If you’re new to intermittent fasting or thinking about giving it a shot, you might run into some conflicting information about bone broth. While some sources say that drinking bone broth will break your fast, others say it’s okay to drink during your fast.
So, which advice should you take?
Here’s our take on bone broth and fasting.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
To understand how bone broth might break a fast, you need to understand intermittent fasting.
This eating style involves alternating periods of fasting with periods when eating is allowed. Depending on your goals, you may choose to follow a style with long or short periods of fasting.
The most popular form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method. In this style of fasting, you fast for 16 hours and have an eating period that lasts 8 hours. Some fasting periods last up to 48 hours.
Some potential benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- Weight loss
- Brain health
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Cardiovascular health
Will Bone Broth Break Your Fast?
To put it simply, yes. Anything with calories will technically break a fast.
It’s common in intermittent fasting to allow very low calorie drinks like black coffee or tea with less than five calories per serving. Bone broth contains 31 calories per cup.
However, the controversy comes from how bone broth interacts with fasting.
Although the fast is broken, the goal of intermittent fasting is usually to put your body into a fat-burning state. Bone broth can help with this during a longer fast, which is why some say it's okay to drink in a fed or fasting state.
Why Is Bone Broth Good To Break A Fast?
Even if you break your fast with bone broth, you won’t miss out on the benefits of fasting. In fact, breaking your fast with bone broth could actually support all of the potential benefits of fasting.
Bone broth is low-calorie
As we mentioned earlier, bone broth is very low calorie (30 calories per cup). It’s also a clear liquid, meaning it will gently ease your body out of a fasting state.
This is important because after a long period of not eating, it’s easy to overeat. As your body adjusts to fasting, you’ll learn that eating something light to break a fast is the way to go.
Bone broth is nutrient-dense
Bone broth is also packed with nutrition. Each cup contains around 5 grams of protein and small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium. Bone broth may also be a good source of collagen, which is good for the muscles, bones, and joint health.
Bone broth is keto/low-carb friendly
Plain bone broth contains little to no carbohydrates. If you’re using intermittent fasting to put your body in ketosis, bone broth will help you keep it in that state.
Bone broth may promote sleep
Bone broth might help you sleep. During the process of making bone broth, the bone releases certain nutrients. Glycine is an amino acid commonly found in bone broth that can actually help you sleep.
Why is this important for fasting? Because fasting is a little stressful on the body, which makes it harder for some people to fall and stay asleep. Drinking a little bone broth before bed can help improve sleep quality.
What Is A Bone Broth Fast?
A bone broth fast is basically intermittent fasting, but you also drink bone broth periodically throughout the day as a meal replacement.
This keeps your body in a fat-burning state, while also keeping you fueled with protein and fat. Having small amounts of protein and fat throughout the day could make you feel less hungry throughout your fast.
It’s possible that bone broth could strengthen other benefits of fasting like improved glucose control and decreased inflammation.
Some of the most celebrated benefits of a bone broth fast happen in the gut. Bone broth is rich in glutamine and other nutrients that strengthen the intestinal wall and decrease inflammation.
Improving gut health with a bone broth fast may also improve your immune system.
Of course, replacing meals with bone broth means your calorie intake is extremely low during your fast. This can be dangerous for some people, especially if you have low body weight or certain conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Fasting can also increase the risk of passing out or experiencing an injury during workouts.
Can You Lose Weight On A Bone Broth Fast?
Fasting, in general, can help you burn fat. Additionally, a bone broth fast will likely put you in a calorie deficit, especially if you remain active.
However, any weight loss you experience on a bone broth diet may not be sustainable. As soon as you end the fast and resume a normal diet, your calorie intake will increase.
Following a bone broth fast for a long period of time likely isn’t sustainable either. It’s best to use a modified version that allows you to include more regular foods if you plan on following this style of fasting for a long time.
Although there is some controversy around bone broth and intermittent fasting, bone broth contains calories and does technically break a fast.
However, consuming bone broth likely won’t cut the benefits of your fast short. Bone broth supports ketosis, helping your body burn fat. It’s also packed with glycine, collagen, and other nutrients that offer several benefits.
Bone broth is so beneficial that it’s been integrated into its own style of intermittent fasting - a bone broth fast. Although this style of fasting has many potential benefits including weight loss, it may not be sustainable for everyone.