How long does it take for chicken to digest?

Chicken is one of the friendliest sources of protein. As a result, it is used in various recipes, from main meals to side dishes.

Whatever prompted you to search for: how long does it take for chicken to digest has led you to the right post. If you thought it would take weeks or months for chicken to digest, we’re sorry to burst your bubble.

However, several factors like how much chicken was eaten and how it was prepared significantly influence the question of how long does it take for chicken to digest? Let’s find out more.

How long does it take for chicken to digest?

It can take anything between 12 and 48 hours for chicken to fully digest after you eat it. However, certain conditions influence how fast the chicken will digest. Let’s talk about them.


The larger the quantity of chicken you eat, the longer it might take to digest.


Chicken that was marinated in papaya or yogurt paste digests faster and easier.

Health challenges

Health issues such as gastroparesis and autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, viral infection, etc., slow down the rate of digestion.

Specific medications

Medications like antidepressants, pramlintide, narcotic pain relievers, and anticholinergics slow down the rate at which chicken and food in general digests.  

Is chicken hard to digest?

Contrary to what you might think or may have been told, chicken is easily digested. Lean proteins, in general, don’t stress the digestive system, as they are easy to digest.

How long does it take to digest the protein from chicken?

Be it chicken or beef, protein can take up to 48 hours to digest completely.

Several factors (mentioned above) affect protein digestion; this is why there is no specific time frame for protein digestion.

Compared to carbs, proteins take longer to digest; there’s a simple explanation. Carbs begin to digest once they contact saliva in the mouth, while protein digestion starts when it comes into contact with the stomach’s gastric acid and proteases. So during digestion, carbs are usually several steps ahead of protein.

How long does chicken breast take to digest?

If you consider 12-48 hours quick, chicken breast digests quickly.

Chicken breast and other chicken parts often get broken down completely between 12 and 48 hours after eating. So if you’re meal-planning, be rest assured that those pieces of chicken breast you had today will be out of your system the next day.

How long does boneless chicken take to digest?

Boneless chicken takes 12 to 48 hours to digest fully.

Bone or no bone, cooked chicken should digest in 48 hours maximum.

If you feel that 48 hours is too long for chicken to digest, there are healthy ways you can fast track the chicken digestion and even make it easier. Read on to find out.

What aids digestion after eating chicken?

One of the most tasked body systems is the human digestive system. Your digestive system ensures that food is well-broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream or discarded. It wouldn’t hurt to help make its job easier sometimes. Here are some healthy ways you can do that:

Include probiotics in your meals

Probiotics are helpful bacteria that boost digestion. Kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and yogurt are some probiotic-rich foods you can take when you eat chicken.

Marinate the chicken before cooking

 This process is often overlooked. An excellent way to aid the digestion of the chicken is to marinate it in vinegar overnight. This way, the protein is already being broken down, so your digestive system will do little work breaking down the protein when it gets to your body.

Munch on some pineapple

It would help if you munched on some pineapple pieces before or during your chicken-based meal because pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that aids the breakdown of protein.

Eat some papaya

Papaya comes with papain, an enzyme known for breaking down and digesting protein.  

Take your time chewing

If you didn’t know, digestion starts with chewing. It is best to chew each bite of your food at least 32 times. The primary goal of chewing is to break down the food so it can change textures. The less you chew each bite of your chicken, the longer it’ll take to digest fully.

Five best drinks to improve chicken digestion.


Kombucha is a fermented tea with a flavor likened to Apple cider vinegar. Kombucha isn’t only rich in antioxidants; it contains an ample amount of lactic acid bacteria, a probiotic that helps with digestion.


Yogurt is the poster food/drink for improving gut health and aiding digestion. Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that promote better digestion.  


A fermented dairy product, kefir is home to many different probiotic bacteria. As a result, it is a well-known choice for better digestive health.

Ginger tea

Ginger tea contains gingerol. Gingerol speeds up how fast food continues down the digestive system. Ginger tea also facilitates the production of saliva, bile, and gastric acid needed to break down the food completely.

Ginger tea is excellent for improving digestion.

Fermented orange juice

Orange juice fermented with Kefir is a sweet and citrusy yet healthy way to get the needed probiotics to boost your digestive health.

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By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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