We are huge fans of bone broth. It’s great for your gut health, but more importantly, it has a rich amino acid profile that does your body good.
We will explain everything there is under the sun about the amino acid profile in bone broth. By the time you finish this post, you’ll be itching to concoct your own homemade broth for dinner.
Bone Broth for Vegetarians
Before we go into detail about the amino acid profile, let’s discuss bone broth as a viable protein source for vegetarians. Most people who make broth use bones with much of the meat intact. For non-meat eaters, broth with the bones only provides a viable source of nutrient-packed amino acids.
We realize that bones are still part of the animal, which may cause hesitation among the most dedicated vegans. However, we do believe it’s good to allow a bit of wiggle room in your diet. A little bit of flexibility may help you get some valuable micro and macronutrients that may be otherwise absent in a plant-based diet. (In short, it’s better to not be deficient in nutrients and get them from a “natural” source over supplementation.)
The Four Major Amino Acids in Bone Broth
Bone broth is especially rich in these four amino acids: arginine, glycine, proline, and glutamine. These are considered “conditional” amino acids; this is not to be confused with non-essential amino acids. “Conditional” in this sense means your body is able to produce them unless it’s under some sort of duress, such as illness or hormonal imbalance.
We must stress, though, that the amino acids in bone broth play essential roles. Being non-essential or conditional does not mean you don’t need to actively seek them in your diet. Any bodily disturbance can inhibit natural production, thus causing deficiency.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the role of each amino acid.
What makes arginine your friend? The studies into this amino acid are plentiful. For the gym rat, you may have heard of L-arginine as a muscle-building supplement. The amino acid is most famous for its ability to dilate blood vessels. This increases nutrient transport after a vein-popping workout. And one study demonstrated that arginine not only induces muscle gains, but also reduces body fat mass.
Dilated blood vessels also mean more nutrient and oxygen flow to the heart. A 2000 research showed that arginine reduced heart rate and improved hemodynamics. In layman’s terms, that means a healthier circulatory system and reduced risk of congestive heart failure.
Do you know what other body part benefits from better blood flow? Your private parts. Yes, arginine improves sexual performance in both genders. In men, arginine raises semen quality. In women, it’s a known remedy for correcting female sexual dysfunction.
Okay, what does glycine do? For one, this amino acid is essential in the production of glutathione. This compound is an invaluable antioxidant that fights off oxidative stress. It’s extremely beneficial for immune system health and offsetting cellular disease.
Another study revealed that glycine reduced the rate of muscle breakdown in mice with cancer. The study concluded that the muscle preservation was solely attributed to glycine.
The amino acid also acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Much of it resides in the central nervous system and regulates the sensory and motor pathways. Studies also suggest glycine works hand-in-hand with GABA and stimulates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. The NMDA regulates memory and learning.
Glycine is also your best ally if you have trouble falling asleep. Studies show the amino acid helps promote a good night’s rest. If you’re plagued by insomnia, then we recommend a hearty bowl of bone broth for the glycine. We also suggest a natural supplement like our Sleep Optimization Stack, which contains additional sleep-promoting compounds.
Okay, on to proline. This amino acid may prove favorable to women. Are you especially conscious of your cottage cheese thighs or the stretch marks under your triceps? These are the byproducts of cellulite, which arises as the result of loss of skin elasticity. Proline is among the amino acids in collagen that promote skin moisture, skin firmness, and skin cell renewal. In short, proline is a cellulite reducer.
Aesthetic benefits aside, proline also improves gut health by alleviating symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. Studies show that proline along with glutamine improves digestion and diffuses toxins in the gastrointestinal tracts.
Last but not least is glutamine. This is another amino acid you may have seen as a muscle-building supplement.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. The bulk of it is also stored in the muscles. Much of the glutamine is broken down during intense anaerobic exercise. Glutamine supplementation prevents depletion and accelerates muscle recovery. As such, glutamine has become a popular post-workout supplement. A 2015 study showed that oral administration of glutamine reduced muscle soreness and speeded muscle strength recovery.
Like proline, glutamine also protects your gut lining. For optimal digestion and gut health, we recommend proline and glutamine-rich bone broth along with a probiotic supplement like Floracil50.
Preparing Bone Broth
How many benefits of bone broth and studies did we just cite? This lends credence to the validity of bone broth amino acids. If you don the apron in the household and want to make your own broth cuisine, then see this bone broth recipe.
Feel free to use beef bones or chicken bones. The amino acid profile is slightly different depending on the source. Learn the respective health benefits of bovine collagen and chicken collagen to determine which is of more benefit to you. Once you select a bone source, break out your crockpot and timer and you’re all set!
On a final note, we highly recommend organic sources regardless of whether you choose bovine or chicken broth. See our past video on the nutritional superiority of organically derived beef and poultry. The points in the video apply to the bones just as much as to the meat.
Bone Broth Amino Acids Are Nature’s Elixir
Is preparing bone broth too cumbersome?
That’s where we come in. We looked at the science behind the nutrients found in bone broth and have been hard at work formulating our own bone broth protein supplement that delivers all the nutrients from bone broth into an easy-to-consume supplement you can take with you anywhere you go.