What can I drink to filter my kidneys?

The kidneys play a vital role in overall health and wellbeing. They filter waste and excess fluid from the blood to be excreted from the body. Dehydration, certain medications, underlying health conditions, and poor diet can all impact kidney function. Staying hydrated by drinking enough fluid is important for supporting healthy kidneys. However, some beverages may be better than others when it comes to promoting kidney health. This article explores different drink options for filtering the kidneys.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated for Kidney Health

Being adequately hydrated allows the kidneys to function properly. When dehydrated, less blood flows to the kidneys, filtering of waste becomes less efficient, and toxins can build up. Dehydration can also increase risk of developing kidney stones.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends drinking enough fluids to produce 2 to 2.5 quarts of urine daily. This equals roughly 12 cups or 3 liters of fluid for most adults. Needs vary based on climate, exercise habits, health conditions, and more. Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of fluid needs.

Water – The Most Kidney-Friendly Beverage

Plain water is the best drink option when it comes to kidney health. It helps flush toxins and is free of sugars, sodium, and other additives that could strain the kidneys. Drinking sufficient water intake helps prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Plain water may be boring for some. Adding a splash of lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, or other herbs can provide flavor. Just avoid heavily sweetened waters. Additionally, mineral waters high in sodium or other minerals are not ideal for kidneys.

How much water should I drink?

As a general guideline:

– Women need around 11-12 cups of fluid daily
– Men need 15-16 cups daily

However, water needs depend on many factors like age, activity level, health conditions, and climate. The color of urine is an easy way to gauge hydration. Pale yellow urine means you are well hydrated, while dark yellow suggests dehydration.

Herbal Teas and Kidney Health

Many herbal teas are beneficial for kidney health. They provide hydration along with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that support the kidneys.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea acts as a natural diuretic, increasing urine output to flush the kidneys. Dandelion may also fight inflammation and provide antioxidants.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea can reduce inflammation, aid digestion, and settle an upset stomach. This may prevent dehydration from nausea or diarrhea.

Green Tea

Green tea contains antioxidant compounds called catechins that benefit heart health and blood pressure. This protects the kidneys against damage.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory effects that may aid kidney health. It also promotes calm and sleep, helpful for overall wellbeing.

Other kidney-friendly teas include hibiscus, turmeric, cinnamon, and nettle leaf. Avoid adding sugar or cream to maintain the kidney benefits.

The Best and Worst Juices

Fruit and vegetable juices provide important vitamins, minerals, and hydration. However, some juices are high in natural sugars, so moderation is key.

Best Juices

Juice Benefits
Cranberry Juice May reduce urinary tract infections
Pomegranate Juice High in antioxidants that support kidney health
Beet Juice Boosts nitric oxide for better blood flow
Apple Juice Provides hydration with nutrients like vitamin C

Worst Juices

Juice Drawbacks
Grapefruit Juice May interact with certain medications
Orange Juice High natural sugar content
Pineapple Juice Risk of kidney damage in excess due to bromelain

Those with diabetes or chronic kidney disease should be especially cautious with juices due to sugar content.

Kidney-Cleansing Smoothies

Smoothies provide hydration along with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that make them a nutritious beverage option. Certain ingredients are particularly beneficial for filtering the kidneys.

Key kidney-cleansing smoothie ingredients:

– Lemon/Limes: Help break down kidney stones
– Celery: Diuretic that increases urine output
– Cranberries: Protect urinary tract health
– Ginger: Anti-inflammatory and digestion aid
– Spinach: Provides antioxidants, magnesium, and B vitamins
– Beets: Improve blood flow and nitric oxide levels
– Dandelion greens: Natural diuretic

Try this kidney detox smoothie recipe:
– 1 cup coconut water
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 cup spinach
– 1⁄2 beet, cooked
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1⁄2 avocado
– Dash of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Consume immediately after making.

Kidney-Friendly Proteins Shakes

Getting adequate protein is vital for kidney health, but those with chronic kidney disease must limit protein from red meat, dairy, and other high phosphorus sources. Plant-based protein shakes can provide protein without straining kidneys.

Some kidney-friendly protein shake options include:

Pea protein shakes

– Pea protein is low in phosphorus and electrolytes
– Provides 9 grams protein per scoop
– Helps reduce inflammation
– Available in shakes and powders to mix

Hemp protein shakes

– Hemp protein is easy for kidneys to process
– 10 grams protein per 2 tbsp serving
– Also provides fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc
– Has a mild, nutty flavor

Rice protein shakes

– Rice protein is hypoallergenic and low phosphorus
– 12 grams protein per scoop
– Contains antioxidants
– Mixes easily into shakes or smoothies

When buying protein powders, avoid any with added sugars, sweeteners, and unhealthy fats. Always speak with a doctor or dietitian before increasing protein intake significantly.

Kombucha’s Effects on the Kidneys

Kombucha is a fermented tea gaining popularity for its probiotics. But does kombucha support kidney health or harm it? Here’s what to know:

Potential benefits

– Antioxidants may protect kidney cells from damage
– Improves gut health, which benefits overall wellness
– May increase urine output as a natural diuretic

Potential risks

– Contains trace alcohol from fermentation
– Cases of kidney damage linked to homemade kombucha due to contamination
– Probiotics could cause bloating and dehydration


– Avoid excess kombucha due to alcohol content
– Stick to one 8oz serving per day
– Choose commercial products tested for safety
– Stop drinking if diarrhea occurs as this causes dehydration

For most healthy adults, moderate kombucha consumption is considered safe. Those with chronic kidney disease or who take medications that affect the kidneys should exercise caution and discuss kombucha with a doctor.

Coffee’s Effects on Kidney Health

Coffee is very popular, but is it good or bad for the kidneys? Here is what research has found about coffee and kidney health:

Potential benefits

– May lower risk of kidney stones
– Antioxidants in coffee protect kidney cells
– Linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease

Potential risks

– Can increase urination and fluid loss
– Heavy daily intake raises risk of dehydration
– May interact with some blood pressure medications


– Limit to 1-2 cups daily
– Avoid excessive caffeine
– Stay well hydrated with water and other drinks
– Choose filtered coffee rather than boiled

For healthy kidneys, enjoy coffee in moderation along with plenty of water intake throughout the day. Those with chronic kidney disease or on dialysis may need to avoid coffee.

Kidney-Supportive Foods to Eat

While beverages are important, food choices also impact kidney health. Here are some of the top foods to incorporate into a kidney-friendly diet:


Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect kidney cells.

Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens provide important nutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, and lutein for filtering kidneys.


Garlic has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria to prevent urinary tract infections.


Like garlic, onions contain anti-bacterial effects and may reduce kidney inflammation.

Olive Oil

Olive oil provides healthy fats that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing strain on the kidneys.

Eating a balanced, unprocessed diet centered on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats promotes healthy kidneys alongside proper hydration.

Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Kidneys

In addition to diet, other lifestyle factors impact kidney health. Here are some tips for supporting your kidneys with lifestyle changes:

– Maintain a healthy weight – Obesity strains the kidneys
– Lower salt intake – Excess sodium harms kidneys
– Quit smoking – Smoking constricts blood vessels in the kidneys
– Manage medications – Some drugs are directly toxic to kidneys
– Control blood sugar – Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease
– Lower blood pressure – Hypertension damages the small filters in kidneys
– Stay active – Regular exercise keeps kidneys healthy

Making positive changes through diet, exercise, limiting sodium, managing health conditions, and quitting smoking can all protect the kidneys for the long-term.

When to See a Doctor

Some signs indicate a more serious kidney problem requiring medical evaluation. See a doctor if you experience:

– Changes in urination including difficult, painful, or excessive urinating
– Blood in the urine
– Persistent puffiness around the eyes, feet, or hands
– Fatigue and weakness
– Loss of appetite
– Nausea and vomiting
– Shortness of breath
– Confusion or trouble concentrating
– Chest pain on one side

Acute kidney injury needs rapid treatment. Chronic kidney disease requires ongoing management to prevent further damage. Seeing a doctor at the first signs of kidney problems provides the best outlook. Diagnostic tests for kidney function include blood work, urinalysis, imaging, and biopsy.


The kidneys play an indispensable role in removing waste from the blood to maintain overall health. Staying well hydrated is key to kidney health, but be mindful of how different beverages impact the kidneys. Water is the best choice, along with teas, fresh juices in moderation, antioxidant-rich smoothies, and plant-based proteins. Coffee and kombucha may be fine for healthy kidneys in small amounts but avoiding excess is wise. Combine kidney-friendly beverages with a diet rich in produce, lean proteins, and probiotics. Adopting a healthy lifestyle also protects the kidneys against damage long-term. See a doctor promptly for any signs of potential kidney issues. With some awareness and positive daily habits, it’s possible to keep the kidneys filtering properly for years to come.

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