Benefits of Bone Broth

You may know that broth isn’t just for sipping when you’re feeling under the weather.

We all tend to lead busier, more active lifestyles these days and we have searched far and wide for the best ways to support optimal health, and as it turns out, the benefits of chicken soup can transcend the sniffles.

Specifically, bone broth, a nutrient-rich liquid that is the result of slow-cooking animal bones from 12-24 hours, it has properties that help to nourish and support the body.

Why should it be an important dietary staple in an athlete’s diet - what benefit does it bring?

Joint Health

Joints are put to the test in any training modality. Joint health declines with age, making joints more susceptible to injury. The reason for this decline is the slowing of collagen production as we age.

Drinking bone broth is one of the ways to bring collagen back into our bodies.

The slow-cooking process extracts collagen from the animal bones and joints into the broth, and makes it easy to absorb when consumed. The collagen in the broth can help supplement what has been lost, supporting healthy bones and stronger joints. Studies show that dietary collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes.

Glycosaminoglycans — ever heard of the supplement glucosamine?

If you’re over the age of 25 and played any kind of sport growing up, glucosamine is the supplement that’s been researched to help with joint pain — and it may be on your radar. But, this is just one of the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in bone broth.

Bone broth also contains chondroitin, which is a natural compound found in cartilage. Multiple studies have found that glucosamine and chondroitin can decrease joint pain and lessen the symptoms of osteoarthritis which are prone to those atheletes who have had knee surgeries - this is because these substances survive digestion and go straight to the joints, repairing the tissues around them and stimulating cells to create new collagen in joints, tendons, and ligaments, potentially providing some relief for those aching knees.

For me, broth beats supplemental glucosamine. It contains the full spectrum of nutrients needed to nourish the body, joints, tendons and ligaments and personally for me, I prefer that all nutients come naturally from food. Supplements are only required if the body requires extra support.

Broth made from grass-fed beef bones also contain omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which have been associated with helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation which may stem from stress, diet, illness, physical activity (although some inflammation is needed to aid with adaptation). Drinking broth on a regular basis may help to maintain specific nutrient levels and the free amino acid pool which can be tapped in to for protein synthesis or converted into carbohydrate for energy production.

Magnesium — this mineral needs its own post due to its importance and involvement in so many bodily functions. Among them are “guarding” the channels by which calcium enters the bones — meaning that if magnesium is not present in the body, calcium cannot be absorbed by the bones. Magnesium is also a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that regulate reactions in the body, including those required for muscle and nerve function, glycolysis and energy production.

Bone broth contains potassium, calcium, and phosphorus that can be easily absorbed, making it a great electrolyte drink to replenish what's lost after an event or used to prevent cramping. Would be a great drink to consume during the cold winter months after training or competition.

  • Bone broth is rich in the amino acids proline and glycine, both of which help with digestion and gut repair which can be damaged in high intensity training as well as muscle repair and growth. They also help with balancing the nervous system and strengthening the immune system.

  • Natural collagen leaches into the broth, which helps restore cartilage in joints. Remember, as we age, our collagen production decreases, so it doesn’t hurt to help the process.

  • Gelatin, which forms in the broth upon cooling (this is a good sign that your broth is high in nutrients) helps cushion between bones and provides building blocks to form and maintain strong bones.

In short, broth is really, really good for your gut health, overall health, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. Sounds like something an athlete would want in their diet?


Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to injury or infection. It often involves heat, redness, and pain. When exercising, minor tears and injuries can be caused in joints and tissue, which will eventually promote rebuilding for stronger muscles and increased performance; but it is possible to overdo it, causing longer recovery times.

Bone broth is high in anti-inflammatory substances which have been shown to help speed the recovery process and reduce inflammation; allowing muscles and joints to heal quicker, and enabling us to get back to doing what we love

Incorporating a bone broth infused soup as a post-workout meal addition may provide you with some great benefits.

To find out how to make bone broth, click the link here.

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