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Bone Broth Protein: Why Should You Try It?

Robyn Openshaw - Updated: January 27, 2021 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Photo of clear glass with white protein drink and scoop of bone broth protein on striped towel from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

I don’t eat very many animal products, but collagen-rich bone broth is a beneficial "whole" food that may be a missing link even for people like me who eat mostly plants.

I’m excited to tell you what makes it so special and why you should try it!

In this article:

What’s In Bone Broth?

Bone broth is one of the world’s oldest whole foods, used in cultures all over the world for thousands of years. Simmering bones and connective tissue for many hours (even days!) releases into the water an impressive array of healing nutrients:


Bone broth is high in protein, making it a very satisfying, filling drink. Many people use it as part of a regular fast from food, helping them stay satiated while they detox and lose weight.

Graphic of skin layers from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

Collagen helps support healthy skin--improving elasticity for skin that is firm and tight.


Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it essentially acts as the glue that holds us all together.

A strong and elastic form of protein, collagen provides structure and protection for tissues and joints, along with building blocks for hair, skin, and teeth. It is also key for a healthy digestive system.

Over time, our bodies lose the ability to make collagen (hello, wrinkles and arthritis!). Recent trials show that collagen supplementation, such as bone broth, can help repair and maintain arthritic joints.¹


Gelatin and collagen have the same nutritional properties, but they are processed differently by the body. The amino acids in gelatin are essential for maintaining skin health, including the “skin” of your intestinal tract (which is so big it would cover a tennis court!).

The “heal and seal” function of this nutrient helps repair intestinal issues like leaky gut, improving digestion and absorption and quieting inflammation.  It also strengthens and repairs your outer skin and your nails and hair, too.


This amino acid has many jobs. It is a building block of both collagen and muscle tissue, which makes it an important nutrient for maintaining lean muscle as we age. It also strengthens our digestive systems, as it helps keep the lining of our intestinal walls impermeable.

Glycine is also key in helping our body convert nutrients in the food we eat to energy for our cells, which in turn aids in the process of rebuilding muscles after a workout.

Graphic of three different muscle types from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

Glycine is key to building and maintaining all of your different muscle types as you age.

It also acts as a neurotransmitter, improving mental function, preventing fatigue, and helping to regulate sleep.²


Proline raises metabolism and has a special role in coronary artery health. It helps loosen and clear fatty cholesterol plaque deposits from inside arterial walls and helps prevent new deposits from forming.  Really important for reducing your heart attack risk! It also works with glycine to repair soft tissue, particularly in the digestive tract.

Depending on the quality and source of the bones, bone broth can also have a great profile of minerals, like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium.

How is Bone Broth Protein Made?

Bone broth is made by simmering bones and ligaments on low heat for several hours. It is most often done with chicken or beef bones, but you can can also use turkey, lamb, other wild game, and even fish (though fish broth will naturally have a distinct, fishy flavor). Simmering the bones low and slow allows the water to extract all of the healing nutrients that we discussed above.

The broth is, of course, liquid, so how does it get converted into a protein powder? The protein is extracted and the water is removed, which leaves behind a powder that can be rehydrated or added to soups, smoothies, coffee, baked goods, and more for an extra protein boost.

Does Bone Broth Protein Have To Be Organic?

As for the quality of the bones used in bone broth and bone broth protein powder, grass-fed is more important than organic. In fact, bone broth protein is one instance that you don't necessarily want an organic label. Here's why:

An “organic” cow or chicken must be fed organic feed in order to get the USDA certification. Sounds good, right? After all, I recommend organic produce for humans!

But cows are supposed to graze on grass, not eat certified “feed” (usually corn or grains). Organic beef production also allows confining the animal if it has "outdoor access." Some growers do have organic fields and can raise organic, grass-fed beef, but an "organic" label does not guarantee that scenario.

So if you see “organic” on the label, you know that the animal has most likely been confined and fed something it shouldn’t be eating. Look instead for “grass-fed” sources.

Image of stamped box and text saying 100% GRASS FED from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

"Grass Fed" is more important than "Organic," when it comes to Bone Broth Protein

I know it’s a hassle to find grass-fed beef bones, however, and simmer them long enough to get the nutrients (up to a couple of days). I tried it for a while; it was a stinky drag, and very inconvenient!

But powdered sources have been shown to be contaminated by heavy metals and pesticides, and I didn't want that problem, either!

So, I was thrilled to find a great source of clean, pollutant-free, grass-fed bone broth protein powder for easy portable nutrition--and it wouldn’t stink up my house!

This bone broth protein comes from grass-feed beef in Sweden, where the problematic pollutants in other bone broth proteins are not allowed to be sprayed or injected. (Check out the test results here.)

GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein Powder

I loved the protein so much that I used it for our GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein powder, available in Natural, Chocolate Shake, and Vanilla Shake!

GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein

The Natural version is pure bone broth protein with nothing added, so it has a neutral taste that easily incorporates protein into any food or beverage without adding flavor. It goes down easy by itself, too, in hot or cold water.

My favorites? The Vanilla Shake and Chocolate Shake flavors!

They are both sweetened with monk fruit, a naturally low-carb whole food, and these blends are so unbelievably yummy that we had to name them “shakes!” Because they literally taste like such a rich treat.

They blend easily and are fabulous in cold water for a refreshing protein-boosting “shake,” or in hot water for a soothing, cozy, “hot cocoa”-like treat at bedtime. Even kids will ask for more!

You can also make the protein powders into a meal by blending them in a fruit and veggie smoothie, mixing the Natural version into your favorite soup, adding them to quick bread recipes, or making protein ball snack bites. You can even add a teaspoon or two to a salad dressing! The flavors are so versatile, there’s really no limit to how you can up the protein content in any of your meals.

Give them a try, and let me know your favorite way to use them. (My latest favorite? Half a scoop of Vanilla Shake in my morning coffee—YUM!)

Read next: 23 Ways to Use Bone Broth Protein | 9 Healthy, Satisfying Bone Broth Beverages to Warm You Up

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Photo of clear glass with white protein drink and scoop of bone broth protein on striped towel with post's title text from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl


  1. “Versus Arthritis.” Versus Arthritis,
  2.  YAMADERA, Wataru, et al. “Glycine Ingestion Improves Subjective Sleep Quality in Human Volunteers, Correlating with Polysomnographic Changes.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 27 Mar. 2007,


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Supplements, Tools & Products, Whole Food

19 thoughts on “Bone Broth Protein: Why Should You Try It?”

Leave a Comment
  1. Geege says:

    I would like to try it. But I bought some from Dr.Axe and my mouth broke four in sores. Was it from too much of an amino avid like glycine? Can bone broth do that? Thank u

    1. Robyn says:

      not sure, but their product says non-GMO on it but they (jordan, his partner) told me they could not guarantee it wasn’t non-GMO corn those chickens were fed. so we decided to make our own. i doubt it’s “too much amino acid,” if it’s legitimately just bone broth. i would think gmo or chemical you’re sensitive to.

  2. Susannah Lewis says:

    Um. I like your site here, but found a typo (?): you have the above comment dated August 9, 2017 at 8:40am. It is right now, August 9, 2017 @8:02, so that is incorrect. Just saying. Your info about organic and grass fed is right on; glad to see that here, so important to know and so common sensical. But, I hope it doesn’t discourage people from buying organic though. You don’t mention the synthetic chemicals in non organic meats that would be in the broth. Another thing; the smell of bones cooking for days; you’re marketing your product which I will be buying, but just want to say, cooking something for days is an age-old tradition and gives the cook valuable experience of independent cooking; important in my mind. Thanks for bringing it all up.

    1. Robyn says:

      hi susannah…..this blog is 10 years old, so we’re in a process of bringing our older posts current. and, it takes days, and we’re all for that….but i didn’t like it in my kitchen. (really stinky.) if you’re willing to cook beef bones in your kitchen, that is awesome! we’ve just found that most people won’t do it. (myself included, after that first time.) so we do it for you, with this new product line.

  3. Lucy says:

    How much of this should we eat and how often? How long would a bag last for a single person? It’s crazy expensive for someone like me in their 20s, so I want to know if it’s worth saving up for. 😉

  4. Debbie says:

    I don’t see any nutrition facts on the label for: “minerals, like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium.”

    1. Robyn says:

      debbie, it’s a whole food. so you can’t quantify it that way. you can, when it’s a synthetic or isolated product.

  5. Go Girl says:

    Can you tell me if bone broth contains animal estrogen like meat?

  6. Deb says:

    Can you please post a picture of the back of your bone broth package? I’d like to see the serving size, amount of servings, ingredients, and nutritional facts. Most companies make that readily available in their marketing. If I missed it please forgive. If it is not present can you please post? Thanks much, Deb

  7. Kirsten says:

    Hello Robyn! So would the Bone Broth Shake replace my green smoothie in the morning for breakfast, or is it in addition to it? Thanks!

  8. Sheri says:

    I bought the product (which is REALLY expensive) and have been drinking it in the morning in my shaker cup. The taste is not bad, but it sure doesn’t dissolve. I imagine if I put it in my smoothie, it might be better.

  9. Sonja says:

    Hi Robyn. I was very curious about this and spoke with my brother about it, who is a vegetarian and killer researcher. He sent me very interesting info and I wondered if you had seen any of this info. It does directly counter your claim of not getting collagen from veggies.

    From and NPR article:
    “Kantha Shelke has a different take. She’s a food scientist and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists, and a principal with the food science and research firm Corvus Blue LLC.

    She says that if you want to build collagen, you need more than bone broth.

    “Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables is ideal,” she says. “Plants offer richer sources in collagen building blocks and, in addition, provide nutrients not found in sufficient quantities in meats or broth.” ”

    And this video:

    He has all of the research links posted in more info.

    Interesting stuff and I have to say, after seeing this and reading the research, I changed my mind about adding it to my diet.

  10. ken collins says:

    Robyn, have tried the bone broth in both flavors and love them both. Can’t quite yet explain it, but I feel amazingly better from the first serving. Obviously, in the laboratory of my own body the results are conclusively good.

    I’m curious how your formula gets 20gr. protein in one little serving though? Maybe because it is dried and more concentrated. Others are in a gelatinous form and have as high as 11 grams only.

    Would love to know more about the product and how it is made and contents are established as to grams of protein?

    thanks, ken

  11. Cindy says:

    Hi Robyn….. I have been seeing a lot about bone broth and would like to try it. Can you add frozen berries to this and blend in a blender.

  12. Susan says:

    Just received my order of Vanilla bone broth. Immediately added to a favorite smoothie: spinach, coconut water, ginger, small beet juiced, 3 strawberries and a scoop of broth. It is very tasty however much sweeter than I’d hoped. Do you have a suggestion for additives to counter sweetness.

  13. Pat says:

    If you roast your bones before adding liquid, the smell of it simmering is not nearly as objectionable.

  14. Clare says:

    Would love to hear what you think about the potential for dangerous levels of glutamic acid which occurs in all bone broth due to the length of cooking times, as per article here:

  15. Ann Light says:

    Homemade broth is the way to go! All homemade broth is "bone broth" and it’s silly that people suddenly think bone broth is some new and amazing thing to eat. It is very very inexpensive to make, even with grass fed bones. It freezes wonderfully and you can cook it down so it is very concentrated. When I make broth and friends drop in I always get questions about what I am cooking because it smells wonderful! The fact that there is no nutrition label is bothersome. This is a highly processed supplement for the real thing. It is expensive and there is no lab testing (provided) to back up it’s nutritional data. If it is not tested there is no proof in what is actually available in this powder, for your body to utilize. Roast your bones for a deeper flavour and add lots of aromatics to the clean water. So yummy, so natural, so healthy and minimally processed.

    1. Elsa Anderson says:

      Hi Ann, We couldn’t agree more that natural, homemade bone broth is the way to go, but the truth is most people don’t have the time or care to find the time to make it. Did you read the full article? Robyn did in fact provide test results, so please be sure to read carefully as we do want our followers to have all the information before making an important purchase. We also have each nutrition label displayed on the product page below the product, which you can find here:
      Wishing you optimal health!

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