Lemonade, Limeade and Other Fruit Juices

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

The juices of citrus fruits are rich in citric acid. When consumed in high amounts, citric acid is excreted in the urine as citrate. Citrate inhibits the growth of calcium kidney stones by complexing with calcium and making it unavailable to bind with oxalate or phosphate to form stones.
 
There may be other ways by which citrate works to prevent stones as well. Depending on your 24-hour urinary excretion of citrate, you may be advised to drink up to 32 ounces per day of a low-sugar, low-calorie lemonade, limeade, or other fruit juice rich in citric acid.
 
It is important to drink low-calorie versions of these fruit juices in order to avoid excessive carbohydrate intake that may increase your risk for hypercalciuria. It is thought that the excretion of 600 mg or more of citrate in the urine in a 24-hour period is enough to help prevent kidney stones.