Ideal Beverages for CKD Patients


Jan 3, 2023

Ideal Beverages for CKD Patients

Ideal Beverages for CKD Patients

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), it's important to pay attention to the fluids you consume. This is because the kidneys play a crucial role in removing excess fluid from the body. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, extra fluid can accumulate in various areas of the body, such as the ankles, eyes, hands, or lungs. This can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure, potentially leading to heart failure. Therefore, it's important to maintain a balanced fluid intake with CKD.

Now, let's discuss some of the best drinks for those with CKD.


The kidneys play a crucial role in regulating fluid balance in the body. Therefore, it's important to ensure that you are consuming the appropriate amount of fluids. But before we discuss how much to drink, let's define what a fluid is.

A fluid is any liquid or substance that becomes a liquid at room temperature. Some examples of fluids include water, milk, juice, tea, coffee, alcohol, soup, sauces, gravies, and soda. Even ice, Jello, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and popsicles are considered fluids, as they melt into a liquid at room temperature. Fruits and vegetables also contain water, but when consumed in moderation, they should not significantly contribute to your daily fluid intake.

How Much?

It's important to maintain an appropriate fluid intake if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In the early stages of kidney disease, it's generally recommended to drink around 8 glasses of fluids per day to help keep the kidneys functioning properly. However, it's important to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty, rather than forcing fluids. Your doctor or dietitian may have different recommendations for your fluid intake based on your activity level and overall health.

As CKD progresses to later stages (such as stage 3, 4, or 5), you may need to limit your fluid intake to prevent edema or fluid accumulation in the body. Signs of fluid retention include swelling in the feet and ankles and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention.

If you have chronic kidney disease and are on dialysis, you may need to control your fluid intake because your kidneys may not produce enough urine. The amount of fluids you can have will be based on the amount of urine you produce.

Between dialysis treatments, it's important to try to avoid gaining more than 2.0-2.5 kilograms of water weight. You may also need to follow a fluid restriction if you have excessive swelling in the body. It's important to follow your doctor or dietitian's recommendations for  fluid restriction.

To help manage your fluid intake, you can try the following tips:

  • Measure the volume of your favorite cup or bottle and use it to track how much you've been drinking
  • Drink from a small cup
  • Spread your fluids out throughout the day over your meals and snacks
  • Drink only when thirsty
  • If possible, take your medications at mealtimes when you have fluids or use applesauce
  • Use sugar-free hard candies or lemon wedges to manage dry mouth. The sour taste can help quench your thirst.
  • Brush your teeth frequently to keep your mouth moist
  • Manage your blood sugar levels, as high blood sugar can make you thirsty
  • Limit sodium, as excessive salt intake can make you thirsty

Ideal Beverages

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), it's important to be mindful of the fluids you consume. Here are some of my top drink recommendations for CKD:

Water is the best choice for hydration. You can add flavor to water by infusing it with lemon, lime, or fresh fruit or herbs. Carbonated water is also a good option if you prefer something bubbly. Some brands to try include PC Blue Menu Sparkling Water, Bubly, La Croix, and Perrier.

Tea and coffee can be consumed in moderation with CKD, but it's important to limit your intake to a few cups per day as excessive consumption can raise blood pressure. It's also important to be aware that some teas may interact with medications or the kidneys' filtration process. Generally, teas like black, mint, rooibos, ginger, or green tea are considered safe. Keep in mind that what you add to your coffee and tea is also important. Aim to avoid phosphate additives and sugar sources.

Milk and other non-dairy beverages can be included in a kidney-friendly diet. For more information on choosing the best milk for CKD, check out this post.

Smoothies are a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your diet. If you're looking for some kidney-friendly smoothie ideas, check out this post. Be sure to choose low potassium fruit and vegetables as needed.


It's also important to limit certain drinks with CKD:

Sugary beverages like soda and juice should be limited, as they can raise blood sugar levels and contribute to high cholesterol and inflammation in the body. Controlling blood sugar and cholesterol can help preserve kidney function.

Alcohol should be consumed in moderation with CKD, as it can impair judgment, raise blood pressure, and contribute to the progression of kidney disease. It's important to speak with your doctor before drinking alcohol, as it may interact with some medications.


This blog was based on a post written by Emily Campbell and published here with her permission. The original post can be found here.

Related Articles

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Why It’s Important to Control Fluids in a Hemodialysis Diet

Foods You Should Say No to if You Have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

What Do Your Kidneys Do?

About Emily Campbell

Emily Campbell is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a Master of Science in Food and Nutrition who lives in Toronto, ON. Over the years, she has experience working with individuals with a variety of kidney conditions to help them improve their eating; and preserve their kidney function through her career in hospitals as well as her private practice Kidney Nutrition. Not only does she have experience as a renal dietitian with patients, but she also has family members living with kidney disease so she understand the stress and complexities mealtime and celebrations can present. She has been practicing as a renal dietitian for over six years and am also is a two-time cookbook author of The Complete Renal Diet Cookbook and Renal Diet Cookbook for Caregivers.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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