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Home/Blog/Best Bone Broth Sources, Powders & Supplements

Best Bone Broth Sources, Powders & Supplements

By Rachael Link, RD

November 17, 2022

Although bone broth has been enjoyed for centuries for its health-promoting properties, it has only recently started showing up across cafes, coffee shops and health stores, often promoted as sipping bone broths.

So what is bone broth exactly? Made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals such as cattle, fish or chicken, bone broth is a power-packed food typically high in collagen, providing an array of amino acids and important minerals.

But while traditional bone broth requires hours upon hours of preparation, bone broth protein supplements have also become widely available in recent years, making it easier than ever to reap the rewards of bone broth anytime. Adding bone broth powder to your routine is a great way to support healthy skin and joints while also bumping up your intake of protein.

However, not all bone broth is created equal. Some are pumped full of fillers, preservatives and undesirable ingredients. Here’s what you need to know when making bone broth at home or selecting the right supplement for you.

Best Bone Broth Sources

When it comes to picking the best bone broth, it’s incredibly important to consider where it’s sourced from.

Bone broth is typically made from the bones of either chicken, fish or beef, each of which comes with its own unique flavor and set of benefits. So what are the best bones for bone broth?

Compared to chicken bones, cattle bones are much more dense and tend to supply a richer, more hearty flavor to bone broth. Chicken bones, on the other hand, are a bit lighter and the broth from them is easier to digest and faster to prepare. Fish can also be used to make bone broth, which tends to have a lighter and milder flavor because the bones are typically much smaller.

When it comes to bone broth nutrition, beef bone broth typically features two types of collagen (types 2 and 3) and is often higher in collagen and many key minerals whereas chicken bone broth typically features type 2 collagen (as well as chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid) and often contains more protein per serving. Meanwhile, fish bone broth offers fats, along with minerals like iodine and calcium.

You can easily make your own bone broth at home and try combining chicken, beef or fish bones to take advantage of the unique benefits that each has to offer. Although you can use pretty much any type of bone, meaty bones like oxtail and shank are often considered the best bones for bone broth because they bring a delicious flavor to the broth. You can also use the whole carcass of the chicken to make bone broth, including the feet, which are a great natural source of gelatin.

Although many of the best bone broth recipes feature chicken or beef, you can actually make bone broth using nearly any type of animal. In fact, turkey, duck, bison and rabbit can all be used to prepare bone broth instead. However, these forms are usually less widely available than chicken or beef, have not been studied as extensively, and can be more difficult to prepare in some cases.

Best Bone Broth Supplements

Selecting a bone broth supplement is a quick and convenient option when you’re running low on time but still want bone broth and its benefits. In fact, bone broth is available in powder, liquid and even capsule form, making it easy to find something that will work for you.

When looking for the best bone broth powder, our Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein supplements are at the top of the list because of the bone broth sources are non-GMO, pasture-raised and grass-fed, hormone-free, cage-free and cruelty-free. They're also low in sodium, and free of additives, fillers and chemicals.

When purchasing bone broth, it’s important to check the bone broth nutrition facts and ingredients label carefully and look for products free of fillers, additives and artificial sweeteners as well as without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Instead, products should contain bone broth protein concentrate, derived from either chicken or beef.

The flavor is another important factor to consider when picking the best bone broth powder. Our Bone Broth Protein Pure, for example, has a savory flavor that works well paired with a bit of salt and pepper in soups and broths. Meanwhile, Chocolate or Vanilla may be a better choice for smoothies, shakes and baked goods.

Recently, we've also introduced new savory sipping broth Bone Broth Protein powders that are made from real beef bone broth and chicken bone broth. Our newest sipping broth flavors include: Butternut Squash, Tomato Basil and Chicken Soup.

Related: The Difference Between Bone Broth and Collagen

Benefits of Bone Broth

Why consider a bone broth supplement? Our chicken–based Bone Broth Protein formulas are 3x as potent as homemade broth, making it simple to support a healthy gut, joints and response to inflammation.

You’ll find 18 amino acids in every serving of Bone Broth Protein. Amino acids are involved in almost every biological process and aid in normal muscle growth, hormone production, healthy cognitive function, appetite control and more.

The type II collagen helps to build and promote healthy connective tissues, acting as the “glue” that holds the body together. Meanwhile, our chicken-based Bone Broth Protein provides glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, all of which help support your joints and cartilage in moving smoothly and absorbing shock. These compounds are hard to find in many protein sources, making Bone Broth Protein a valuable tool for supporting healthy aging and more.

Here are some other bone broth benefits:

  • Supports joint health and mobility.

  • Supports gut health and a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Supports a healthy inflammation response and an overall healthy immune system.

  • Supports healthy skin, thanks to collagen’s ability to promote skin elasticity

  • Supports an overall healthy metabolism.

  • Can help promote satiety.

What to Watch Out For (and Avoid)

When buying bone broth protein, steer clear of products that contain lots of food additives and fillers, such as vegetable broth or stock. Instead, check the ingredients label for bone broth protein concentrate, which can ensure that you’re getting the best bone broth quality possible.

Some products may also contain potentially harmful ingredients hidden under different names, such as yeast extract, also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Although MSG is often used to enhance the flavor of foods, it has been linked to several undesirable effects on health and may also cause certain side effects in some people.

Maltodextrin is another common ingredient that you may want to avoid. Maltodextrin is a food thickener and preservative used to extend the shelf life and improve the texture of many products. Even though it’s made from foods like rice, corn or potatoes, it’s also highly processed and has a high glycemic index, meaning that it may affect blood sugar levels quickly.

For those following a low-sodium diet, it’s important to check the nutrition label carefully. Many products contain high amounts of sodium and can put you over your daily limit with just a serving or two.

How to Use

Once you’ve found the best bone broth to drink, enjoying a soothing cup of bone broth can be a delicious and nutritious way to start your morning. There are plenty of other ways to add bone broth to your daily routine, from soups to smoothies, desserts and beyond.

Try swapping bone broth in for stock, water or broth in recipes like chilis, soups or stews. Chocolate or vanilla bone broth powders can also help ramp up the protein content of oatmeal or baked goods like pancakes and dessert bars.

Bone broth can be enjoyed at any time of day, depending on your personal preferences. It can also be consumed before or after working out for an extra boost of protein. (Learn about a bone broth diet for an easy-to-follow cleanse.)

Final Thoughts

  • There are several different factors to consider when buying or preparing bone broth.

  • In addition to selecting the source of your bone broth, picking the best bones for bone broth is also important.

  • Although chicken, cattle and fish bones are among the most popular choices, you can use the bones and connective tissues of other types of animals as well.

  • Bone broth protein supplements are also available and can be a quick and convenient alternative to homemade bone broth.

  • Bone broth is also easy to use and can be added to soups, smoothies, desserts and more.

Rachael Link, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at the University of Central Missouri and later received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Rachael is passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys providing easy-to-understand information to readers looking to support their health.

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