The Benefits of Bone Broth | The Paleo Diet®
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.

Try The Paleo Diet®!

Learn more. Get recipes & meal plans. See the science.

Nell’s Corner: Why bone broth is nature's best recovery drink

By Nell Stephenson, B.S.
September 11, 2020
Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com
Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

When you think of a sports recovery drink, what comes to mind?

Protein powder shakes, a DIY smoothie, or perhaps a ready-to-drink beverage you grabbed at the local health food shop? Many of us turn to prepared concoctions thinking they are a requisite part of the recovery process.

For example, in 2019, millennial consumers in the United States spent an average of $62.73 per trip to the store on supplements. (1) In the “greatest generation” age category, the average spend per trip on vitamins and supplements was even higher, upwards of $130 per trip.

These figures help illustrate a significant trend in people’s attitudes toward food: many people believe that the meals they are eating can’t satisfactorily replenish lost nutrients, particularly after exercise. Thus, they look to supplementary products to recover from their athletic endeavors.

However, if you’re someone who understands that food can truly serve as medicine, you already know the value in whole, nutritious, complete meals. Commercially prepared recovery drinks quickly become an afterthought.

Case in point: Wholesome, all-natural bone broth, an age-old drink made in many cultures around the world, can quite accurately be referred to as nature’s recovery drink. It is a rich source of anti-inflammatory glycine and proline, two amino acids that can help speed up the recovery process.

Homemade Beef Bone Broth Recipe
By Jennafer Ashley

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, nutrients that build cells, support muscles, and promote energy production. They are essential for post-workout recovery, but our bodies only naturally produce 11 of the 20 amino acids they need (2). As a result, we must consume the other nine through food.

When we take in these amino acids, we enhance our post-exercise recovery by increasing skeletal muscle growth and repair. They also help reduce muscle proteolysis (the breakdown of muscle tissue). These amino acids help to reduce post-exercise inflammation and oxidative stress – meaning that you’re less likely to feel sore later. (3)

Bone broth is a great source of gelatin, which breaks down into collagen in the body and works to support the joints. Cartilage in the joints tends to wear down or shrink with continual use. This can add more stress to the joints, which may become damaged as a result of the added pressure. (4) Collagen can help prevent this deterioration.

Where to find bone broth

This brings up the question of how and where to find the best bone broth, one that has been made from mindfully sourced ingredients and in a sustainable manner. The easiest thing to do, of course, is to make it yourself.

While it takes an average of 24 hours to make, the process is not complicated.

Here’s a simple recipe I’ve created outlining a method you can prepare at home, in your oven, without needing any special equipment or ingredients, using leftover bones you’ve saved in your freezer.

Now, onto the fun part: how to drink it.

How to consumer bone broth

While the old standby of heating your broth on the stove top and drinking it out of a mug is a perfectly fine way to consume your daily dose, you can also use it as the liquid base of a recovery smoothie.

If you’ve done a longer endurance activity, you can start with this recipe for a Blueberry Smoothie using bone broth, and then simply add some strategic carbs from healthier natural sources like fruit, such as a ripe and spotty banana. Or try this Avocado Coconut Bone Broth Frappe.

Bone broth is a wonderful way to nourish our bodies after a workout, and provide our guts with a healthy, anti-inflammatory boost at the same time. It might seem a bit strange at first, but give it a try—and see if you notice a difference in how your body feels the next day.

Pomegranate Raspberry Recovery Gummies
By Jennafer Ashley

References

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1086289/us-consumers-vitamins-and-supplements-spend-by-generation/
  2. https://www.nonalim.com/blogs/news/bone-broth-benefits
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323903
  4. Nicastro H, da Luz CR, Chaves DFS, Bechara LRG, Voltarelli VA, Rogero MM et al. Does branched-chain amino acids supplementation modulate skeletal muscle remodeling through inflammation modulation? Possible mechanisms of action. J Nutr Metab. 2012;2012:1-10.

Even More Articles For You

The Gluten-Free Trend and its Implications for Paleo?
Not all gluten-free diets are equal. Find out what the media says about going gluten-free and how to ensure you get plenty of nutrients while doing so.
By Christopher Clark
1400-Year-Old Bread: Exciting Discovery, But is it Game Changing?
Does the discovery of 14,000-year-old bread have any implications for The Paleo Diet?
By Trevor Connor, M.S.
Offal – Not So Awful: Organ Meats and The Paleo Diet
Organ meats, or offal, carry a unique flavor profile that may take some time for your taste buds to appreciate, but are extremely nutrient-dense.
By Stephanie Vuolo
Paleo Leadership
 
Trevor Connor
Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

Mark J Smith
Dr. Mark J. Smith

One of the original members of the Paleo movement, Mark J. Smith, Ph.D., has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the benefits of Paleo nutrition.

Nell Stephenson
Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.