Incorporating Bone Broth Into Intermittent Fasting: Benefits And Recipes

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Incorporating Bone Broth Into Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has become an increasingly popular dietary approach for weight loss, health, and fitness goals. This approach involves cycling between periods of fasting and specific eating windows.

A complementary option within this approach is incorporating bone broth into intermittent fasting. Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water for an extended period. The slow-cooking process releases gelatin, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients into the broth. Bone broth has recently gained attention for its potential health benefits.

Drinking bone broth with intermittent fasting can provide several advantages. The protein and collagen in bone broth can help support muscle mass retention and metabolism while fasting1. The nutrients in bone broth can also optimize hydration, fight inflammation, and promote gut health2.

Intermittent fasting and bone broth have been linked to benefits like weight loss, reduced inflammation, increased metabolism, and more. Together, they can provide a harmonious effect.

Let’s explore the science behind these benefits and discover what makes bone broth such a nutritious addition to intermittent fasting.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) centers around time-restricted eating, where you consume all your daily calories within a designated feeding window, abstaining from food during other specified periods.

Various fasting practices are available, with some allowing fluids such as water, tea, or coffee, while others involve complete abstention, known as dry fasting. It’s crucial to distinguish fasting from starvation; for many, it represents a structured approach to eating. Often, fasting is followed by feasting, particularly during religious observances.

Although fasting may pose difficulties for some individuals, numerous regimens and protocols are tailored to individual preferences and objectives.

While monitoring your daily calorie consumption shouldn’t be a primary concern of different intermittent fasting routines until necessary, it’s crucial to prioritize whole food nutrition during the eating window.

Adhering to a structured eating and fasting schedule typically results in lower calorie intake than those following a conventional eating pattern.

Types Of Intermittent Fasting

  • Overnight Fasting Period – It is the most straightforward fast to adhere to, resembling your typical eating pattern. It involves a 12-hour fast followed by a 12-hour eating window, allowing for eating throughout the day, from 6 am to 6 pm.
  • Alternate Day Fasting Period – This fasting method resembles the 5:2 approach, with the distinction that it alternates between full feasting days and days restricted to 500 calories.
  • 16/8 – One commonly practiced time-restricted fasting method entails an eight-hour feasting window followed by a 16-hour fasting period each day. For example, you can skip breakfast and start eating from 12:00 PM to 8 PM.
  • One-meal Fasting Period – You consume only one meal per day. The typical eating window for a full-day fast is during dinnertime.

What Is A Bone Broth Diet?

Bone broth fasting involves consuming only bone broth for a designated period, typically ranging from one to several days. During a bone broth fast, individuals refrain from consuming solid foods and instead rely on bone broth as their primary source of nutrition.

This fasting approach provides essential nutrients, supports gut health with glycine, gelatin, and proline, and promotes detoxification3. It’s often used as a temporary cleanse or to jumpstart a weight loss journey.

However, consulting a healthcare professional before attempting any prolonged fasting protocol is essential.

Benefits Of Bone Broth

Bone broth serves as a valuable aid for individuals engaging in intermittent fasting. Abundant in nutrients such as collagen, gelatin, and various minerals, incorporating bone broth into one’s routine can yield numerous advantages. Additionally, bone broth boasts a low-calorie and low-carb profile, making it compatible with various dietary plans.

Bone broth can support healthy insulin sensitivity.

Bone broth contains all nine essential amino acids, which are necessary nutrients to obtain from food. It’s particularly rich in glycine, an amino acid that supports healthy insulin levels.

Research suggests that individuals with consistently high blood sugar levels, obesity, or Type 2 diabetes tend to have low levels of glycine4,5.

Additionally, consuming glycine has been found to improve healthy insulin responses and lower blood sugar levels6.

Similarly, intermittent fasting has been demonstrated to aid in reducing body weight, glycogen (stored glucose) levels, and insulin resistance7.

Bone broth contains vitamins and minerals.

Bone broth boasts a wealth of minerals essential for bone building and fortification. It is also abundant in other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

Through simmering, the ingredients in bone broth release their nutrients into the water, making them readily absorbable by the body.

  • Animal bones contain significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals essential for building and fortifying bones. However, during the broth-making process, only minimal quantities of these nutrients, typically less than 5% of the daily recommended value, are transferred into the broth.
  • Marrow supplies vitamins A and B and minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, and selenium8.

Bone broth can support a healthy digestive system.

Bone broth is renowned for its ease of digestion and potential to mitigate inflammation within the digestive tract.

Animal studies investigating colitis have suggested that gelatin, a component of bone broth, could safeguard and aid in the healing of the gut’s mucosal lining9,10. However, further research is warranted to validate these findings.

Gelatin is rich in glutamic acid, an amino acid that metabolizes glutamine in the body. This amino acid plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. Consequently, it may offer protection against and facilitate the healing of the leaky gut, a common symptom associated with various chronic gastrointestinal ailments11.

Leaky gut refers to a condition where damage occurs to the barrier between the gut lining and the bloodstream, permitting substances to escape from the gut into the bloodstream. This phenomenon can lead to inflammation and other related complications12.

Bone broth can improve joint health.

Collagen is the primary protein found in bones, tendons, and ligaments.

During the preparation of bone broth, collagen derived from bones and connective tissue undergoes breakdown into another protein known as gelatin13.

Gelatin is rich in essential amino acids for promoting joint health3.

Among these are proline and glycine, which the body uses to construct connective tissue. Connective tissue forms the fundamental component of tendons, linking muscles to bones and ligaments and connecting bones14.

Consuming bone broth facilitates the intake of these beneficial proteins and amino acids, supporting overall joint health and function.

Bone broth can improve sleep and brain function.

According to research, bone broth offers good-quality sleep because of the amino acid glycine15.

An earlier study suggests that taking three grams of glycine before bedtime can improve sleep quality. Glycine helps achieve quicker sleep, sustaining deeper sleep and experiencing fewer night time awakenings. Additionally, this research demonstrated that glycine supplementation reduced daytime fatigue while enhancing cognitive performance and memory function16.

Bone broth supports weight loss and muscle mass.

Bone broth generally contains few calories but remains satiating, effectively curbing hunger17,18.

Moreover, bone broth boasts high protein content, with indications suggesting that a protein-rich diet aids in weight management by promoting a sense of fullness19.

Furthermore, research suggests that individuals who incorporate soups into their diet have a lower risk of obesity, implying that soups may contribute to weight management efforts20.

Bone Broth Recipes For Intermittent Fasting

If you prefer a rich and savory bone broth with a meaty flavor, then a beef bone broth might be your ideal choice. On the other hand, if you’re not particularly fond of meat, you might find a poultry-based broth made from chicken or turkey bones more suitable.

You can also add mixed vegetables and other high-protein foods.

Despite the difference in base ingredients, all options provide ample protein and collagen, catering to your dietary preferences and nutritional needs.

Here’s a few delicious bone broth recipes:

Simple Homemade Bone Broth


  • 2-3 pounds of beef or chicken bones (ideally with some meat still attached)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

Turkey Or Chicken Bone Broth


  • 2-3 pounds of chicken bones (with or without meat)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley
  • Water

Beef Bone Broth


  • 2-3 pounds of beef bones (with or without meat)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

You can also roast the beef bones before simmering them for added depth of flavor.

Variations of Spiced and Flavored Bone Broth


  • Prepared bone broth (from any of the above recipes)
  • Optional spices and flavorings such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, or chili flakes
  • Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or basil
  • Sliced vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach
  • Optional protein sources like cooked chicken, tofu, or shrimp

How To Make Bone Broth?

Here are some step-by-step procedures that you can follow when making bone broth.


  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker.
  2. Pour enough water to cover the bones and vegetables by about 1-2 inches.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, partially covered, for at least 6-8 hours (or up to 24 hours for a richer flavor).
  5. Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  6. Once the broth is simmering, strain it into a clean container using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  7. Let the broth cool, store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze it later.

Will Bone Broth Break Your Fast?

Consuming any food or beverage containing calories will disrupt the process of autophagy during fasting. However, certain foods, such as bone broth, can interrupt your fast while providing comparable benefits to intermittent fasting.

Instead of completely abstaining from bone broth, consider opting for a bone broth fast. During a bone broth fast, you’ll incorporate collagen and bone broth into your fasting period while maintaining regular dietary habits during the feeding window.

Incorporating Bone Broth Into Intermittent Fasting: Benefits And Recipes

In conclusion, including bone broth in intermittent fasting offers many benefits. As a nutrient-dense food rich in essential minerals, amino acids, and collagen, bone broth provides numerous advantages, including support for joint health, gut function, and skin rejuvenation.

While bone broth does break a fast, its consumption during fasting periods can still yield benefits akin to intermittent fasting. By incorporating bone broth into intermittent fasting protocols, you can reap the nutritional rewards of this nourishing elixir while adhering to the fasting regimen. To make bone broth more enjoyable, get creative and experiment with recipes.


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