Is Beef Broth Considered a Clear Liquid? A Guide to Pre-Procedure Diets

As someone who has had several medical procedures requiring fasting and a pre-op clear liquid diet, I’m very familiar with trying to find foods and beverages that meet the strict guidelines. One question that often arises is whether beef broth can be part of a clear liquid diet or not.

In this article, I’ll cover the purpose of clear liquid diets, explain what is considered a clear liquid, and specifically address whether beef broth makes the cut. I’ll also provide a handy clear liquid diet food list, sample menu, and some helpful substitution ideas.

What is a Clear Liquid Diet?

A clear liquid diet involves consuming only liquids that are transparent and easy to digest leading up to certain medical procedures or tests

Some key points about clear liquid diets

  • Used before procedures like colonoscopies, endoscopies, surgeries requiring anesthesia, etc.

  • Allows the GI tract to rest and stay free of solid food particles

  • Maintains hydration and provides calories from liquids.

  • Typically advised to follow for a limited time like 24-48 hours pre-procedure.

  • Foods permitted include clear juices, broths, gelatin, popsicles, coffee/tea, sports drinks, etc.

The goal is to keep your digestive system empty while still getting essential fluids and electrolytes. Now let’s look at what qualifies as a clear liquid.

What Qualifies as a Clear Liquid?

Clear liquids are defined as any fluid you can see through that leaves no food residue in your digestive tract. Some examples include:

  • Water – Still or sparkling

  • Fruit juices – Apple, white grape, lemonade without pulp

  • Vegetable juices – Carrot, tomato, V-8 without pulp

  • Clear sodas – Sprite, ginger ale, seltzer water

  • Coffee and tea – Without milk, cream or nondairy creamer

  • Clear sports drinks – Gatorade, Powerade, Vitaminwater

  • Flavored waters – Without cloudy additives

  • Clear nutritive drinks – Ensure Clear, Boost Breeze

  • Broths – Chicken, beef, vegetable

  • Ice pops – Flavored ice, Italian ice, popsicles without fruit pieces

  • Gelatin – Jello without added fruit or toppings

  • Honey, sugar, clear hard candies

The key is that liquids must be completely transparent, without any particles or pulp. Opaque liquids like milk, cream, or orange juice with pulp are too thick to qualify.

Is Beef Broth a Clear Liquid?

Yes, plain beef broth counts as a clear liquid when following a pre-procedure diet.

Beef broth is made by simmering beef bones and connective tissue in water to extract flavor, collagen, and nutrients. The resulting translucent, amber-colored liquid is strained to remove any solids.

Provided no vegetables, grains, pasta or other particles are added, the resulting straight beef broth is considered a clear liquid. It is thin and watery in consistency, transparent, and leaves no residue as it passes through your GI tract.

Some tips for picking a compliant beef broth:

  • Choose plain, regular broth, not condensed.

  • Avoid broths with veggies or meat chunks.

  • Check for cloudiness – it should be crystal clear.

  • Low-sodium is ideal to limit excess fluids.

  • Make your own following clear liquid diet guidelines.

As long as you stick to plain, somewhat diluted beef broth, it can definitely be consumed as part of a pre-procedure clear liquid diet.

Sample Clear Liquid Diet Menu

To give you an idea of what kinds of foods and beverages you can enjoy on a clear liquid diet, here is a sample 1-day menu:


  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 1 cup black coffee

  • 1 cup beef broth


  • 1 cup ginger ale

  • 1 cup lemon-lime gelatin


  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 cup sprite

  • 1 cup white grape juice

  • 1 orange popsicle


  • 1 cup sparkling water with lime

  • 1 cup berry gelatin

  • 1 cup clear fruit punch Gatorade


  • 1 cup tomato juice

  • 1 cup carrot juice

  • 1 cup green tea

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 cup lemon Italian ice

This provides variety and sufficient hydration entirely from permissible clear liquids. Beef broth can make an appearance at meals to provide warmth, protein, and neutrophil nutrients.

Clear Liquid Substitutes and Ideas

If you find the clear liquid diet monotonous, here are some ideas to liven it up:

  • Add a squirt of lemon or lime juice to water, tea or broth for flavor.

  • Freeze 100% juice in ice pop molds for homemade pops.

  • Stir a tablespoon of honey into warm broth or herbal tea.

  • Blend allowed juices and gelatin together to make slushies.

  • Pickle some raw ginger to make ginger tea more spicy and flavorful.

  • For creaminess, whisk unflavored gelatin into cold juices or soft drinks.

  • Use salt, herbs, spices and extract flavors to add taste to broths.

  • Try bone broth for more nutrients and protein compared to regular broth.

Just be sure to keep liquids clear and avoid anything that can clog up your digestive tract before a procedure. Get creative within the guidelines to stay satisfied on this restrictive temporary diet.

Benefits of Consuming Beef Broth

In addition to keeping you hydrated, beef broth offers other bonuses during a clear liquid diet:

  • Protein – Provides more protein compared to juices or plain water for energy.

  • Collagen – Contains glycine, proline and other amino acids for gut and skin health.

  • Electrolytes – Includes minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

  • Anti-inflammatory -Contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine to reduce inflammation.

  • Immune support – Supplies zinc, selenium and B vitamins to support immunity.

  • Joint health – Provides collagen, gelatin and hyaluronic acid for joint flexibility.

Drinking some nourishing beef broth can provide health advantages beyond just fluid intake when preparing for medical procedures.

What About Cream-Based Broths & Soups?

Cream-based soups and broths like cream of mushroom soup or chicken and rice soup are not part of the clear liquid diet. Why?

  • Dairy products like cream, milk and sour cream are opaque, not clear.

  • Chunky ingredients like mushrooms, veggies, rice, pasta, etc make liquids cloudy.

  • Thick, creamy textures leave residue in the GI tract.

  • Many cream-based soups have a chowder-like consistency rather than a thin, translucent one.

Stick to plain, clear broths without any creamy additions or pieces of solids when following a liquid diet. Cream soups and chowders fail the clear test.

The Takeaway on Beef Broth and Clear Liquid Diets

To summarize, plain beef broth without any added solids is considered a clear liquid that is perfectly acceptable to consume leading up to a scheduled procedure requiring bowel prep.

Other clear fluids like juices, sodas, popsicles, and tea can also be incorporated to add variety. Just be sure to stick to transparent liquids and avoid anything with pulp, fat, or thickness.

Drinking nourishing fluids like beef broth before a colonoscopy, surgery or other medical procedure helps maintain hydration while keeping your GI tract empty. Check with your doctor for the exact liquids recommended for your specific situation.



Is beef broth a clear liquid for colonoscopy?

Clear chicken broth, beef broth or consommé Do not drink anything red, blue or purple. Absolutely no dairy products. Absolutely no juices with pulp.

Is beef broth a clear soup?

What is a clear liquid diet? These include water, broth, some juices without pulp, and plain gelatin. They may be colored, but they count as clear liquids if you can see through them.

What broth is good for a clear liquid diet?

Try bone broth or an Ensure Clear nutrition drink. Decaffeinated drinks also have been proven to decrease hunger pangs.

Is beef broth OK for liquid diet?

Also, be aware that some brands of chicken stock, beef stock, or bone broth have small amounts of solids and/or fat, so avoid these and stick to bouillon cubes or strained, clear broth.

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