Can You Put Protein Powder in Coffee? Your Renal Diet Guide

Coffee and Kidneys – A Unique Blend in Brewing Strength

America runs on Coffee! If you are reading this, most likely you already know that drinking coffee is allowed in a renal diet. And the next question is: can I add protein powder in my cup of coffee? The simple answer is Yes. But how much protein powder to add? And are there any side effects?

How much coffee to drink?

When it comes to renal diet, fluids (including coffee) is a CHALLENGE. Challenging because renal diet restricts fluids, most only allows 32 ounces fluid intake IN TOTAL per day. But first, let’s look at the nutritional value of a realistic 8oz of coffee.

Calculated by the USDA, 8 ounce of black coffee has 9 kcal, 0.12g of protein, 0g of sugar, 2mg of calcium, 7mg of Phosphorus, 80mg of Magnesium, 115mg of Potassium and 14mg of Sodium. In general, it’s safe to say that 1 cup of coffee per day WILL NOT make your kidney function worse.

NOW, I just have to mention that black coffee gets complicated when you start adding creamer to your coffee. Most coffee creamers have a high content of phosphorus and potassium. Although there is no added phosphorus on the nutrition fact label, the Ingredients list will display potassium and phosphorus additives.

To name a few of Phosphorus and Potassium additives to AVOID: Dipotassium PHOSphate, Potassium citrate. Most found in CoffeeMate liquid (in all flavors), International Delight (all flavors), and Silk Creamers (all flavors). Best is to read the ingredient list or avoid any coffee creamers.

Coffee and Blood Pressure

Research has not found that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee  daily increases the risk of kidney disease. It does cause a rapid increase in your blood pressure. Since kidney disease relates closely with blood pressure, I’d personally recommend drinking less than 3 cups of coffee per day or switching to decaf if you have high blood pressure. 

Choosing the Right Protein Powder for Your Coffee (or Decaf)

Protein Powders need to be MIXED IN some sort of liquids or something with moisture. Typically, Whey Protein Powders and protein powder made with egg white have lower potassium and phosphorus content compared to soy-based protein powders. Main thing is to look for protein powder that is >15 grams per serving, and consider the potassium and phosphorus content.

What is considered low potassium and low phosphorus content? General rule of thumb is less than 200 mg per serving for potassium and less than 150 mg per serving for phosphorus. 

Unflavored protein powder is a plus because you can also add them in other form of liquids besides coffee for example in shakes, pudding, applesauce, even on eggs (prior to cooking)

By all means, I am not affiliated with any of the products mentioned below and I do not endorse these brand of products:


Main Ingredients: Whey Protein Blend

Protein: <30 grams

Sodium:< 160 mg

Potassium:  < 200 mg

Garden of Life: Organic Whey Proteins

Main Ingredients: Organic Whey Protein Concentrate

Protein: 21 grams

Sodium: 140 mg

Potassium: 85 mg

Naked Nutrition: Naked Whey Unflavored

Main Ingredients: Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Protein: 25 grams

Sodium: 45 mg

Potassium: 95 mg

Garden of Life Organic Vegan Unflavored Protein Powder

Main Ingredients: Plant-Based Pea Protein

Protein: 22 grams

Sodium: 270 mg

Potassium: 0 mg

Tips for Integrating Protein Coffee into a Renal Diet

Adding protein powder in your coffee drinks can be part of your daily routine. It is important to do so in moderation, in a way that it will not affect kidney health. 

Opt for high-quality protein sources to minimize the potential strain on the kidneys. Whey protein for example is a complete and easily digestible protein that I often recommend.

Limit Added Sugar and Creamers. Be mindful of added sugars and high-fat creamers (remember that they are also high in phosphorus) in your coffee, as these can contribute to other health issues.

Be Mindful of Caffeine Intake. While the focus is on protein here, it’s important to consider your overall caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can have negative effects on health, including potential impact on kidney function.


Consult with a Healthcare Professional before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have concerns about kidney health, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, your nephrologists or a registered dietitian. They can provide personalized advice based on your health status and any specific dietary needs.

Lastly, if you have personal experience in this topic or would like to share your favorite protein coffee recipes, please leave a comment.

I am EXCITED for you all to embark on a delicious and kidney-friendly journey with protein-infused coffee and would love to hear back from you.

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