Energy Bars and Protein Shakes Can Cause Kidney Stones

Although my personal experience is only a scientific study of one, consumers of protein shakes and energy bars should be aware that these convenient edibles can increase your risk for kidney disease and/or kidney stone formation.

Kidney stones are build-ups of calcium. Most pass through our urine without us knowing. But, if they expand to sizes of 2-3mm or more, get ready for some mean back pain, potential fever, possible nausea and hematuria (blood in urine).

Energy Bars may cause kidney stones

After a recent battle with kidney stones, my urologist asked that I pee in a bottle and save my urine for a 24-hour period. Subsequent lab analysis revealed VERY high protein levels in my urine. Once he heard about my daily dose of an energy bar or two (or the occasional protein bar), he immediately blurted, "Cut those out." Turns out these health and energy bars contain high levels of protein that can actually contribute to kidney stone formation for people like me who eat them as between-meal snacks.

A quick look at the wrappers reveals:

Clif Bar Protein 10g

ClifBar - 10g protein (20% of your recommended daily protein intake)
Balance Bar - 16g protein (30% of your recommended daily protein intake)
Promax Bar - 20g protein (a whopping 40% of your recommended protein intake)

Consuming that much protein may be okay for someone using one of these bars as a meal substitute, but I typically eat three square meals per day and there's almost always meat on my dish (fish, poultry, pork and occasionally beef).

A Chipotle Chicken Fajita Burrito, for example, contains 56grams of protein - that meal alone equals 105% of the RDA of protein (based upon a 2000 calorie daily diet). To be accurate, my daily diet is likely around 3000 calories as a result of my active lifestyle, but still that would mean 75grams is all the daily protein I need. One burrito and a Promax bar gets me to that level in a hurry.

What to do? It's my personal opinion that Gatorade and other sport drinks should be consumed only after sweaty workouts of 30 minutes or more. Similarly, energy bars are a great nutrition supplement to eat during a ride or immediately after a 60-minute or longer exercise session. But, to insert these processed foods into your regular daily diet is probably not healthy. Eat a banana or apple instead.

I have been working out for

I have been working out for more than 1 year, and from past 5 months I have start taking Protein and createin powder and last week I have been diagnosed with a 6 MM stone in my ureter, believe me that was the worst pain I have suffered. I got checked my blood and urine, report suggest that my Uric Acid level is high, doc advised me to cut in my animal or other form of protein intake. I have discussed this to my other friends who unfortunately don’t exercise much and also not taking any supplements but they have also got stone(s). So, I am not sure about why they had got it, the only thing I have found common is consuming less water e.g. only 1-1.5 liter per day or sometime less.

I just left the E.R...... so

I just left the E.R...... so here are my symptms and what i believed caused this....I have been taking this protein powder for six months. i went to the freaking e.r. and i have sixteen... yes 16!!! kidney stones all 5mm or so... ten in right kidney six in left. I am thirty years old. I weigh 145-150- lbs i am 5ft 10. i am very toned look to be in peak shape. however i smoke at east 7-10 blunts every single day with out fail. i consume edible cannibas and have my medical marijana card in addition to growing weed. (leggally medically for back pain in wa state). I do not drink much water... maybe 5 cus a week. i drink juice soda vitamin water in that order. i eat sporadicly and stay ultra slim. I bought a huge bulk pack of close out protein powderr and make double strength shakes twice aday sometimes due to my lack of eating regularly...... now i have sixteen eeffffing kidney stones... this is real. the only way i have a protein caused kidney stones is from that protein becaus i literally eat nothing else. i had a kidney stone once when i was 18 i also ate many many protein bars then as i raced mountain bikes and also smoked tons of pot which contributes greatly to dehydration. the lack of water combined with 4x normal protein, and i screwed myself. where is the warning label... i mean i know i am a dumb_ss for eating som uch protein powder but i am underwight and scrawny and eat little. if you read this please help spread awareness that this can happen. thank you........sixteen freakin stones man.... i am 30 and look 20! crazy!

I used to mix whey and

I used to mix whey and creatine as a shake before my workout, and a BCAA after my workout. Got kidney stones 3 times, finally asked the doc what the deals was I found out I had too much protein in my body. Turns out most people get plenty of protein from their daily meals. Protein is only needed for someone who does a very extreme workout everyday

glad to have this info, cause

glad to have this info, cause we've been enjoying them too. but why did it take THREE bouts with kidney stones before your dr told you it was from too much protein? I had to ask...drs somethimes scare me...

often times doctors dont get

often times doctors dont get the info form the patient until the last visit. would you have thought to say oh hey by the way , i am eating helathy stuff from the health section. maybe that caused it. nah, mostlikely the powders and bars remained unmentioned. however remember doctors arent commonly aware of this issue or i would know. i grew up on mercer island and halkf my friends parents are doctors. two actually urologists. neither neighbor was aware that it was a widespread issue and thanked me for informing them , one guyseemed like holy effing sht this is important u know? so just tell everyone you know about how unsafe it is. we can help make it common nkowledge.... i am the guy with 16 kidney stones

Many people who follow a

Many people who follow a bodybuilder style workout plan and diet try to consume .8 to 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight.
So a person weighing 180 lbs. is shooting for 180 grams of protein daily. Yet I haven't read much about them having these stone issues.

one more thing. many protein

one more thing. many protein shakes and powders have high levels of arsenic. there have been studies in the past three years that have shown this.

You haven't heard about it,

You haven't heard about it, but it happens. Most bodybuilders eat real food for protein. the shakes are supplementary. not every bodybuilder uses them. When drinking protein shakes or meal replacement shakes you have to take up to a gallon of water to flush your kidneys. Protein and Meal replacement shakes are not natural and hard for your kidneys to process. residue is left in the kidneys. This will eventually form into a stone. Dehydration will speed up the process. again, protein and meal replacement powders are not natural and your body has a hard time digesting it. You can use it short term but long term is not healthy. 6-8 week cycle and then stop

Same here. I know lots of

Same here. I know lots of people who lift weights and consume as a goal 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day (sum of protein shakes and meals) and I never heard about this problem with them. I had a kidney stone (horrible - felt like I was giving birth to lava rocks) about 6 or 7 years after I stopped working out and taking protein shakes. I don't know how long that stone was there - I'm sure there's a possibility that stayed in place for that long but I don't know. This happened once and I know people who don't take protein supplements and they've had several stones. So I'm not sure what to think here. I recently started working out again and taking protein shakes again, but not the level I was before.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Search blogs

Stay Updated!

Sign up for our Newsletter:


Receive the Blog by Email:

User login

tumblr hit tracking tool