What Can I Take for Energy with Kidney Disease?


Living with kidney disease can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing energy levels. Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by individuals with kidney disease due to various factors such as anemia, electrolyte imbalances, and the accumulation of toxins in the body. Finding safe and effective ways to boost energy becomes essential for maintaining a good quality of life. In this article, we will explore different strategies and supplements that individuals with kidney disease can consider to help combat fatigue and improve energy levels.

Understanding Kidney Disease and Energy Levels

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time. As the kidneys become less efficient at filtering waste products from the blood, toxins can accumulate in the body, leading to fatigue and other symptoms. Additionally, CKD can disrupt the body's balance of electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, which play a crucial role in energy metabolism.

Impact of Anemia

Anemia is a common complication of kidney disease, occurring when the kidneys fail to produce enough erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Without an adequate number of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body's tissues, individuals with anemia may experience fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Managing anemia is essential for improving energy levels in people with kidney disease. Studies have shown that erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), such as epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa, can help stimulate red blood cell production and alleviate symptoms of anemia in individuals with CKD. However, the use of ESAs should be closely monitored to avoid potential risks, such as cardiovascular complications and increased mortality rates.

Nutritional Considerations

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in managing energy levels and overall health in individuals with kidney disease. However, dietary restrictions imposed by CKD, such as limitations on protein, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium intake, can make it challenging to obtain essential nutrients. It's essential for individuals with kidney disease to work closely with a registered dietitian to develop a personalized meal plan that meets their nutritional needs while adhering to dietary restrictions.

Supplements for Boosting Energy

While it's crucial to focus on obtaining nutrients from food sources, some supplements may help individuals with kidney disease improve their energy levels and overall well-being. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, as certain ingredients may interact with medications or exacerbate underlying health conditions.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a compound that plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue in individuals with various health conditions, including kidney disease. Additionally, CoQ10 exhibits antioxidant properties, which may help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation associated with CKD. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Nephrology found that CoQ10 supplementation significantly improved fatigue and physical performance in hemodialysis patients compared to a placebo. However, further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and long-term safety of CoQ10 supplementation in individuals with kidney disease.


Carnitine is a compound that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism by facilitating the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are oxidized to produce energy. Studies have shown that carnitine levels are often depleted in individuals with kidney disease, which may contribute to fatigue and decreased exercise tolerance. Supplementing with carnitine may help improve energy levels and physical performance in individuals with CKD. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases found that carnitine supplementation was associated with significant improvements in exercise capacity and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. However, more research is needed to fully understand the benefits and risks of carnitine supplementation in individuals with kidney disease.


Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia in individuals with kidney disease, especially those undergoing dialysis. Supplementing with iron may help replenish iron stores and improve symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue and weakness. However, it's essential to monitor iron levels closely, as excess iron can accumulate in the body and cause toxicity.

Lifestyle Strategies for Managing Fatigue

In addition to dietary modifications and supplementation, several lifestyle strategies can help individuals with kidney disease manage fatigue and improve energy levels.

Regular Exercise

While fatigue may make exercise seem daunting, incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can help boost energy levels and improve overall well-being. Aim for a combination of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, and strength training exercises to enhance muscle strength and endurance. Be sure to consult with your healthcare team before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Stress Management Techniques

Chronic stress can exacerbate fatigue and negatively impact overall health in individuals with kidney disease. Practicing stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Additionally, engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies can provide a much-needed mental and emotional boost.

Quality Sleep

Getting an adequate amount of quality sleep is essential for restoring energy levels and supporting overall health. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep schedule to regulate your body's internal clock. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime to promote restful sleep.


Managing energy levels can be challenging for individuals with kidney disease, but with the right strategies and support, it's possible to improve quality of life and overall well-being. By focusing on proper nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle modifications, and stress management techniques, individuals with kidney disease can combat fatigue and boost energy levels effectively. However, it's essential to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized approach that addresses individual needs and preferences. With proactive management and support, individuals with kidney disease can lead fulfilling and energetic lives despite the challenges they may face.