Understanding Why Beyond Burgers May Cause Diarrhea


No, you’re probably not just imagining it.

While it’s far from everyone, a significant portion of people who consume Beyond Burgers experience side effects causing stomach issues, such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea.

There are a few ingredients in Beyond Burgers that have well established scientific evidence showing that they can cause these very side effects.

Beyond Burger Ingredients

beyond burgers

Take a look at the ingredients list (I removed the vitamins and coloring ingredients):

Water, pea protein*, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein, natural flavors, dried yeast, cocoa butter, methylcellulose, and less than 1% of potato starch, salt, potassium chloride, pomegranate concentrate, sunflower lecithin, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate

While it’s possible that pea protein isolate could give someone stomach trouble if they’re not used to it, it’s not that likely. You’ll find pea protein and rice protein in most vegan protein powders, so you can always try a few shakes if you’d like to test it.

Realistically, there are only 2 types of ingredients that are known to cause digestive side effects: the oil, and the methyl cellulose.

Methyl Cellulose is Used As a Laxative

If you take a look at research on methyl cellulose, you’ll see that it has long been used as not only a thickener in food, but also a bulk-forming laxative (source). 

As little as 1 gram of methyl cellulose can be an effective laxative.

To test this, you could try a different plant-based burger that still has a lot of fat, but doesn’t have this ingredient.

Beyond Burgers Have a LOT of Fat

If you’ve ever cooked one on a frying pan, this shouldn’t be a surprise. You don’t need to add any oil yourself because quite a bit comes out of the burgers themselves.

Oil in small amounts is fine, but a common side effect of eating a lot of fat in a short amount of time is known to cause stomach problems (unless you’re on a diet like keto and are used to it), and possibly even diarrhea.

beyond burger nutrition

The Beyond Burger has 18 grams of fat per burger, which is quite a bit (although not that much more than meat patties).

Even just one burger might give you stomach issues if you typically don’t eat too much fat (I really wouldn’t recommend adding any mayo to it as well).

If you only have issues after eating multiple Beyond Burgers, try limiting how much you have next time and see if you feel better.

Summary and Conclusion

As we went over, stomach issues related to eating Beyond Burgers are usually related to:

  • A reaction to methyl cellulose, which can have a laxative effect
  • A reaction to eating too much fat at once

These will vary widely from person to person, which is why only some people have stomach issues after eating Beyond Meat.

One final thought I’ll throw out is that your stomach pain could also be related to eating expired Beyond Burgers, or undercooking Beyond Burgers, although I think it’s pretty unlikely. If you’re having trouble cooking them on a stove or grill, try cooking your Beyond Burgers in the oven.


Which cooking method is best for Beyond Burgers if I have stomach issues?

If you have stomach issues after eating Beyond Burgers, the high quantity of oil is a likely cause, and can be reduced by choosing the right cooking method. Cooking them in the oven on a draining rack can allow excess oil to drip away.

What is a good portion size for Beyond Burgers?

If you refer to the packaging itself, you’ll see that 1 patty is the recommended serving. You should start by eating a single patty and observe if you have stomach problems in the next few hours. If you don’t, you may be able to tolerate more than 1 serving at a time.

How else can I reduce stomach issues from Beyond Meat?

If you’re new to eating Beyond Meat, it’s possible that you simply introduced it too quickly to your diet. Like all new foods, introducing it slowly in small amounts gives your body the best chance to adapt to processing it without issues.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.


  • Thank you for this info. It explains why I wound up with severe bloat, painful stomach cramps and diarrhea within a few hours of eating a Beyond Burger. I bought a packet as my husband is an enthusiast of them. I was surprised at all of the fat in the pan while cooking. The burger tasted good, but the fat clearly overloaded my system. The cramps felt like labor pains and lasted for a couple of hours. I stopped eating meat more than six years ago – I remember I couldn’t digest a beef burger either.

  • I fixed the burgers for dinner and really liked them. My husband was fine, but I got quite sick with diarrhea and vomiting. I was totally emptied out. It was a terrible experience, and I am afraid to try them again.
    Your point about the grease may be correct.

    • That’s the first I’ve heard about vomiting.

      Honestly if they can do that to you, avoiding them seems pretty reasonable (they’re not that amazing). You could try a few of the other plant-based burgers instead (maybe smaller portion to start).

  • Any experience with headaches after eating them? I don’t get any stomach symptoms just a bad headache. I’ve had them several times and it happened every time. I’d love to know what ingredient is causing it!

  • Thank you for this post! I end up with a bad stomach every time I this burger, but some times are worse than others and I wonder why. I always get a really bad case of diarrhea within one hour of eating it, but usually I am fine after one go. I have tried the burger so many times now so I know it is not due to undercooking – Even if I prepare it way too long, this happens. Would be Interesting to see what the producers say about it? Why make a burger that is hausing so many people to feel ill

    • That’s unfortunate Helene.

      The reality is that only a small number of people have issues with it, but of course they will be more vocal online.

  • I was very excited when the Beyond and Impossible burgers appeared. I discovered that the Impossible Burger gave me stomach issues but the Beyond Burger did not. Perhaps it’s the heme in the Impossible Burger. But the Beyond Burger worked well for me. A footnote: I’ve been suffering from IBS for decades, perhaps my whole life and certain foods really set it off – particularly beans and to a lesser extend heavy gluten like seitan. All of a sudden within the past year, the Beyond Burger also started bothering me. Turns out they added mung beans which are a known IBS trigger. Thank goodness I’ve now read that they are removing mung beans from their new 2021 formulation. I can’t wait to try the newest recipe to see if I can stomach them.

  • I’ve also experienced headaches, indigestion, and ringing in the ears after eating Beyond Burgers. Tried cooking them ‘well done’, not adding extras, (bread, cheese, etc.) and that seemed to reduce the symptoms a little.

  • My daughter and I are both having severe abdominal bloating, gas and loose stools after eating Beyond burger, or Impossible burger meat, we made on stove and cooked in over for 30 minutes. Never again is all I can say. It is not worth it, I assume it is the methyl cellulose causing the reaction. Frustrating though. thanks for your posts and others comments. Will stick with the vegan veggie burgers, they are more me and I like their taste better, less like meat lol!
    Take care!