Author: Stephanie Lodge of The Athlete’s Kitchen
Bone broth could be considered somewhat of a hidden treasure due to its amazing healthy benefits, yet it seems to be underestimated in mainstream media.
Bone broth is not only jam-packed with key nutrients but it’s a convenient meal to have on hand as well.
Wonder why you want chicken soup when you’re feeling under the weather? Your body is craving those nutrients from the broth.
So, what exactly is bone broth?
Bone broth can come from chicken, beef, lamb, fish and more. It is how our ancestors got absolutely all of the nutrients from the animal that they weren’t able to eat directly. The bones, marrows, ligaments, tendons, skin and even feet can be boiled to a simmer over a period of time. This process causes the different bones to release different healing compounds. These compounds include collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine.
Bone broth provides your body with easily absorbable minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, chondroitin, sulfate and glucosamine.
Why is Bone Broth Important For the Athlete?
- Improves joint health
- Boosts energy output
- Improves cardiovascular health
#1 Improves Joint Health
When our collagen begins to decrease, our joints start to become stiff, swell up and move with less easy overall. On top of the daily wear and tear we place on our bodies, athletes are on a whole other level in regards to the potential damage and strain we place on our bodies. Whether you’re an endurance athlete or strength and power athlete, your joints are placed under way more stress than a normal individual. Increasing your collagen intake will not only prevent an athlete from having joint pain, but could reverse and heal current pain as well.
#2 Boosts Muscle Mass and Energy
Collagen is an abundant source of glycine. Glycine helps to form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells. Retaining muscle is important not only for athletes but for all individuals as well. Muscle mass can increase your metabolism, improve bone health, improve posture and burn a significantly higher amount of calories than food.
#3 Improves Cardiovascular Health
Collagen features another important amino acid — proline. Proline prevents arteries from accumulating fat and helps control blood pressure. WIth the vigorous exercise in an athlete’s training regimen, it’s important to have adequate blood flow throughout the body to prevent injury.
Along with proline, glycine is another key amino acid found in collagen in bone broth. Glycine is important for athletes due to its many different roles in muscle and metabolism. Glycine actually inhibits the deterioration of tissue that forms muscle. Glycine is an athlete’s best friend for a multitude of reasons including its ability to increase the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), improve energy, improve physical performance and prevent the loss of cartilage in joints. [*]
Glucosamine is another compound found in bone broth. Glucosamine is especially important for those who are physically active due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It is found naturally in the cartilage of our joints and acts as a joint lubricator. Without glucosamine, we would all be in a lot of pain with the lack of lubrication it proves, making the movement of our joints, bones and muscles much easier. [*]
These are just a few components that make bone broth the ideal superfood. Bone broth provides key nutrients that have the ability to benefit every part of your body. Along with collagen, glucosamine and glycine, bone broth is also known to be a strong source of glycosaminoglycans (GAG), hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and electrolytes and minerals as listed above.
Glucosaminoglycans are responsible for supporting the collagen and elasticity between your bones, joints and tendons. Glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are all types of GAG’s.
Hyaluronic acid is important for healthy skin function. This GAG is found in connective, skin and even neuronal tissues. [*]
Chondroitin sulfate is key for athletes and those with active lifestyles due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Chondroitin is a GG located in the cartilage and has even been shown to support bone health, heart health and skin health.
Although bone broth is amazing for your health, the benefits don’t stop there!
Additional Bone Broth Benefits
BONE BROTH BENEFITS INFOGRAPHIC COURTESY OF: Cognitune – Smarter Health
When it comes to where to find bone broth, you can either make your own bone broth or buy it from your local sustainable farm such as US Wellness Meats for the ultimate convenient dish! Bone Broth can be served alone or in a dish of your choosing, making it the perfect option to provide variety and versatility.
For those of us with active lifestyles and constantly on the go, bone broth is not only a convenient snack, but a quick one too. Grab a cup before you run out the door or take it with you to sip on throughout the day. Due to its abundance of nutrients, a bone broth fast over a period of two to three days is even recommended to help restart your system and get you back to feeling like your optimal self. Start enjoying healthy bone broth benefits today!
Sources & References:
About The Author:
Steph is a writer, competitive weightlifter and nutritional consultant with a passion for health and wellness. She is the founder of The Athlete’s Kitchen, a website dedicated to providing its audience with articles, recipes and the latest nutritional information on their favorite foods. Find her on instagram @stephrlo or at https://www.TheAthletesKitchen.com