Bone Broth Powder: Can You Trust This Protein?
Guide to Bone Broth Powder
Bone broth powder is your convenient source of collagen, hydration and protein. But you must know the risks with it.
Unlike other conventional protein, bone broth has many amino acids that are crucial to your health and longevity but we lack in a Western diet.
These include glycine, glutamine and proline, which have many potent benefits to you.
Powdered versions claim to have the same benefits as liquid. These include skin health, gut health, joint health, hydration and immune boosting qualities.
But what is it and how is it made? Should you really be drinking it? Is beef or chicken better? Learn everything you would ever want to know in this article.
First a quick disclaimer. I worked for 4 years to develop the highest quality and best tasting bone broth in the world.
You may see that as biased. But after reading this article, you'll agree that no one knows more about making it than me.
What is Bone Broth Powder?
Bone broth powder is a convenient spin on traditional liquid versions that uses spray drying to dehydrate the liquid into a convenient high protein powder.
If it is properly made, it offers the same health benefits and protein, all in a ready-to-drink form. That being said, most brands take shortcuts in order to save on costs.
To make this ancient superfood properly, you need special equipment. That is because it takes 12-24 to slowly simmer bones and connective tissue.
After that, you need the right equipment to dehydrate it. More on that below.
This low and slow technique is needed to harvest the collagen and gelatin from the bones.
If you skip the lengthy simmer time then you have stock or broth, which are not low sodium, I promise you that.
The good things about bone broth powder
Two advantages with bone broth powder formats, are strength and cost effectiveness. You're in control about how strong or weak to make it. You an have a cup with 25 grams of protein if you want. Or you can make it weaker by using less powder
Currently you can find products made from beef or chickens in this high protein format.
You drink bone broth powder by mixing it with hot water or a liquid of your choice. You can also use it for your cooking. I’ll get into more uses below.
Also, powdered versions are typically more cost-effective than liquid. This is largely because it is produced in larger quantities and is not certified organic.
Is bone broth powder the same as bone broth?
Bone broth powder is not the same liquid because it is further processed than regular bone broth. It has no gelatin, may contain preservatives, has sourcing quality issues and has potential taste issues. See the image below for a full breakdown.
Bone Broth Powder
Liquid Bone Broth
More convenient and portable
Requires time and effort to prepare
Can be more expensive
Offers the same health benefits as liquid bone broth
Provides the same health benefits
Can control the strength of the broth
May have a weak flavor
Can be used for cooking
Can also be used for cooking
Easy to travel with
Not as portable as powder
Some manufacturers may use high temperatures that can degrade proteins and nutrients
No risk of degradation due to high temperatures
Lack of quality control in some cases
Quality control can ensure consistency
Types of Bone Broth
Common types of bone broth are chicken bone broth, beef bone broth and turkey bone broth. These typically come in powder and liquid format. I'll explain the powder versions below.
Chicken bone broth powder
A concentrated broth made using chicken. See the image below for how it is made. These are commonly fond online on Amazon or in stores like Target and Walmart.
Read my checklist below for a buyers guide but to start with, you want a low sodium one with less than 200 mg per serving or cup. My favorite for this is made by Bluebird Provisions.
Beef bone broth powder
A concentrated broth made using beef. These are more difficult to find due to the supply chain issues in North America. You don't see many of these available in store or online.
In my experience (and I have a lot of it), it is really difficult to get the taste right. Most of the commercially available products are heavily cut with natural flavors and yeast extract to mask the naturally bitter taste.
This is why many brands choose to strip the flavor out and make it unflavored or add artificial flavore additives like stevia or sucrose.
How Bone Broth Powder is Made
Bone broth powder is made by dehydrating a concentrated liquid bone broth. The dehydrating technique removes all the moisture and liquid, leaving a fine powder behind. There are a few ways to dehydrate a liquid.
- Spray drying
Once the moisture is removed, most products go through an agglomeration process. This process helps make the powder more easily mixable into liquids.
Agglomeration creates a larger particle size, creating more surface area for it to disperse into water when mixed.
If you skip the agglomeration step, then you end up with a product that doesn’t mix well into hot water.
And don’t even try mixing these into cold water, they have incredibly poor solubility
If you’ve tried some of the bone broth protein options out there, then you know what I mean. Most of them leave a clumpy, goopy mess when mixed in water. Sometimes you need a blender to mix them properly. Gross.
What does powdered bone broth taste like?
Most bone broth powder tastes bland or burnt, that is if you can get it to mix properly. The chicken varieties typically have a heavily roasted taste.
Beef bone broth powder tastes either very mild and slightly beefy or burn and bitter. Beef is particularly difficult to find low sodium versions of. Be careful!
I've been in this industry since it started, so I've tried all the suppliers and brands out there. Unfortunately, if you find one that tastes different, it is likely spiked with nasty things to make it taste good.
I’ll mention that these run the gamut. The one made by Bluebird Provisions is fantastic because it is sourced and made in the USA using non-gmo and pasture raised chickens.
They also have a grass fed beef version for dogs. Most other brands full of garbage ingredients.
Looking for bone broth? Read my guide that tells you where to buy bone broth near you and what to look for.
Bone Broth Powder Health Benefits
The health benefits of bone broth powder include skin health, gut health, joint pain relief, reducing inflammation, sleep, blood sugar control, digestive benefits and more.
1. Skin Health
The amino acids (mainly proline and hyaluronic acid) help your body to make healthy skin, hair, teeth and nails. It does this by hydrating your skin and helping it make new collagen.
Read our guide to using bone broth for skin health.
2. Gut Healing Properties
Glycine (another amino acid) helps to decrease inflammation in your tummy. This improves your digestion and can help to cure leaky gut or other stomach problems.
Read our guide to bone broth for gut health.
3. Joint Pain Reduction
A unique blend of joint building compounds including collagen, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine and chondroitin are all found in bone broth powder. These work together to increase connective tissue around your joints.
4. Control Inflammation To Increase Immunity
Glycine and glutamine are both potent anti-inflammatories that help to bring about a positive immune response in your body following chronic stress.
4. Hydrating Electrolytes
A product made from chickens in particular is the perfect hydrating beverage. It is full of potassium, phosphorus, chloride, magnesium and natural sodium.
A low sodium chicken one will have a 2:1 potassium to sodium ratio, which means you’ll buffer out all of the sodium due to the potassium content. This is the best natural energy booster you'll find for exercise.
5. Collagen Protein
Keto bone broth has the same amino acid profile as collagen. So you can think of it as a supercharged version of collagen because of all the extra nutrition. Two tablespoons gives you 12 g of protein.
Learn the surprising differences between collagen and bone broth.
6. Appetite Suppression for Weight Loss
It is 100% protein. High protein diets may reduce your appetite. This is because more protein can reduce hunger hormones like ghrelin and increase fullness hormones like PYY and GLP-1.
Checkout this video for a great breakdown of our ghrelin and hunger works by Andrew Huberman
Allergen Free Certification
Dehydrated versions could also appeal to people who can’t tolerate most protein because it is dairy-free, soy-free, nut free and gluten-free.
They are also keto, carnivore and paleo diet friendly.
As you can see, powders allow you to enjoy many of the same health benefits as pure bone broth. But it depends if the flavor is stripped out of the bone broth or not. More on that below.
Properly made dehydrated broth still has amounts of collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, potassium and magnesium.
What are the cons of Powdered Bone Broth Supplements?
The cons of bone broth powder supplements are that they are made using high heat that removes nutrition, they contain preservatives, there is questionable sourcing and taste and there is no gelatin.
Let's go through each of these for you.
High Heat Can Remove Nutrients
Some powders are made using high heat and this high heat removes the natural, meat based flavor of it. This is why you find chocolate or vanilla flavoured varieties. Weird right?
The issue is that this high heat can also denature protein and remove some of the nutrients. You can check the quality by getting in touch with the brand and asking for their lab analysis or certifications.
You should also check their labels for the nutrition facts. Chicken bone broth powder in particular should have potassium (at least 300 mg per serving or 50 mg for beef).
If you see one without potassium, you know it has been messed with.
May Contain Additives and Preservatives
These are often added to powders to keep them from clumping and help with consistency when mixed with liquid.
They also help to extend shelf life. Always check the ingredient label for any of these additives. It should just say ‘chicken bone broth’ on your label.
You do not want anything with yeast, guar gum, xanthan gum, stevia or natural flavour. These will not be low sodium broths.
Sourcing can be the Wild West
It is difficult to know what you are getting with broth powder products. You must trust the brand you are buying from. If not, the powder is likely sourced from factory-farmed animals kept in poor living conditions.
News flash: unhappy animals make for low quality products which are bad for your health. They could be full of GMOs, hormones and antibiotics. Again, it is always smart to ask for third party certifications and where the animals were raised.
I would typically trust Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Western Europe sourced animals. Anywhere else is difficult to trust.
Looking for the perfect products for you? Read my guide that outlines 5 of the best bone broths on the market.
Taste and Palatability is all over the Place (usually)
Many of the products you find strip the actual broth (beef or chicken) flavor out of the finished version. From here they add in chocolate or vanilla flavouring (usually stevia, natural flavours, cinnamon, acacia or something similar).
The result is an awful, chalky tasting beverage. Not great.
I would stick to powders that actually taste like chicken or beef.
Powder Bone Broth Has No Gelatin
Powder bone broths have all of the collagen, electrolytes and amino acids as liquid bone broth minus one thing: gelatin.
It will not gel like a liquid one at fridge temperature because it has been hydrolyzed. While gelatin gels, collagen does not.
This is because the dehydration process remove the gelatin and converts it into collagen protein instead. It is important to note that collagen and gelatin share the same amino acid profile and same health benefits.
Is bone broth powder the same as collagen powder?
Bone broth powder is different from collagen due to the quality of animals used, where it is made, nutrition facts, benefits and part of the animal that is used.
- Collagen comes from hides or skin while broth comes from bones, joints and adhering meat. As a result, bone broth products have 4 times the electrolytes compared to collagen.
- Collagen is typically sourced from factory-farmed beef operations in South America. While bone broth may be made in the USA or Canada in smaller batches from more trustworthy sources. You are best to check your sourcing regardless of which you use.
- Collagen is highly processed compared to broth products. It involves many additional steps including enzymolysis, decolourizing, deodorizing, filtering and degerming.
- They have similar amino acid profiles. Both have glycine and proline. Collagen is lower in price because it is now a commodity product with endless competitors.
How to Choose The Perfect Bone Broth Powder
There are a few important things to consider when buying a bone broth powder. These include looking at the protein content, keto, ingredient lists, country of origin and sodium level.
Let's quickly go through each of these.
1. Is it a keto broth that is paleo friendly?
You want to ensure there are no carbs in it and more importantly, no allergens. Looking at products that claim keto or paleo is one thing, but ones that actually live up to these labels is another.
There is a lot of green washing going on in the supplement and food industry. So you want to check your labels to make sure there are no carbs or shady ingredients.
2. Check for 8-12 grams of protein per 250ml or one cup
There are a few tricks brands play to make it look like they have more protein than they actually have. And this is really important because you will not get any benefits with a product that has less than 8 grams per cup.
- Be careful about serving sizes. Some will suggest you consume 1 whole scoop or up to 4 tbsp per 250ml water.
- You want products that are concentrated enough so that you just need about 1/2 scoop or 2 tbsp of powder per 250ml hot water.
3. Check the ingredient list
Here are a few things to look for when it comes to ingredient lists:
- It should read something like: ‘chicken bone broth.’
- ‘Concentrate’ 'broth' 'protein' or ‘collagen’ 99% of the time are just collagen powders. This is not what you want.
- Be sure you are actually getting a real product. Not collagen that is mislabelled.
- You do not want to buy anything with extra flavours, additives like guar gum, xanthan gum, ‘natural flavours’, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, stevia, yeast extract.
- These additives make a high sodium chicken broth. You want the opposite, low sodium.
4. Check country of origin
You want to see where the ingredients are coming from on the product packaging. Most will be packaged in the USA or Canada, however the actual raw ingredients and the sourcing of the animals may come from somewhere else.
I personally trust products that are sourced in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Anything else makes me really nervous as their standards are different.
5. Check for low sodium chicken broth
Look for less than 200 mg sodium per serving in powder chicken products and less than 250 mg in beef. This means that the brand is not spiking it with salt to make it taste better at the expense of your blood pressure.
The one from Bluebird Provisions is the only one that meets all of these four criteria. If you want to try a dried product, you won't find a better one. You can find it on Amazon for free shipping.
Risks With Bone Broth Powder Protein
There are no major risks with bone broth powder, provided that you are really consuming real products.
The risks come from the additives, flavoring agents and de-clumping filler ingredients which are sometimes used by companies who cut corners. Otherwise, these products are generally safe to consume.
As I mentioned above, you can mitigate these risks by reading my checklist above to weed out fake products.
How to Use Bone Broth Powder
You can use protein bone broth powder in your cooking or you can mix it with boiling water and drink it on it's own. It is a great if you are looking for a convenient source protein.
I personally love to add it to my morning bowl of oatmeal. Don't knock it until you try it!
My mom likes to add it to her morning smoothy along with berries and other fruit. She says that she doesn't taste it. You can also add it to salad dressings, stir frys or any soup, stew or sauce.
How to use it for sipping
If you prefer to sip you bone broth on its own, then simply follow the directions on the label. Usually add 2-3 tbsp of powder to boiling water. Stir with a spoon and enjoy.
There are many popular add ins and flavours to add, check my master guide to drinking for inspiration.
Most do well when combined with some healthy fats. Try ½ or 1 tsp of the following:
Herbs and Spices. Try ½ tsp of the following:
Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Cinnamon, Rosemary.
You can also squeeze some lemon or add apple cider vinegar in for a fresh addition to your cup of broth.
For Cooking and Convenience
Think about cooking your rice or grains in broth, adding it to stir frys and sauces or sauteing with it.
Obviously, it is great for soup. You can also use it for oatmeal, in your smoothies and salad dressings.
The thing I like best about powdered broth is the convenience in terms of portability and storage. You can easily scoop some into a ziploc and take it with you anywhere.
Also, they typically has a longer shelf life than liquid options; about 1-2 years from manufacturing date.
How Much Bone Broth Should I Drink Daily?
You can start by drinking one cup of bone broth, 3 days per week, then see how you look and feel. Once you are used to bone broth, there is really no upper limit to how much you can consume.
Famous comedian and actor Mindy Kaling drinks it in the morning.
"My new morning coffee/elixir is bone broth. It's so delicious."
Try adding two tablespoons to one cup of hot water. If you have one that mixes properly, then it should provide most of the nutritional benefits.
Just ensure that you are not using it as your primary protein source. It is not a complete amino acid profile to survive off of.
Many of our guests use bone broth for fasting as well.
Should You Try Bone Broth Powder?
You should try using a powdered bone broth if you seek the convenience and want it on-the-go.
The bottom line is that powder has most of the same benefits as liquid. However, it is more convenient, portable and cost effective.
Powder will save you hours in the kitchen or some money instead of buying liquid version.
What is the best bone broth powder?
The best bone broth powder is made by Bluebird Provisions, a craft brand that has perfected the dehydration process to preserve nutrition and taste at a fair price.
I'm the founder and it took me years to formulate and source something this high quality that mixes well and tastes delicious. This powder meets all of my high standards I laid out in this article. I'd love to hear what you think.
It is important to note that the health benefits are extrapolations of the amino acids and minerals in both broth. It is such a new food category that we do not have direct research on its own.
Can you buy powdered organic bone broth powder?
There are limited options to buy powdered organic bone broth. Some searching around might yield a result, but make sure it is certified organic in Canada or the USA. It is difficult to trust otherwise.
Is powdered chicken bone broth the same as powdered beef stock?
Powdered chicken bone broth is not the same as powdered beef stock because they are from different animals. Also, stock is made at a low heat without the lengthy simmer process. You want to avoid a stock if you can. Look for a low sodium chicken broth instead. You also want to avoid any vegetable broth protein powders as they are full of common allergens.
There are many advantages of bone broth powder over liquid. That being said, some purists still prefer the liquid because they do not like the extra processing that goes into making a powder.
I prefer powder products because of the ease of use and storage. It fits with my lifestyle better, but you may be different.
And if you are looking for a trustworthy product, give Bluebird Provisions a try.
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 advice on any of this.
Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.