Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney Diet Tip: Phosphate-free Kool-Aid®

I grew up before the plethora of canned and bottled beverage choices. In our household thirsty kids had 3 beverage choices: water, home brewed iced tea or Kool-Aid®. Coca cola®, aka Coke® was an occasional treat. I preferred the orange or punch-flavored Kool-Aid over water or sweet tea.

Fast forward to 2013: water is enhanced with vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus; tea is available pre-made in cans and bottles, some brands with phosphate additives; Kool-Aid powder no longer gets clumpy, thanks to the calcium-phosphate additive. All are red flags for kidney patients who are following a kidney diet and avoiding phosphate additives.

Today I was pleasantly surprised to discover the new Kool-Aid® Liquid Drink Mix does not contain calcium-phosphate additives, plus it’s sugar-free. Each 1.67 ounce container has 24 servings of a liquid Kool-Aid concentrate you squirt into a bottle or glass of chilled water. Approximately 1/2 teaspoon makes an 8-ounce serving of Kool-Aid with zero calories, carbohydrate and phosphorus. Sodium is low at 0 to 10 mg a cup (all flavors are sodium-free except orange). Potassium is not provided but it is in the product since it contains acesulfame potassium (sweetener) and potassium sorbate (preservative).

I could not find potassium information on but I did run across a FAQ on the Kraft Foods site that says their product  Tang has 65 mg potassium per serving, contributed mostly by the potassium citrate. It is probably safe to say the Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix has similar potassium content. I’ll keep you posted when I receive an answer to my inquiry. offers several Kool-Aid beverage recipes, now revised with the new phosphate–free Kool-Aid liquid drink mix.  (Of course you can always use the powdered, sweetened mix if you need the calories and you are not restricting phosphorus in your diet.)

Orange 7UP

Spooky Punch

Kool-Aid Smoothie

 What’s your favorite Kool-Aid flavor?

Kidney diet resources from



Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.