Bad Habits That May Be Damaging Your Kidneys

A lack of physical activity, bad habits like smoking or drinking, and not getting enough sleep can have real repercussions on your kidneys and overall health.

Your kidneys are actually a very important part of your body. They are in charge of cleaning toxins in your blood and regulating the balance of salt and water in your body.

They also produce red blood cells, balance your blood pressure, and prevent infection.

Below, we’ll tell you which bad habits you may have that are harming your kidneys and keeping them from doing their job like they should.

What habits harm my kidneys?

Your kidneys perform some very important jobs. If they get sick, your overall health will feel it.

Oftentimes, we don’t realize that certain things we do are putting them in danger. That’s why we’ll tell you what daily actions are bad for these organs:

1. Smoking

Cigarettes contain a very large amount of harmful substances. While we usually just think about our lungs, it’s much more than that.

Toxins travel through your body through your blood. When they get to your kidneys, they have to work overtime to remove what’s hurting you.

Of course, they can’t get rid of 100% of the toxins: particles get deposited in them, thus weakening them.

2. Drinking

In this case, the process is similar to what happens with smoking. However, alcohol affects your liver and kidneys in equal proportions.

Renal function worsens when your body continually receives high amounts of toxic or harmful substances.

3. Not sleeping enough

Overnight, your muscles, cells, and organs are revitalized and recuperate from all the work they do during the day.

If you don’t sleep enough (7 to 9 continuous hours), the recuperation process won’t be enough.


Think about how you feel in the morning when you go to work after not sleeping well… The same thing happens to your kidneys.

4. Waiting to empty your bladder

Holding it in too long when you have to go to the bathroom is very bad for your health, both for your kidneys and for your urinary tract and bladder.

This can lead to incontinence or kidney failure. Don’t wait until you can’t any longer. Go as much as you need to.

5. Drinking a lot of coffee

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in today’s society. While it may be beneficial when consumed in moderation, the problem comes when there is too much caffeine in your system.

Remember that coffee dehydrates you and makes your kidneys work extra. This additional work can be very harmful.

Also keep in mind that soda (especially cola), contains high amounts of caffeine and has the same effect as coffee.

6. Having a sedentary lifestyle

Having a lifestyle that is too sedentary interferes with how your organs function.

Spending hours sitting in front of the computer at work or the TV at home keeps your blood from circulating like it should, leading to an accumulation of fluid in your lower extremities.

Those are two areas that the kidneys happen to be in charge of — but can’t manage when you live a sedentary lifestyle.

7. Consuming a lot of salt

In excess, sodium is not good for your kidneys. These organs regulate the metabolism of salt in water, and if there is too much of the former, they can’t do their job well.

  • For an adult, daily salt consumption should not exceed 5 grams (half a tablespoon).

It is essential to pay attention to this, since most processed food today contains a lot of sodium.

We also recommend not eating foods with high amounts of potassium, because it cannot be completely removed by your kidneys and builds up in your blood.

8. Not consuming B6

This nutrient is fundamental for proper kidney function. Overall, you should eat foods with vitamin B6 every day. You can find it in:

  • Potatoes
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Fruit (except citrus fruits)

9. Eating a lot of protein

Unlike fat, protein does not accumulate in your body. Therefore, any excess must be eliminated through your urine or stool.

  • In the first case, your kidneys are the ones responsible for doing the elimination.
  • When there is a lot of protein in your body, you have a higher tendency to get kidney stones.

10. Not drinking water

“8 glasses of water a day” isn’t a gimmick or PR campaign.

It’s the amount of fluid your body needs to replace what you lose every day through sweat, urine, and other metabolic processes.

In addition, when you drink water, you’re helping your kidneys clean your blood while removing toxins and impurities.

11. Eating an unbalanced diet

You can now find all kinds of weight loss plans and miracle diets promising results in just a few days.

However, they can be harmful for your health in general, and your kidneys in particular.

When these organs don’t get enough fat (which is indeed necessary, despite popular opinion), your blood is filtered with an altered equilibrium and your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs.