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Bone Broth Nutrition Facts: The Complete Nutritional Breakdown

An image of a man drinking from a water bottle

If broth wasn’t a nutritional powerhouse, people all over the world wouldn’t be spending hours simmering bones in a kettle or crockpot. It’s a superfood that is vastly underestimated. Let’s take a look at the bone broth nutrition facts for a breakdown of the minerals and amino acids.

Before we list the full nutritional content, we must point out that our list is somewhat of a ballpark range for a regular 1-cup serving of broth. It does not take into account additional ingredients, such as vegetables, meat, or spices. The nutrition may also slightly differ depending on the types of bones used.

A look at the Bone Broth Nutrition Facts

If you were to look at the nutrition facts label of a typical prepackaged broth, you won’t see much in way of nutritional density. Case in point with the nutritional label for a package of Swanson Chicken Broth:

Swanson food label

It has zero vitamins A and C and a measly 2 percent of the minerals calcium and iron. On the surface, this doesn’t seem very impressive. This is absolutely uninspiring compared to the nutrition label of, say, a bag of organic kale.

At face value, these nutrition facts absolutely fall flat. However, what the label does not disclose are the rich amino acids and a few other compounds. Nutritional labels are a bit flawed in the sense that they often leave out the amino acids (for protein-based foods). The same goes for minerals. While some of the more prominent ones like iron and calcium may be listed, the rest is often left out. If these were included, you would see that broth is indeed extremely dense in nutrition.

An image of a woman drinking a cup of bone broth

Bone Broth Amino Acids

Whether made from chicken or bovine bones, broth is extremely rich in collagen and gelatin. These proteins are broken down into amino acids, which have been shown in numerous independent studies to aid the body in cellular function, reproduction, and repair. The proteins contain these powerful amino acids:

  • Proline: this is often known as the anti-aging amino acid since research1 shows it repairs damaged skin. Studies2 also show it accelerates the healing of external wounds.
  • Glycine: according to studies3, glycine has multifarious benefits, including assisting in neurological function, offsetting inflammatory disease, and combating obesity.
  • Arginine: this is mainly known in bodybuilding circles for its vasodilating effects. Arginine relaxes the arteries and improves nutrient transport. This consequently leads to improved arterial and heart health. Arginine supplementation has also been shown in a study4 to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat mass.
  • Hydroxyproline: this is an amino acid derivative produced from proline. It assists in the development of the bones, tendons, and cartilage.
  • Valine: L-valine supports muscle metabolism during strenuous physical activity. Valine is also a member of the branched chain amino acids, which studies show may reduce liver disease.
  • Lysine: this helps treat cold sores. L-lysine also aids in the production of carnitine, which in turn lowers bad LDL cholesterol levels. Other studies show lysine may aid in the death of malignant cancer cells.
  • Alanine: this is another amino acid known for improving physical endurance output. Studies show it improves anaerobic performance by delaying the buildup of lactic acid.

Broth Minerals and Electrolytes

Aside from amino acids, broth is also high in minerals and electrolytes. Think of it as a natural form of Gatorade minus the sugar and other preservatives. Broth is high in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Many people on the keto (low carb) diet actually take broth to replenish lost nutrients. When you eschew carbs, the kidney also begins expelling more water. This accounts for the initial rapid weight loss; it’s mostly water retention you’re losing. The water flush also results in excretion of valuable minerals and electrolytes.

We’re not pointing this out to advocate for a keto diet. The UMZU philosophy is not in favor of eliminating any macronutrients. We point this out to demonstrate the value of broth for replacing the minerals and electrolytes your body counts on for the most basic functions.

An image of total bone broth.
Bone broth supplements are a good source of branch-chained amino acids.

Bone Broth Calories

You now know that broth is loaded in nutrients regardless of what its nutrition label may suggest. What about bone broth calories? How much in a serving? This might be something you want to know if you’re keeping track of calories for muscle gain or fat loss.

Referring back to the pic above of the Swanson Broth nutrition label, you can see that a one-cup serving has a mere 10 calories. Assuming that you don’t add additional ingredients, the calorie count is practically negligible. This makes broth a useful aid during intermittent fasting. Many people swear by the efficacy of broth as an appetite suppressant. Consume it midway through your fast, and it will help you keep cravings in check.

As you can see, bone broth calories are very few, yet very useful in so many ways.

Bone Broth Through Supplementation

Are these nutrition facts the same for a broth supplement in pill or powder form? Assuming the product is from a high-quality organic source with minimal fillers, then yes, it’s about identical. This is certainly the case with Total Bone Broth made from organic bovine collagen and gelatin. This supplement also has the added benefit of hydrolyzed collagen for maximum bioavailability.

The takeaway? Don’t be discouraged by its nutrition facts. Most nutritional labels limit the listing to common vitamins and one or two minerals. Broth is one of the most nutritious foods that benefit your mind and body. It’s a superfood even if most health sites seldom mention it.

Citations and Sources

Murakami H, Shimbo K, Inoue Y, Takino Y, Kobayashi H. Importance of amino acid composition to improve skin collagen protein synthesis rates in UV-irradiated mice. Amino Acids. 2011;42(6):2481-2489. [PMC]
Ponrasu T, Jamuna S, Mathew A, et al. Efficacy of L-proline administration on the early responses during cutaneous wound healing in rats. Amino Acids. 2013;45(1):179-189. [PubMed]
Razak M, Begum P, Viswanath B, Rajagopal S. Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:1716701. [PMC]
Tan B, Yin Y, Liu Z, et al. Dietary L-arginine supplementation increases muscle gain and reduces body fat mass in growing-finishing pigs. Amino Acids. 2009;37(1):169-175. [PubMed]

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Ryan Tronier

Ryan Tronier is a writer and editor who has worked with NBC, ABC, and USA Today.
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