Bone broth powder has become a popular health supplement for those who seek a convenient source of bone broth, collagen, hydration and protein.
Powdered bone broth is supposed to have the same benefits as liquid bone broth. These include skin health, gut health, joint health, hydration and immune boosting qualities.
But what is bone broth powder and how is it made? Should you really be drinking it?
This article explains everything you need to know about bone broth powder.
What is Bone Broth Powder?
Bone broth powder is a convenient spin on traditional liquid bone broth. If it is properly made, it offers the same health benefits of bone broth and protein, all in a ready-to-drink powder form.
Some call it instant bone broth.
Bone broth is an ancient superfood made from simmering meaty bones and connective tissue in water at a low heat for a long time.
Depending on the type of bone broth you’re making, you’ll simmer it from 12-40 hours.
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.
The good news is that bone broth now comes in a powder form, meaning you can control how strong or weak your bone broth tastes. Currently you can find powdered beef or powdered chicken broth.
You drink bone broth powder by mixing it with hot water or a liquid of your choice. You can also use bone broth powder for your cooking. I’ll get into more uses for bone broth below.
Powdered bone broth is typically more cost-effective than liquid bone broth. This is largely because it is produced in larger quantities and is not certified organic.
How Bone Broth Powder is Made
Bone broth powder is made by dehydrating liquid bone broth into powder. The dehydrating process removes all the moisture and liquid, leaving a powder behind. There are a few ways to dehydrate a liquid.
- Spray drying
Once the moisture is removed, most powders go through an agglomeration process. This process helps make the powder more easily mixable into liquids.
Agglomeration creates a larger particle size of a powder, creating more surface area for it to disperse into water when mixed.
If you skip the agglomerating step, then you end up with bone broth powder 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 supplements, 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.
Most beef broth powder tastes very mild and slightly beefy.
I’ll mention that these run the gamut. There are one or two that taste decent. But not quite as good a pure liquid bone broth.
Bone Broth Powder Health Benefits
You can enjoy many of the same health benefits as pure bone broth. But it depends if the flavour is stripped out of the bone broth or not. More on that below.
Properly made bone broth powder still has amounts of collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, potassium and magnesium.
What are the benefits of bone broth protein?
1. Skin Health
The proteins (mainly proline and hyaluronic acid) in bone broth powder helps your body to make healthy skin, hair, teeth and nails. It does this by hydrating your skin and helping it make new collagen.
2. Gut Healing Properties
Glycine (another amino acid) in bone broth helps to decrease inflammation in your gut. This improves your digestion and can help to cure leaky gut.
3. Joint Pain Reduction
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
4. Hydrating Electrolytes
It has a 2:1 potassium to sodium ratio, which means you’ll buffer out all of the sodium due to the potassium content.
5. Collagen Protein
Bone broth powder 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 in bone broth. Two tablespoons of bone broth powder gives you 12 g of protein.
6. Appetite Suppression for Weight Loss
Bone broth is 100% protein. We know that 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 (3, 4).
Bone broth powder could also appeal to people who can’t tolerate most protein supplements because it is dairy-free, soy-free, nut free and gluten-free.
It is also keto and paleo diet friendly.
Cons of Bone Broth Powder
High Heat Can Remove Nutrients
Some powders are made using high heat. The heat is used to remove the natural flavour of the bone broth. This is why you find chocolate or vanilla flavoured bone broth. 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.
You should also check their labels for the nutrition facts. These powders should have potassium (at least 300 mg per serving for chicken, 50 mg for beef).
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’ or ‘beef bone broth’ on your label.
You do not want anything with guar gum, xanthan gum, stevia or natural flavour.
Sourcing can be the Wild West
It is difficult to know what you are getting with bone broth powders. 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.
Unhappy animals make for low quality bone broth which is bad for your health. They could be full of GMOs, hormones and antibiotics.
Scroll down for more info on choosing the right bone broth.
Taste and Palatability is all over the Place (usually)
As I mentioned above. Many of the bone broth powders you find strip the actual broth (beef or chicken) flavour out of the finished bone broth. From here they add in chocolate or vanilla flavouring (usually stevia, natural flavours, cinnamon, acacia or something similar).
The result is an awful ‘protein powder’ tasting beverage. Not great.
I would stick to powders that actually taste like chicken or beef bone broth.
Powder Bone Broth Has No Gelatin
Bone broth powder has all of the collagen, electrolytes and amino acids as liquid bone broth minus one thing: gelatin.
It will not gel like bone broth at fridge temperature because it has been hydrolyzed. While gelatin gels, collagen does not.
Is Bone Broth Powder the Same as Collagen Powder?
Bone broth powder is different from collagen powder in many ways. Bone broth is full of hydrating electrolytes, while collagen has none.
Collagen is typically sourced from factory-farmed beef operations in South America. While bone broth powder may be made in the USA or Canada in smaller batches from more trustworthy sources. Best to check your sourcing regardless of which you use.
Collagen is highly processed compared to bone broth powder. It involves many additional steps including enzymolysis, decolourizing, deodorizing, filtering and degerming.
They have similar amino acid profiles. Both have glycine and proline.
How to Choose The Right Bone Broth Powder
There are a few important things to consider when buying a bone broth powder.
1. Is it Keto and Paleo friendly?
You want to ensure there are no carbs in your bone broth powder and more importantly, no allergens.
2. Check for 8-12 grams of protein per serving
- Be careful about serving sizes. Some will suggest you consume 1 whole scoop or up to 4 tbsp per 250ml water.
- You want something that is concentrated enough so that you just need about 2 tbsp of powder per 250ml hot water.
3. Check the ingredient list
- It should read something like: ‘chicken bone broth’ or ‘beef bone broth.’
- ‘Bone broth concentrate’ or ‘bone broth collagen’ 99% of the time are just collagen powders, not bone broth.
- Be sure you are actually getting bone broth. Not collagen.
- You do not want to buy anything with extra flavours, additives like guar gum, xanthan gum, ‘natural flavours’, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, stevia, yeast extract.
4. Check country of origin
- You want to see where the bone broth powder comes from and where it is packaged. Most will be packaged in the USA or Canada, however the actual bone broth powder and the sourcing of the animals may come from somewhere else.
- You can find bone broth powder in Canada, just be sure to source it correctly.
Risks With Bone Broth Powder
There are no major risks with bone broth powder, provided that you are really consuming just bone broth powder.
The risks come from the additives, flavouring agents and de-clumping filler ingredients which are sometimes used.
Otherwise, bone broth powder is generally safe to consume.
How to Use Bone Broth Powder
Powder is a great choice for people who are looking for a convenient source of bone broth protein. It can easily be added to smoothies or recipes.
Follow the directions on the label. Usually add 2-3 tbsp of powdered bone broth to hot water. Stir with a spoon and enjoy.
There are many popular add ins and flavours to add, check our master guide to drinking bone broth for inspiration.
Most bone broth does well when combined with some healthy fats. Try ½ or 1 tsp of the following:
Coconut oil, MCT oil, Ghee, Butter.
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.
Think about cooking your rice or grains in bone broth, adding it to stir frys and sauces or sauteing with it.
Powdered broth is the most convenient in terms of portability and storage. You can easily scoop some into a ziploc and take it with you anywhere.
Bone broth powder typically has a longer shelf life than liquid options, about 1-2 years from manufacturing date.
How Much Bone Broth Should I Drink Daily?
Famous comedian and actor Mindy Kaling drinks bone broth in the morning.
"My new morning coffee/elixir is bone broth. It's so delicious."
Try adding two tablespoons of bone broth powder to one cup of hot water. If you have a bone broth powder that mixes properly, then it should provide most of the nutritional benefits as liquid bone broth,
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.
Just ensure that you are not using bone broth as your primary protein source. It is not a complete amino acid profile to survive off of.
As always, there is no substitute for nourishing, organic bone broth made in Canada.
Should You Try Bone Broth Powder?
The bottom line is that bone broth powder has most of the same benefits as liquid bone broth. However, it is more convenient, portable and cost effective.
Powder will save you hours in the kitchen or some money instead of buying liquid based bone broth.
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 bone broth on it’s own.
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.
You don’t necessarily lose all of the nutrients due to it being in powder form. The powder does not gel because it has been agglomerated. This is what helps the powder bone broth mix better into water.
It is a similar analogy to gelatin vs. collagen. They have the same amino acid profiles and nutrients, however, gelatin gels while collagen does not.
As we’ll lose the gel in real bone broth, is it also part of the good nutrients that will be lost in powder form?