Does Beef Jerky Make You Poop or Constipate You? (Explained)

While it is generally agreed that beef jerky is one of the healthiest snacks you can choose, it is still just a snack and not something you should be eating all the time. 

Firstly, jerky is a type of processed meat, and there are numerous health risks associated with eating that often. Secondly, jerky’s also really high in sodium content, which isn’t good for you either.

Simply put, snacking on jerky is definitely better than eating a bag of chips, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any downsides at all. For example, have you ever thought about how jerky affects your digestive system?

So Does Beef Jerky Make You Poop or Constipate You? Since beef jerky is made from red meat, it has the potential of making you constipated.

But beef jerky obviously isn’t just another red meat product, and this answer, therefore, isn’t precise. So what exactly is it with jerky and your poop? Let’s find out!

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Is beef jerky bad for your colon?

But before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at how beef jerky affects your colon first. All though beef jerky doesn’t hurt it in any serious way, it still isn’t the best for your colon. 

That’s because it’s processed meat, and evidence suggests that eating as low as 50 grams of it daily increases your risk for colon cancer by nearly 20 %. And 50 grams of processed meat isn’t much more than three or four big pieces of jerky!

However, there still aren’t many people who would eat that much of it. So if you just want to snack on some jerky now and then, there’s no need to worry about your colon.

Does beef jerky make you poop?

No, beef jerky doesn’t make you poop. Quite the contrary, like any other red meat, it has a serious potential to constipate you. That’s even more likely to happen because of the jerky’s high sodium content.

Does beef jerky make your poop red?

Since beef is, like we’ve already said a thousand times, one of the kinds of meat that we refer to as “red meat,” it may seem reasonable that eating beef jerky makes your poop red. 

However, as far as we know, the beef itself doesn’t make your poop red. But that doesn’t mean jerky cannot.

All though there is no evidence for that claim, it indeed is theoretically possible that your poop is red from the jerky, or more precisely, the marinade used while making it.

With that in mind, there’s most likely some other reason for your poop being red. And since a lot of them may indicate serious health problems, we recommend you to get in touch with your doctor.

Can beef jerky give you diarrhea?

We’ve mentioned above that, if anything, beef jerky has the potential to make you constipated. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it can’t give you diarrhea in some cases. So let’s take a look.

Why does beef jerky give me diarrhea?

Beef jerky can give you diarrhea as a result of food poisoning. That means you don’t need to worry about having diarrhea from snacking on some jerky as long as you make sure that it was prepared correctly and that it hasn’t gone rancid yet.

Can too much beef jerky cause constipation?

Yes, too much beef jerky definitely can make you constipated! Why, are you wondering? Well, that’s simple – beef jerky contains a lot of fat and iron, just like any other product made from red meat.

Those two nutrients are one of the leading causes of constipation, and there’s also the fact that jerky contains nearly no fiber, a nutrient that, on the other hand, helps your stool to get out of your body.

Therefore, if you overeat jerky and basically nothing besides it, it is nearly sure that you will be constipated. 

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How long does beef jerky take to digest?

Beef (or any other meat and fish for that matter) can take up to two days to digest thoroughly.

Since digesting processed meat is an even more demanding task for your body, it can take as long as three days to digest your beef jerky fully.

Why does beef jerky make my stomach hurt?

Ïf jerky makes your stomach hurt, it is most likely because you ate far too much of it – since beef is one of the hardest things to digest for your body, eating tons of jerky in a short time may make you bloat.

It’s also definitely possible that jerky simply doesn’t make your body feel good in general, though, so if you’re experiencing stomach pain regularly after eating it, you should think about giving the jerky up.

Yes, we know it’s hard, but what’s more important than your health, right?

Can you live off beef jerky?

This answer probably isn’t going to surprise you – no, you can’t live off beef jerky. Well, to be fair, you could hypothetically survive a few weeks or even months just on beef jerky, but it isn’t sustainable forever.

Firstly, you would need to eat enormous amounts of jerky just to meet your calorie intake, and as we’ve mentioned numerous times, that is associated with tons of health risks.

Secondly, beef jerky simply doesn’t contain all of the nutrients your body needs, so not eating anything besides it will result in a deficiency disease after a while.


Beef jerky is a snack that you shouldn’t be overeating because it is processed meat with high sodium content, and those two things are no good to your body.

Eating too much jerky is also probably going to make you constipated. That’s because jerky contains a lot of iron and fat, two of the main reasons people are constipated.

On the other hand, you can also be having diarrhea after eating your jerky. How is it possible? Well, just like with any other meat, eating not properly prepared jerky (or jerky that has gone rancid) will result in food poisoning, and diarrhea may be one symptom of it.

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Image credits – Canva

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