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The Secret Recovery Weapon of Pro Athletes

Bone broth - overhyped trend or secret recovery weapon? Get-Fit Guy examines the latest fitness fad to see if it's worth your while.

By
Ben Greenfield,

During the NFL Playoffs last weekend, I noticed that the Indianapolis Colts were serving their players chicken broth on the sidelines. Then I read this article on Yahoo Sports, in which LA Lakers trainer Tim DiFrancesco says "Everybody is looking for a magical elixir or some cure-all, but bone broth is where it's at."

If you haven't yet heard about the bone broth trend, check out Nutrition Diva's recent episode called Trend Alert: What's the Deal With Bone Broth? It has most of what you need to know about bone broth. I also have a thorough podcast entitled How to Reverse Aging With Bone Broth, Race an Ironman With Bone Broth, and the Best Bone Broth Recipes.

You will notice that the Nutrition Diva makes this unequivocal statement about the bone broth trend: “Bone broth's reputation as a magical health elixir seems to be based almost entirely on anecdotal reports and just good old-fashioned hype and exaggeration.”

Although I agree with the Nutrition Diva on most points, I do think that gelatin is an important component of bone broth that does indeed have good research behind it, which you can read about here.

But the problem is that much bone broth does not contain adequate amounts of gelatin, so if you are going to use bone broth as a recovery drink and you want any of the research-proven benefits of the gelatin/collagen components, then you’ll want to make your own broth using joint bones, which are the more cartilage-rich parts. These include chicken feet, wings, and necks, as well as cow knuckles and ox tails.

Sounds fun, eh?

So how do I personally use bone broth in my daily regimen? Here are a few of my favorite uses:

  1. I’ll often use bone broth instead of almond milk, coconut milk, or water in my morning smoothie.

  2. I have a cup of cold or warm bone broth in the mid-morning as an alternative to tea or kombucha.

  3. I’ll finish up a workout with a mug of bone broth as an alternative to a protein shake.

  4. I use bone broth as a tasty addition to risotto.

When cooking bone broth, I let the bones simmer extra long. Then, once I'm done sipping, I will actually chomp on the bones and the bone marrow, which is an amazing nutrition source for my connective tissue, bones, and joints!

Making your own bone broth is incredibly simple (storebought versions are notoriously full of preservatives and MSG). Check out one of my favorite recipes here.

Finally, in case you’re in the New York City area, you should know that bone broth has recently become a staple of some New York restaurants!

What do you think? Have you used bone broth as a recovery weapon? Do you have questions about it? Head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and join the conversation there!

About the Author

Ben Greenfield
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