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Article: Chicken vs. Beef Bone Broth: Which is Better For You

Chicken vs. Beef Bone Broth: Which is Better For You

Chicken vs. Beef Bone Broth: Which is Better For You

Wondering what is the best bone broth? If chicken or beef bone broth is better for you? Want to know about the nutritional differences? I’ll dive into all of that below. 

Today I can safely say that bone broth is here to stay. It may not replace your coffee or tea, but it provides a perfect complement to your existing warm beverage habits.

I’m a huge coffee fan, but I also enjoy a warm mug of bone broth. I'm going to guess that you might be in a similar situation to me. 

This begs the question: is one type is the best bone broth?

Beef and chicken are certainly the most common types of bone broth. They do share some similarities but have many differences. 

They have different tastes, nutrition profiles, cooking techniques and uses for each. Chicken has more ascetic benefits while beef is better for gut health and mood.

Which Bone Broth is Best, Chicken or Beef

To start let’s get a few of the basics out of the way. 

Beef and chicken ingredients and sourcing

Chicken bone broth is a bit easier to make for two reasons. First, the bones are not as dense. And second, the bones are easier to come by since more people consume chicken in Canada and the United States than beef.

Here are 6 bone broth brands you can trust.

You can also use more readily available parts of the chicken for broth and soup, these include chicken wings, drumsticks, feet, necks and carcasses. Eating nose to tail makes it easy to find chicken bones. 

Beef bones are thicker and thus take longer to prepare and cook. Beef bones are sometimes more difficult to track down. 

But they are readily available from most specialty grocery stores and butcher shops. However, they are becoming more expensive to buy. 

For beef bones, I’d recommend a mix of marrow and knuckle bones. For specifics on bones, read about common mistakes experts make while cooking bone broth.

Beef bone broth is better for gut health

Why? An amino acid called glycine. Beef broth has more glycine than chicken because it is made up primarily of type III collagen. Think of glycine as your gut’s personal assistant. 

Glycine fights inflammation in your gut by laying down new connective tissue. This tissue protects the mucosal layer in your stomach, small intestine and GI tract, making you more resilient to inflammatory foods. Read our primer on why glycine is so important.

Chicken bone broth is better for joint and tendon pain

ingredients and sourcing

Chicken bone broth is mostly type II collagen. This has a slightly different amino acid profile than beef.

Type II collagen is used to treat osteoarthritis, joint and tendon pain.  For tendon pain, you'll need to follow a specific loading protocol which I outlined here

Beef for sleep, relaxation and mood boosting

Remember glycine, the amino acid I mentioned earlier? Turns out it is also good for helping you relax and sleep. Beef has slightly more glycine than chicken. But it chicken still has lots of glycine too! 

Glycine taken before bed improves the quality of your sleep. Researchers think it’s because it decreases your core body temperature, allowing you to shut things down and relax. 

Glycine also naturally increases levels of serotonin without increasing dopamine. This is generally a good thing for giving you happy thoughts and allowing you to relax.

Chicken may be better for skin health

Type II collagen (made from chicken cartilage) has some studies showing it can reduce visible signs of skin aging (wrinkles, crows feet), while also increasing hydration in skin, hair, teeth and nails.

This works by increasing collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. More research is needed but it looks promising.

Suffice it to say, if you are looking to improve the quality of your skin, consider drinking chicken bone broth.

Learn all the surprising health benefits of bone broth.

take the bone broth quiz

"The purpose is to cook the bones until they produce gelatin collagen and trace minerals that support the immune system and helps with the development of healthy joints, bones, ligaments and tendons as well as hair and SKIN! These nutrients are considered 'beauty foods' because they help the body with proper structural alignment and beautiful skin and hair."

-Halle Berry

Chicken tastes lighter, beef bone broth is more bold

Beef broth has a stronger, bolder taste. Chicken bone broth is often lighter and a more relatable taste. After all, most of us ate chicken soup growing up.

As a result, upon first taste, you may prefer chicken bone broth over beef. 

I will say that properly made beef broth satisfies like no other. However, it is sometimes more of an acquired taste. 

I tend to vary my consumption seasonally. In the winter I find myself craving heartier, more satisfying soups and stews from beef bone broth. 

In the summer I often eat lighter foods that go better with chicken.

Looking for bone broth? Read my guide that tells you where to buy bone broth near you and what to look for.

Beef takes longer to cook

Since the bones in beef broth are denser, they require longer simmer times to extract the collagen, gelatin and amino acids from the connective tissue. I’d recommend 24 hours. 

Chicken broth can be cooked in 12-16 hours if you have the right bones and temperature. 

Beef bone broth typically does better when cooked at a higher temperature compared to chicken bone broth. You can get close to a boil while cooking beef broth. Chicken does better at a slightly lower temperature. 

Read the absolute best bone broth recipe.

Chicken is more versatile in your kitchen

Chicken broth does not add a distinctly ‘chicken’ flavour to dishes. The same cannot be said for beef.

Beef broth confers a ‘beef’ flavour to whatever you make with it. It is most likely because chicken has a milder flavour. 

For this reason, chicken makes a better base for smoothies, oatmeal, soups and any recipe that calls for water. Substitute 1:1 for water and you’re adding a natural source of collagen to whatever you cook.

This works with rice, pasta, risotto or quinoa. Chicken adds a rich depth while not dominating the flavour of your dish

Nutritional differences between beef and chicken 

chicken soup

There are a few key nutritional differences worth considering. I wouldn’t worry about fat or carbohydrates in either bone broth because the quantity is so small that the differences are academic.

If you make bone broth at home and are not removing the fat layer before consuming, then beef will tend to have more omega-3s than chicken.

If you’re buying bone broth then the fat is usually removed.

Chicken will have more omega-6s. This is because most beef is grass-fed for the majority of its life. Grass fed diets confer more omega-3s in the finished meat or bones. 

Chickens are fed grain rations which are high in omega-6 fats.

Chicken broth has more protein

We can’t speak for all brands or your homemade bone broth because there are so many variables. However, our chicken bone broth has more protein than our beef

This is due to the concentration of bones we use and types of bones we use in our chicken broth. Our chicken broth has 12g of protein per 250ml, while our beef has 10g of protein. 

The main thing that affects the protein in your bone broth is how concentrated it is. If you have a high bones to water ratio, let it naturally reduce throughout cooking or reduce it after cooking, it will have higher protein per serving. 

Chicken broth has more cholesterol

This is due to the omega-6 fat profile of chicken broth. Luckily we now know that cholesterol in food has no effect on blood cholesterol, so you need not worry about cholesterol in chicken broth. 

Further to this, there is such a small amount of cholesterol  (around 1mg per serving) that it is negligible anyways. 

Chicken has more hydrating electrolytes

Properly made chicken broth has three times more potassium, chloride, magnesium and phosphorus than beef broth. It generally has more electrolytes than beef. 

Chicken will hydrate you and keep your kidneys and blood plasma levels balanced with all these naturally occurring electrolytes

Chicken bone broth powder from Bluebird Provisions

But chicken also has more sodium

Chicken also has more sodium per serving. Depending on how much is added in cooking, it can have more than beef.

Our bone broth has 9-10% of your daily recommended intake for sodium. We find that the beef needs a bit more salt to taste, while the chicken needs less.

If you're adding high quality salt (we use Natural Pink Himalayan) then I wouldn’t get too concerned about it. It is the number one mix-in for bone broth

However this is certainly not medical advise. Consult your primary care doctor about any of this. 

Beef has more collagen per gram of protein

That’s right! If you have the same amount of protein per serving, then beef bone broth will have slightly more collagen per serving. 

Beef bone broth also has slightly more glycine and proline. These are two amino acids that make up collagen, along with hydroxyproline and arginine.

Chicken broth still has collagen, however it is around 10% less per serving than beef. If you are looking at a 250ml serving, the difference is quite small: 1 gram of collagen. 

Read our comparison, Collagen vs. Bone Broth: which is better?

Chicken has more muscle building amino acids 

Chicken has higher levels of leucine, isoleucine and valine per serving than beef. These are three amino acids that make up the BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids.

Leucine in particular is thought to be essential for building and maintaining muscle. 

Our testing indicates that chicken bone broth has 45% more leucine than beef broth. So if you care about building muscle, you might consider chicken broth. 

Which is best, Chicken or Beef? 

Which broth is best for you? Probably not the answer you’re looking for, but it depends. Both are great sources of amino acids, collagen and gelatin.

Chicken will have more hydrating minerals like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, while beef has more collagen. 

As you read above, chicken may be better for skin and joints, while beef is better for sleep and gut health. More research is needed to back up all of these benefits

Choose whichever is convenient for you in terms of sipping or cooking. Or do what I do and change your bone broth consumption with the season. 

I drink chicken in the summer and spring, and beef in the winter. Or a sometimes mix the two -- which is delicious! 

Don't stress over the choice. Drinking any bone broth is better than none! And if you need a recommendation, I always recommend starting with the pasture raised chicken bone broth powder from Bluebird Provisions.

Which is your favourite, chicken or beef? 


there is one issue between chicken and beef, omega 6 /omega 3, fatty acids.
chicken has 17/1 and beef has 5/1( grain fed ) 1/1 ( grass fed) unfortunately grass fed is very expensive, too much for me. the base cause of eating this ratio of fatty acids is inflammation, which is the kicking off point for all the killing diseases, all the itis’s included. the single best thing we can do to reverse every condition in the body is lower inflammation, by a ton.
doctor eric berg youtube says, " Stop eating chicken" I can try to find the video if you need but just do a search.
grass fed beef bone is quite cheap, unlike the meat.
once inflammation is lowered, we acheiev a healthier metabolic condition, then the body will heal itself, put in all the bone you can, get as much good stuff in that soup as possible, I can but my soup into cubes it is so thick with minerals, hope this helps


Since reading your article and trying to combat all the ailments mentioned the mixing chicken and beef bone broth together sounds great to me and will buy beef broth also. Thank You

Robert Jones

Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear about the neurological syndrome. I wish I had some info for you but I would just be guessing. Any collagen will help and I doubt different types will make much of a difference.


Connor at Bluebird Provisions


Superb article, thank you for the insights. While beef has slightly more collagen, do you happen to know which one is better suited for gum health? Long story short, I have a neurological condition called Burning Mouth Syndrome, however, I have found that this gets worse whenever I am low on vital nutrients such as collagen.

I usually just mix it up each day between the two types but if there’s significant benefits then would happily stick to one.

Sorry, I know you’re not an oral health expert, just curious as to whether you know.

Kind Regards,


Hi Alva,

We haven’t tested each of our products for the specific mg of hyaluronic acid yet. So I don’t have a good answer to your question.


Connor at Bluebird Provisions

Which has more hyaluronic acid, chicken or beef bone broth?

Alva Storc

Hi Dana, good question.

Unfortunately the market for pork broth isn’t as big as chicken or beef. So we can’t quite justify bringing one to market. As we’ve grown we can’t experiment with smaller limited release products like we used to.

I do think pork bone broth has many benefits and is great for you. Many of the same benefits as beef bone broth or chicken bone broth. We haven’t specifically tested it in the lab though.

As far as the general population: I would say a few things:
1. You don’t see pork bones in the butcher shops / grocery stores as often as beef or chicken
2. Popular culture seems to associate pork with messiness, making it not as popular in general.

Hope this helps.

Connor at Bluebird Provisions

Hi Connor, what are your thoughts on pork broth? I am curious as to why people do not make this more (beyond religious and dietary constraints). How does it compare to beef or chicken bone broth? Thanks


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