Is My Protein Shake Bad For My Kidneys?


OK, so the theory that whey protein shakes could increase strain on your kidneys is not all that ludicrous. There is after all some evidence to suggest that people with renal (kidney) problems may damage their kidneys due to hyperfiltration. Hyperfiltration refers to glomerular filtration, a process that draws solute (a substance mixed into a solution) such as amino acids (broken down protein) from fluid and back into the body. If an increased rate of filtration occurs due to elevated protein intake, then already weakened kidneys may suffer due to the increase in glomerular filtration rate.

The good news is that if you have normal functioning kidneys, and mercifully most people do, then the filtration process that occurs after the consumption of any protein (not just whey protein) is absolutely normal and poses no issue to the kidneys whatsoever. The glomerular filtration rate is adaptive, meaning it will NOT deteriorate as a result of increased protein intake.

So put your mind at rest, enjoy your protein shake and bask in those GAAAIIINNNNSSS!

NOTE: Intakes above your Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) are not recommended in any instance.


Oldale, C. (2014). The Role of Protein in the Management of Malnutrition. Retrieved 23rd October, 2014, from

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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