Calories / Energy Intake in Chronic Kidney Disease (Predialysis and Dialysis)

The intake of a sufficient amount of energy is very important for your health and well-being. Eating insufficient calories will lead to the breakdown of body protein (especially muscles) – this means that you will feel weak and will lose weight.

Your need for energy depends on your age and physical activity. In general, your dietary energy intake should be [1]:

  • 35 kcal/kg body weight/day if you are younger than 60 years 
  • 30-35 kcal/kg body weight/day if you are 60 years or older

This applies to patients with chronic kidney disease in the predialysis stage as well as to patients on dialysis.

Tips to get extra calories (for predialysis and haemodialysis patients):

  • Do not use "low fat" products
  • Use/add double cream in cereals, milk-pudding or soups
  • Use more simple carbohydrates like sugar, jam jelly, honey or syrup on bread or crackers or scones 
  • Add butter/margarine to vegetables and potatoes 
  • Add butter/margarine/oil to pasta 
  • Fry your potatoes or vegetables

Oil and butter are rich in calories (energy).

Energy intake during predialysis
Energy intake during dialysis

Recommended Intake

Content last updated
  1. NKF K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition in Chronic Renal Failure. Am J Kidney Dis 2000; 35 (Suppl 2): S1-S140. (last visited 20.04.2010)
  2. Cano N, Fiaccadori E, Tesinsky P et al.: ESPEN Guidelines on Enteral Nutrition: Adult Renal Failure. Clin Nutr 2006; 25: 295–310.
  3. Savica V, Santoro D, Ciolino F et al.: Nutritional therapy in chronic kidney disease. Nutr Clin Care 2005; 8(2): 70-6.
  4. Schönweiß G: Dialysefibel 3, Band 2. Abakiss Verlag, 3rd Edition, 2006.