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Kidney Stones Health Center

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Lemonade Helps Kidney Stones

The Latest Way to Treat and Prevent Kidney Stones: Drink Lemonade

How Much Lemonade?

Lemonade also does something else needed by people prone to kidney stoneskidney stones. It helps them pass a lot of urine, said conference moderator Marshall Stoller, MD, vice chairman of urology and medical director of the urinary stone center at the University of California, San Francisco.

"To reduce kidney stones, you have to increase your fluid intake so that you pass 1.5 to 2 liters of urine a day," Stoller said. "If you live in sunny Atlanta, you may need to drink more than if you live in foggy San Francisco."

To make lemonade, Stoller, Nakada, and Kang recommend mixing 1/2 cup of concentrated lemon juice with 7 cups of water. A sugar substitute may be added to taste. Sugar should be avoided, as the extra calories in sugared lemonade are too much for most people's health.

Diet and Kidney Stones

But lemonade alone isn't the answer to kidney stones. It's only part of a stone-preventing diet.

"First, you should reduce the amount of salt in the diet," Stoller says. "Get rid of the salt shaker at the table. Use a potassium-based salt substitute. If you have a choice of two products, go to the one with less salt. Eat out less -- restaurant food is salty -- and never salt your food before tasting it."

Second on Stoller's stone-prevention diet is eating smaller portions of meat and fish at each meal.

"We are not saying to eat less meat, just eat less at individual meals," he says.

Third, increase fluid intake to where one is passing 1.5 to 2 liters of urine each day.

"Where does lemonade fit in? If you drink and enjoy lemonade, it gives you an additional benefit," Stoller says.

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