Bone Broth for Arthritis and Joint Pain
Joint pain and arthritis can make everyday tasks difficult. Even something as simple as opening a jar can be painful.
You may have tried different medications to ease the pain, but they come with their own set of risks and side effects.
Bone broth is a traditional remedy that has been used for centuries to reduce joint pain and control inflammation. Unlike medications, bone broth is all-natural and has little side effects.
In this guide, you will learn how to use bone broth for arthritis. Bone broth is a delicious and easy way to reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis so you can do what you want when you want.
Before we begin, I'll mention that the highest quality product for joint pain is the chicken bone broth powder from Bluebird Provisions. It has more protein and less salt than any other popular brands.
Ok, let's get into what you came here for.
Bone Broth Intro
Bone broth is made by stewing animal bones, meat and connective tissue for 6-24 hours.
The 'low and slow' cooking process breaks down connective tissue in the animal bones into the broth. This leaves delicious amino acids like collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in the broth in large quantities.
It is naturally low carb with little fat and at least 90% protein.
Is bone broth good for arthritis?
There is some evidence that bone broth may help reduce inflammation and joint pain in people with arthritis. It is full of healing compounds that reduce joint pain and reduce inflammation, such as collagen, glutamine and glycine.
It is also rich in chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are two components that keep the body's cartilage healthy. I'll dive into all of these nutrients below.
Bone Broth Benefits for Arthritis
Bone broth benefits for arthritis include minerals and electrolytes to build up damaged joints, reducing inflammation, weight loss and gut health. It may seem as though some of these are not related to joint health, but I will explain how they are below.
Minerals and Electrolytes to Support Joint Health
Bone broth has the perfect balance of minerals and electrolytes which are vital for joint and bone health.
Electrolytes include potassium (300 mg per cup), phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and chloride. These help to keep cells functioning properly and hydrated so that they do not break down.
Many people think that bone broth is full of calcium, this is simply not true when you look at the nutrition facts and lab results of these beverages. Learn why there is no calcium in bone broth.
Reduces Inflammation in your Body
Everyone talks about inflammation without knowing what it is. Inflammation can be swelling, cell death or wear and tear in certain areas like our joints.
Bone broth is a great source of glycine, which has anti-inflammatory properties for your liver, joints and GI tact. Glycine helps to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines (bad things), which keeps our immune systems happy.
It is also full of naturally occurring chondroitin sulfate, which is shown to decrease inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis (1). It does this by reducing neuron breakdown in the central nervous system.
May Support Weight Loss
Bone broth is a popular drink that can help you lose weight because of its high levels of gelatin, which helps keep you satisfied and full before your next meal. It also has very low calories at only 30 calories per cup.
Finally, it has natural electrolytes to keep you hydrated and fuelled throughout the day so you don't miss out on crucial nutrients while dieting or intermittent fasting.
If you want to do a deep dive, then read 3 reasons why bone broth works for weight loss.
Can Protect Joints (when used the right way)
Osteoarthritis is marked by a decrease in the production of collagen-rich proteins in our joints, which causes movement issues and chronic pain.
Real bone broth (not the fake stuff) provides the 10 g of collagen which has been shown to reduce knee pain in studies (2). Experts recommend using it for 2 months in order to get some pain relief.
Bone broth provides so much more than just collagen. It contains proteoglycans like glucosamine and chondroitin. These are two compounds made from chicken cartilage that are the gold standard natural remedy for arthritis treatment.
They are commonly prescribed for people with joint pain, as they help decrease inflammation and build up worn out joints. I recommend starting with one cup per day and working your way up to two.
Nurture Your Damaged Gut Back to Health
Blogs and so called nutrition experts claims how bone broth healed leaky gut syndrome for years, but we didn't have much research to show for it. Just mechanistic association based on the nutrients in this beverage.
But, as of 2021, researchers tested using it in subjects with ulcerative colitis (UC) with fantastic results.
UC patients who drank bone broth daily benefited from drastic improvements in inflammatory conditions in their colon, large and small intestine. The researchers said that it must have helped to fight what are called 'pro inflammatory cytokines.' (3).
Thanks to the potent amino acids glutamine, glycine and proline, bone broth is the among the most legitimate anti inflammatories on the planet.
Learn more in my guide to bone broth for leaky gut and digestive health.
How to Drink Bone Broth for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
A bone broth centric diet may help reduce arthritis symptoms and joint pain. But there are some steps you need to follow to maximize your benefits. These include choosing the right product, drinking it at the right time of day and adjusting your consumption as needed.
1. Choose a quality bone broth product
Make sure to purchase bone broth from a reputable company. I can't stress this enough. 90% of the products on Amazon or online are complete junk. Check that link for a chart comparing all of the popular ones.
When it comes to quality you want to look for a four things.
- At least 10 g protein per 240 ml serving or standard cup.
- Less than 200 mg sodium per cup.
- If it's chicken broth, look for at least 250 mg potassium per serving.
- Check the ingredient list to make sure there are no 'natural flavors,' concentrates or yeast extract.
Most options you find in natural grocery stores like Whole Foods do not meet these criteria. A convenient powder option from Bluebird Provisions ticks all of these boxes and can be found on Amazon.
2. Incorporate bone broth into your diet
You can it in different ways, depending on your own personal needs and goals. Start with 5 cups per week. Many people drink it in the afternoon so that they don't feel like they are giving anything up like coffee or tea.
I'm a huge coffee drinker and find it easy to drink in the afternoon. In winter months, I'll add 1 tbsp of powder broth into my morning cup or oatmeal. It's a delicious addition to any recipe or instant oatmeal you use.
Finally, you can cook soups, stews, stir frys with it. Or even use it to cook rice or other grains instead of water.
You can gradually increase your intake of bone broth over time, to reach the maximum benefits.
3. Optimize time of day for drinking bone broth
Nutrient timing is crucial for getting over joint or tendon pain associated with osteoarthritis.
The optimal timing is to drink it 1 hour before doing anything that loads your injured joints. This can be rehab exercises (ex: squats), walking, gardening, dance or anything active.
It is important to include a tiny bit of vitamin C (50mg) with the broth. You can squeeze lemon juice in your mug of broth to get the 50 mg.
So why do we do it before exercise? The loading of your injured joints from exercise helps to shuttle collagen and amino acids into your injured joints and connective tissue.
Learn more about the specific protocol I used to heal a debilitating foot injury in this bone broth health benefits article (scroll to item #4).
4. Monitor your joint pain closely
It often takes 1-2 months for joints to begin to rebuild the cartilage and reduce pain. So you must be patient. Stick to it and see how you are feeling after 2 months.
If it seems to be getting better, then keep doing what you are doing. But keep in mind that it is not a panacea or cure all. Leave a comment if you have specific questions I can address.
5. Adjust your bone broth consumption as needed
Start by drinking 1 cup per day or 5 cups per week, then gradually increase your intake over time. Some people need up to 2-3 cups in order to get enough protein and amino acids into their tendons.
Which bone broth is best for joints?
The best bone broth for joints is the instant chicken powder from Bluebird Provisions. It is the only one with 12 g protein and is full of healing amino acids like glycine (3 g), proline (2 g), glucosamine and chondroitin.
It's also naturally low in sodium because there is no salt added. You'll notice only 160 mg per cup. That is 4x lower than many popular brands.
Find them on Amazon Prime or on their website.
Can I drink 2 cups of bone broth a day?
You can drink 2 cups of bone broth per day with no side effects or issues. Many people start with 1 and work their way up to two. If you're dealing with inflammatory gut issues (colitis, IBS, etc), 2 cups is a great place to start. Drink it before your meals so that the amino acids can heal your damaged gut before the incoming food.
If you’re suffering from arthritis or joint pain, bone broth is a natural remedy worth trying. It is high in collagen and other compounds that can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve joint health.
Bluebird Provisions makes it easy to get started because of their convenient chicken bone broth powder. Try it today and see how bone broth can help you feel your best. You can also find them on Amazon Prime.
Are you suffering with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms? Leave a comment and let me know if this helps.
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your primary care physician for advise on any of this.