potassium in the body as they remove excess amounts through urine. However, in CKD patients, too much potassium can build up in the blood since the kidneys can no longer excrete excess potassium. 

Having too much potassium (hyperkalemia) in the blood can cause muscle cramps, nausea, numbness,  and even heart attack.

Fluid restriction in CKD patients 

According to the Institute of Medicine, men need approximately 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid daily, and women need approximately 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid daily. However, if you are going through dialysis or at the end-stage of kidney disease, you may be asked to drink less. At this stage, your kidneys couldn’t excrete enough water from your body, which is why you need to closely monitor your fluid intake. A fluid buildup can cause shortness of breath, high blood pressure, swelling in the face, hands, and feet (edema), and heart damage from stretching the heart with too much fluid.

Fluid restriction for kidneys

There is a fluid limit that can be removed safely during a dialysis treatment. Although dialysis removes excess fluid and waste in the body, it is not as effective and efficient as what normal kidneys do.  If the fluid limit is reached and there is extra fluid in the body, you may experience muscle cramping, nausea, weakness, and potentially extra dialysis sessions to remove the fluid. 

Fluid restrictions vary according to different factors, especially for dialysis patients. Factors including weight change between dialysis sessions and urine output are considered. Consult with your medical provider to know more about your fluid limit. 

5 Kidney Diet Summer Drinks Recipes

The drinks you choose to satisfy your thirst can affect your kidney health. The recipes below are generally great for people with CKD.  These recipes come with a caveat though, as each CKD patient has a different meal and fluid requirements, it is best to consult with your dietitian before changing or introducing anything to your diet.

Berry Sorbet

Nutrient Analysis

Makes 3 servings

Sodium

1 mg

Protein

0 g

Potassium

79 mg

Phosphorus

12 mg

Calcium

9 mg

Calories

84 kcal

Fat

0 g

Carbohydrates

21 g

kidney diet Berry Sorbet

Ingredients

3 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon
¼ cup water
1 ¼ cup crushed ice or ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place ice in a blender.
  2. Add all ingredients, turn up the speed to crush and liquify.

SUGGESTIONS:
Fruits may be combined or changed. You can try:
1 piece of 4 oz. peeled and cored apples
1 cup of frozen or fresh cranberries or raspberries
1 cup canned or fresh pears.
You may add spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon for extra flavor.

Spiced Apple Juice

Nutrient Analysis

Makes 2 servings

Sodium

6.19 mg

Protein

0 g

Potassium

156.87 mg

Phosphorus

10.88 mg

Calcium

24.75 mg

Calories

84 kcal

Fat

0 g

Carbohydrates

15 g

Spiced Apple Juice kidney friendly

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups of unsweetened natural apple juice
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of allspice
½ cinnamon stick, broken

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl or container. Shake well and chill. 

Homemade Lemon Cucumber Soda

Nutrient Analysis

Makes 2 servings

Sodium

3 mg

Protein

3.13 g

Potassium

38.2 mg

Phosphorus

25 mg

Calcium

43 mg

Calories

5.2 kcal

Fat

0 g

Carbohydrates

2.1 g

Homemade Lemon Cucumber kidney friendly Soda

Ingredients:

2 cups of seltzer water
6 round cucumber slices
2 round lemon slices
Iced cubes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pour the seltzer water into a clear pitcher then add the cucumber and lemon slices. Chill before serving.
  2. When pouring into a glass, make sure each serving gets 2 cucumber slices and 1 lemon slice.

Cold Lemon Black Tea

Nutrient Analysis

Makes 1 serving

Sodium

0.1 mg

Protein

0 g

Potassium

7.1 mg

Phosphorus

0.3 mg

Calcium

0.4 mg

Calories

22 kcal

Fat

0 g

Carbohydrates

5.5 g

kidney friendly Cold Lemon Black Tea

Ingredients:

1 lemon wedge (6 g)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 black tea bag
250 ml water (warm)

Directions:

  1. Put the 250 ml warm water in a cup and dip 1 black tea bag. Let it sit there for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the teabag and transfer in a glass or water bottle for chilling. Squeeze the lemon wedge and add a teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Chill before serving. 

Iced Blueberry soda mix

Nutrient Analysis

2 servings

Sodium

0.8 mg

Protein

0 g

Potassium

41.85 mg

Phosphorus

8.55 mg

Calcium

6.2 mg

Calories

39.55 kcal

Fat

0 g

Carbohydrates

34.4 g

Iced Blueberry soda kidney friendly mix

Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (77.5 g or 2.7 oz.)
250 ml or 8.5 fl. Oz of plain water
125 ml or 4 fl. Oz of Sparkling Water
Ice cube tray Note: 1 ice cube is approx. 1 fl. Oz.

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, place the berries and plain water and blend until consistency is smooth.
  2. Pour the smooth blueberry consistency into the ice cube tray. Freeze.
  3. Pour half of sparkling water or 4 fl. Oz in a glass and 4 pieces of blueberry ice cubes.
  4.  Let it sit and enjoy your sparkling flavored water under the sun. 

The Bottom line

Even during the scorching heat of summer, you still need to pay attention to your fluid intake, especially for dialysis patients. Too much fluid can have adverse effects on the body and makes dialysis more challenging. Nevertheless, your dietitian can help find ways to curb your thirst while managing your fluid intake. While the recommended kidney diet summer drink recipes above are generally great for CKD patients in all stages, it is still always wise to consult your renal dietitian before introducing anything in your diet. 


Sources:

Complications of Kidney Failure; American Kidney Fund - https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/complications-of-kidney-failure/#fluid_buildup

Recipe Finder; WebMD - https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/lemon-cucumber-seltzer

Kidney-friendly drinks; Kaitlyn Williams Eikstein, MPH, RD, LD - https://rbitzer.com/kidney-friendly-beverages/

High Potassium (Hyperkalemia); American Kidney Fund - https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/complications/high-potassium-hyperkalemia.html

Kidney Cooking A Family Recipe Book for Kidney Patients; Georgia Council on Renal Nutrition, National Kidney Foundation & Georgia Division, Atlanta, Georgia - https://www.kidney.org/sites/default/files/docs/kidney_cookbook_lr.pdf

Food Exchange List; American Dietetic Association - https://dtc.ucsf.edu/pdfs/FoodLists.pdf

Nutrition Facts - https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2440/2

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1938/2