Kidney Diet Tips

Activity and Fluid Intake during Warm Months

Keeping active is part of a healthy lifestyle that can promote cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and help control weight. However, with the warm weather just around the corner, staying active and staying hydrated while following a fluid limit can seem like an impossible balancing act. It can be difficult to find the right balance between exercise and fluid intake. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help maintain your activity level and control thirst as it heats up outside. The important part is finding a system that works for you and your goals.

Importance of Fluid Control

While on dialysis, controlling fluids may help prevent fluid related hospitalizations, reduce cramping and help prevent swelling. With the average recommendation of about four 8 ounce cups of fluid per day (1200 ml) for patients on hemodialysis, getting creative with controlling thirst is a must.

Consider trying these fluid and thirst control tips:

  • Carry a water bottle and know how much fluid it holds
  • Suck on frozen berries, grapes or lemon wedges
  • Chew gum to produce saliva and prevent dry mouth
  • Limit salty foods and caffeine, they can increase thirst
  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Plan for a frozen treat after being out in the sun all day
  • Maintain blood sugar control if you have diabetes
  • Try one of these thirst quenching drink recipes from

Exercise and Activity Adjustments

Evaluating your current exercise and activities can also help control thirst and make it easier to stay within fluid limits. Making small changes to your routine can help make a big difference. Try to aim for goals that you feel are realistic to accomplish to prevent becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. There may be some modifications you can make during the warmer months to prevent overheating.

For example you can try making adjustments to your outdoor workout routine, such as:

  • Work out earlier or later in the day when it isn’t as hot outside
  • Wear appropriate, breathable attire
  • Try finding indoor workouts or activities to stay out of the heat

Don’t get discouraged if you try one of the tips listed and it doesn’t work for you. Try several of the different tips to see what fits you and your lifestyle best. If you come up with your own way to manage thirst and fluid intake, more power to you! No one suggestion is one size fits all, so get creative and stay active during the warm months.

For more information read “Seven Summertime Tips for People with Kidney Disease“.

This post was written by Kat Bojorquez, Dietetic Intern and submitted by DaVita dietitian Heidi Bennett.



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DaVita Food Analyzer

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Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

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This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett is a busy mother of two who believes eating well is possible with limited time . She has worked as a clinical dietitian in Wisconsin and now California for over twelve years. Through her experience in a variety of settings , she has found her true calling as a renal dietitian for DaVita. In her free time Heidi loves traveling with her husband and growing fresh ingredients for cooking and preserving.