Can you drink chicken noodle soup before colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a common medical procedure used to examine the interior of the large intestine (colon and rectum). During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum. The colonoscope has a small camera at its tip which allows the doctor to view the inside of the colon on a monitor. Colonoscopies are performed for a variety of reasons, including as a screening test for colorectal cancer in people over 50, to evaluate gastrointestinal symptoms, or to monitor inflammatory bowel disease.

In the days leading up to a colonoscopy, patients are typically placed on a clear liquid diet and given a bowel prep solution to empty and cleanse the colon. This allows the doctor to have a clear view during the procedure. Many patients find the preparation unpleasant, as it involves dietary restrictions and taking laxatives. This leads many to wonder whether they can drink chicken noodle soup as part of the preparatory clear liquid diet.

Purpose of clear liquid diet before colonoscopy

The purpose of following a clear liquid diet before a colonoscopy is to clean out the colon by avoiding foods that can leave residue behind. Clear liquids do not have fiber or solid particles that could interfere with the procedure. Examples of clear liquids recommended before a colonoscopy include:

  • Water
  • Clear broth
  • Plain gelatin
  • Popsicles without fruit or cream
  • Coffee or tea without milk or creamer
  • Clear sodas and juices without pulp
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade

Following the clear liquid diet minimizes the amount of solid matter in the colon, allowing for excellent visualization and reducing the risk of complications. Strict adherence to the preparatory diet is important for a successful colonoscopy.

Is chicken noodle soup allowed before colonoscopy?

Standard homemade chicken noodle soup, or condensed canned soup, is not considered a clear liquid. Chicken noodle soup contains vegetables, chicken, and noodles which could leave residue in the colon. Most doctors and colonoscopy prep instructions do not recommend consuming chicken noodle soup before a colonoscopy.

However, some specific varieties of chicken noodle soup may be permissible:

– Chicken broth or bouillon without vegetables, noodles, or chunks of chicken is considered a clear liquid that is likely acceptable. The broth should be completely transparent without any particles.

– Some canned, condensed chicken noodle soups may be labeled as a clear liquid version. These are clarified and strained to remove all vegetable and noodle particles, leaving a clear chicken-flavored broth.

– Bone broth or strained chicken broth prepared at home could also be allowable if meticulously strained to remove sediment.

The critical factor is that the liquid is completely clear without any particles. Cloudy soups or those containing veggies, noodles or meat should be avoided. If in doubt, it’s best to avoid chicken noodle soups and stick to transparent clear liquids only.

Benefits of chicken broth before colonoscopy

Drinking clear chicken broth without solids before a colonoscopy may offer some benefits:

  • Provides fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration from preparatory laxatives
  • More palatable than plain water for drinking adequate amounts of liquid
  • Contains some nutrients like B vitamins and minerals
  • Plain, warm broth can be soothing

Consuming clear broth, especially home-made, can help meet fluid needs while providing comfort and nutrients during the dietary restrictions required before the procedure.

Is chicken noodle soup allowed after a colonoscopy?

Once the colonoscopy procedure is complete, there are no longer restrictions on what foods can be consumed. The gastrointestinal tract must recover from the bowel prep and colonoscopy itself, which can sometimes lead to temporary bloating or diarrhea after the procedure.

Chicken noodle soup can be part of a well-tolerated post-colonoscopy diet. The warm broth, protein from chicken, noodles, and salt can help replace fluids and electrolytes lost during the colon cleanse. The soup provides a soothing food option that is easy on the digestive system as it recovers.

Starting with small servings and increasing gradually is recommended. Some doctors suggest limiting high fiber foods temporarily after a colonoscopy if toleration is an issue. Overall, chicken noodle soup can be an excellent food to eat after having this procedure.

Tips for consuming chicken noodle soup before or after colonoscopy

Here are some tips to keep in mind regarding chicken noodle soup around the time of a colonoscopy:

  • In the days leading up to the colonoscopy, avoid soups containing any vegetables, noodles, grains or meat. Stick to plain, clear broth.
  • Look for cans of soup labeled as a clear liquid, or carefully prepare very strained homemade broth with no particles.
  • Focus on staying hydrated before the colonoscopy with approved clear liquids like water, diluted juices, or electrolyte drinks.
  • After the procedure is over, gradually reintroduce soups starting with smaller servings of broth-based soups.
  • Wait to have hearty soups with higher fiber ingredients until bowel movements have normalized.
  • Always follow your physician’s or colonoscopy prep instructions regarding dietary restrictions closely.

Consuming modified versions of chicken noodle soup at appropriate times can help provide hydration, nutrients and comfort around the colonoscopy procedure. Be sure to follow prep diet guidelines carefully beforehand to ensure the colon is adequately cleansed.

Sample recipes for modified chicken noodle soup before colonoscopy

To create compliant clear liquid chicken broth before a colonoscopy, start with a basic chicken stock and strain it thoroughly. Here are some recipes to try:

Microwave Chicken Broth


  • 1 pound chicken bones and/or chicken parts such as breast, thighs or wings
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place chicken bones and parts into a microwave-safe bowl. Add apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Microwave for 15 minutes, until boiling. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander to remove solids. Season with salt.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to consume. Reheat as needed.

Instant Pot Chicken Broth


  • Bones from 1 roasted chicken carcass
  • Chicken wings, legs or thighs (optional)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place all ingredients into Instant Pot.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour. Allow natural release.
  3. Carefully strain broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove any particles.
  4. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to consume.

Stovetop Chicken Broth


  • Bones from 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Place all ingredients into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, skimming off any foam.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Press vegetables to extract liquid.
  4. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to consume.

These recipes produce a clear, golden chicken broth without any particles. Let the broth cool so fat can be skimmed off the top if desired. Enjoy the strained homemade broth warm, or chilled as a substitute for water.

Common questions about chicken noodle soup before colonoscopy

Can I have Campbell’s chicken noodle soup before my colonoscopy?

No, standard canned Campbell’s chicken noodle soup is not allowed. It contains vegetables, noodles and chunks of chicken that could leave residue.

What about just having the broth from chicken noodle soup?

Homemade chicken broth carefully strained multiple times to remove all sediment may be permissible. It’s best to avoid canned soups labeled as “chicken noodle” and stick to plain, clear broth products.

Can I make chicken broth with vegetables and strain it?

It’s best avoid using any vegetables when making homemade chicken broth for a colonoscopy prep diet. Even when strained, some vegetable sediment may linger. Use only chicken and seasoning.

Is chicken bouillon or stock okay?

Yes, commercial chicken bouillon or stock without visible vegetable or noodle pieces should be fine. Make sure the liquid is completely transparent.

Can I put vermicelli noodles in my chicken broth?

No, noodles of any kind including vermicelli should be avoided on a colonoscopy clear liquid diet. Stick to plain, clear chicken broth.

What about chicken consommé?

Chicken consommé is clarified and usually contains no particles, so it would be acceptable. Make sure to check the label and ingredients first. Homemade consommé should be strained thoroughly.


In summary, traditional chicken noodle soup should be avoided before a colonoscopy due to the presence of solids and fiber that could interfere with the procedure. Some alternatives like clear broths and strained consommé may be permissible in moderation. After the colonoscopy is completed, a gentle chicken noodle soup can aid recovery. Be sure to follow all prep diet instructions from your physician and ask questions if anything is unclear. With the proper preparation, a colonoscopy procedure and recovery can go smoothly.

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