The thought of replacing your morning cappuccino with a steaming mug of “meat water” may not sit well with you at first — but bone broth could be the golden ticket for having more energy than ever before, sans caffeine. In fact, some health foodies swear by drinking bone broth first thing in the morning because of the increased energy (and other health benefits) they experience.
If you’re not familiar with bone broth or the beneficial nutrients found in this brew, here’s a quick rundown on why we’d even suggest such a food could become the “new coffee.”
What Is Bone Broth and Why Is It So Good for You?
Bone broth is a stock (yes, by definition, it’s more of a stock than a broth, despite the name it goes by) that’s made by simmering bones, ligaments and other connective tissue in water for 12-72 hours. This prolonged simmering time helps release the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, collagen and gelatin from the bones, resulting in a highly concentrated, nutrient-dense stock.
Not only are bones storehouses for minerals that help with energy production (such as calcium and magnesium), but amino acids, such as glycine, as well as collagen and gelatin that are released from the bones help promote restful sleep and improve digestion — which are two important factors when it comes to boosting your energy levels naturally (1)(2).
The high concentrations of collagen and gelatin found in bone broth have also rendered it a superfood for brighter, younger-looking skin and healthier joints (3). In addition to improving joint and skin health, studies show gelatin can also help repair the gut lining, which is why bone broth is often recommended for healing chronic digestive issues, such as leaky gut syndrome and IBS (4).
So, how’s bone broth measuring up to your java so far?
If these health benefits aren’t enough, all of the nutrients in bone broth are extremely bioavailable, which means your body can digest and absorb them right away. This means drinking bone broth may even be more effective than taking a supplement with the same nutrients, which must go through different stages of digestion.
All right, all right — you get the point: Bone broth is full of health benefits that coffee can’t provide. And while some may consider coffee to be a health beverage for providing antioxidants and protecting against ailments such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, there’s a healthier way to get nutrients in your diet that doesn’t come with the negative side effects of caffeine.
If you’re a die-hard coffee lover and still not convinced of bone broth’s morning magic, let’s take a look at how this simple swap could change how you feel throughout the day.
Why Coffee Shouldn’t Be An Everyday Drink
We agree: Waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, reaching for a cup of coffee to get a quick energy hit as soon as you get out of bed could set you up for exhaustion throughout the day.
You see, caffeine spikes and crashes your blood sugar levels, which provides a false sense of energy or a “caffeine buzz.” When our blood sugar levels rise, we experience a jolt of energy — but the quicker your blood sugar levels spike, the quicker they crash. This is when we fall into an energy slump and get ready to reach for another cup of coffee, a nap or a sugar fix to bring our energy levels back up (when, really, this wasn’t “real” energy to begin with). As you can see, relying on caffeine for energy creates a dependency, which can make it difficult to give up and replace.
Caffeine can also deplete other areas of your health, especially if you’re under stress. Studies show caffeine can increase blood cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which prevents your body from handling stress efficiently (5). Elevated cortisol levels can lead to chronic systemic inflammation, which research suggests is an underlying contributing factor to many Western illnesses and diseases (6).
Coffee can negatively affect your nervous system in several other ways. For example, caffeine has been shown to tax the adrenal glands, which are the tiny glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Your adrenals are responsible for controlling your fight or flight — or stress — response and releasing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine (7). When your adrenals become worn out, not only is it more difficult for you to cope with and respond to stress, but you can become anxious, nervous and chronically fatigued.
While coffee isn’t a source of vitamins and minerals, it can actually interfere with the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. As mentioned above, calcium and magnesium are crucial nutrients for energy production, as well as building healthy bones. Since coffee is naturally dehydrating, over-consuming caffeine can also put stress on the kidneys, which may result in digestive symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea.
Now, we’re not saying to avoid coffee at all costs — life is all about balance, after all. If you enjoy the occasional cup of coffee, you may simply want to consider starting your mornings off with a beverage that promotes long-lasting energy and vitality, rather than one that has the potential to rob you of it.
How To Include Bone Broth in Your Morning Routine
Simmering pots on the stove are the new coffee makers. You can add bone broth to your morning routine by warming it up and sipping it from your favorite coffee mug and enjoying it on the way to work in a to-go coffee cup or thermos.
When it comes to bone broth breakfast recipes, you can make a savory oatmeal by cooking your oats in bone broth instead of water and adding toppings such as avocado, a poached egg, slices of turkey bacon and a touch of grass-fed butter (if you don’t believe us on this one, just wait until you try it).
You can also cook your eggs in bone broth (bone broth quiche, anyone?), saute your veggies in bone broth instead of oil — and, hey, there’s no rule that says you can’t have soup or stew for breakfast. As you can see, bone broth is versatile enough to be included in any recipe that requires boiling or simmering, making it easy to enhance the nutritional content of any dish, morning or night.
Regardless of how you choose to add bone broth in your diet, don’t be surprised if the health benefits of bone broth become more addictive than caffeine. There are few beverages that offer long-lasting energy, healthy skin, fewer colds and improved joint health all in one cup.