Submitted by Hanna Kim, Dietetics Student & Dani Renouf, MSc, RD, CDE
Summer is here, and good food and drinks are a huge part of outdoor celebrations and barbeques. When it comes to drinking alcohol, moderation is key whether you are on a kidney-friendly diet or not. Women should limit alcohol to no more than two standard drinks per day and men to no more than three.
The following count as one drink with each containing the same amount of alcohol:
- 12 oz. of beer or wine cooler
- 5 oz. of wine
- 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits* such as whiskey, bourbon, scotch, vodka, gin, tequila, rum
*Spirits have the least amount of potassium and/or phosphorus.
Make sure to limit these to a 1.5 ounce serving (1 shot). If your healthcare provider gives you the green light, it is recommended that you have your alcohol with food. Try lower potassium mixers and add less alcohol and more fluids like soda to mixed beverages. Be aware that mixers can increase the potassium or phosphorus content of a drink. An option can be to make a spritzer with wine, sparkling soda, and ice.
See our FAQs about How much alcohol is safe for people with kidney disease? https://www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca/dietinformation/renalfaqs/
Below are some tips on how to make kidney-friendly cocktails and mocktails at home:
- Add fruits or vegetables. Using fresh and/or frozen fruits like berries, oranges, watermelon, lemons, and cucumbers is an excellent way to flavour your drink naturally.
- Garnish with fresh herbs. Mint, rosemary, and/or cinnamon sticks are great flavour enhancers for that extra kick! Bonus tip: Muddle your herbs with a wooden spoon for more flavour.
- Make fun ice cubes with silicone trays! There are many silicone molds or ice cube trays with fun shapes and textures that you can buy.
- Add cut up fruit or herbs to your ice cubes. You heard that right! Grab a silicone ice cube tray and add some berries or herbs to the water prior to freezing.
If you are planning on drinking cocktails, consult your healthcare provider about safely consuming alcohol since some prescription and over-the-counter medications may interact poorly with alcohol. Even when safe, it is important to drink in moderation. Always check with your doctor or renal dietitian to make sure you can enjoy alcohol without negative consequences