Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random Kidney Stones & Protein Shake Q'n'A

Craig, I have read that excess protein can cause Kidney Stones. Evidently, this has occured in some people when they drink Protein Powders. Is there any truth to that? 

I know that you don't endorse the use of protein supplements. Is this one of the reasons?

Good question!

I'm not a doctor, but the best site I've found with info on kidney stones is here:


That should tell you everything you need to know. 

Of the two people I know who have had kidney stones, neither was a big protein shake type of person.

I actually worked with this one guy who was passing a kidney stone in the office bathroom. He was banging the sides of the stall as hard as he could.

I can only imagine how much that must hurt...

On the other hand, I know of dozens of bodybuilders who take protein shakes like crack, and they don't have stones. And on top of that, a lot of those guys use steroids, diuretics, caffeine, and even binge drink, so to be honest I have no idea what you have to do to get kidney stones.

So no, the risk of getting kidney stones wasn't a factor in why I stopped drinking protein shakes.

The reasons I stopped drinking protein shakes are because...

a) They aren't needed
b) They taste gross

Again, that site (linked above) should have the best info on stones, how to avoid them, and how to deal with them.

One of the many thing i never hope to experience in life is kidney stones!

But I do have a funny story about the other guy I know who had kidney stones...

This guy I know (a famous American internet marketer) had kidney stones and went to emergency room in extreme pain, but the nurse was being a jerk and she wouldn't admit him.

She told him wait.

But the pain was so excruciating, he called 911 while lying on the floor of the emergency waiting room! 

The 911 people thought it was a joke, but they sent someone anyways, and forced the nurse to admit my friend for treatment. 

I was almost in tears the way he told this story.

I think the doctor told him to cut back on coffee and diet coke, because my friend was drinking a lot of it.

So that's all I know about protein shakes and kidney stones,

Craig Ballantyne

PS - I am not a doctor and I did NOT stay at a Holiday Inn so do NOT take any of this information as medical advice.

If you think you have kidney stones, see a doctor!


Rick Couchman said...

I've had 9 kidney stones. Protein is a big cause for mine - they're uric acid based stones, not the more common calcium based. I also get gout, also from uric acid. Not sure if all proteins cause it but red meats is a leading cause. I've learned to drink extra water daily, with a little lemon juice... If that helps any!

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Thanks Rick! Hope you avoid them in the future!

Matt said...

I don't know how you can suffer through hemp bliss and other foofoo vegetarian garbage and then still say a protein shake is gross.

kidney stones said...

A simple and most important lifestyle change to prevent stones is to drink more liquids—water is best. Someone who tends to form stones should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 2 quarts of urine in every 24-hour period.