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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Bone Broth Fast: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

Bone Broth Fast: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: October 17, 2023
8 min read 867 Views 0 Comments
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Bone broth fasting means consuming only bone broth for a period of up to 5 days, but is it actually beneficial to your health?

bone broth fast

With the increase in popularity of eating methods like keto and intermittent fasting, more and more people are turning to drinking bone broth of different types for overall health and weight loss.

Drinking bone broth has plenty of health benefits and may have a positive impact on everything from your digestive tract to blood sugar levels to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. But what is bone broth fast?

Below is a detailed explanation of the bone broth fast, how it works, and if there are any risks.

What Is a Bone Broth Fast?

Bone broth fast simply entails consuming bone broth as a meal replacement. It is a modified intermittent fast that gives your body and digestive system a break while still providing you with essential amino acids and other nutrients.

Unlike other forms of fasting, only bone broth is consumed during this fast. Other intermittent fasting patterns involve periods of eating solid foods, but a bone broth fast doesn’t.

There are many types of bone broth recipes, including chicken bone broth, beef bone broth, and pork bone broth. It is made by boiling down animal bones, connective tissue, and marrow to make use of parts of an animal that cannot be eaten.

How Do You Do a Bone Broth Fast?

The most common way to do a bone broth fast is by only consuming bone broth for 24 hours. However, some seasoned fasters have chosen to extend a bone broth fast for up to three days at a time.

It is incredibly important when choosing to do a bone broth fast that you prepare your body for it. You’re going to consume only bone broth for the next 24 hours at least, so getting your body prepared is always in your best interests.

You can do so by trying less challenging methods of intermittent fasting – like the 12-hour fast or the 14:10 method. This can get your body used to longer periods without food and help reduce side effects like nausea, headaches, fatigue, and brain fog.

When it comes time to try a bone broth fast, it’s also a good idea to eat lots of nutritious foods before entering your fasting period. It is recommended that you consume foods with lots of fiber, like fruit and veg, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. You should also eat foods that are high in protein, like lean meats, fish, tofu, and other plant-based protein sources.

Both fiber and protein are essential nutrients and can also improve feelings of satiety and reduce hunger pangs. This can make it easier to feel less hungry when on a bone broth diet.

How long can you do a bone broth fast?

Most people do a bone broth fast for 24 hours, to begin with. However, some people recommend following a bone broth fast for 3–5 days. This can be challenging for people not used to a bone broth fast, which is why it is imperative that you prepare yourself first.

The difference between a bone broth fast and a water fast is that bone broth offers you nutrients, amino acids, healthy fats, and even protein like collagen. This means that you’re consuming something that can fuel your body and make side effects, like an electrolyte imbalance, less likely.

This means that people may attempt to fast for longer when drinking bone broth. Though it does offer you nutrients, you should still stop fasting if you start to feel ill.

How much bone broth should you take?

Ideally, you should consume 2–3 quarts of bone broth on each day of your broth fast. If possible, you should drink bone broth from a variety of sources, too. This can include chicken broth, beef broth, pork broth, veal broth, and more.

You may also flavor your broth with herbs, like turmeric and ginger, to make it taste better. You could also add Himalayan rock salt, though only in limited amounts. If you are trying a bone broth fast because of digestive issues, like bloating or an autoimmune flare-up, it may be best to avoid these additions.

Along with bone broth, remember that you can drink water, herbal teas, and even green tea and unsweetened coffee.

What kind of bone broth is best?

Generally, there is no one best bone broth. Instead, the best thing to do when drinking broth during a fast is to consume a range of different types of it. This can ensure you’re getting a range of amino acids, healthy fats, and nutrients.

Consuming variety can help to ensure you’re still nourishing your body during your fast.

You can also add things like collagen supplements and other additional minerals to your bone broth, provided that they don’t break your fast.

Benefits of Bone Broth Fasting

Drinking bone broth has many health benefits, which is why people choose to do this kind of fast. Below are 4 of the top benefits of this style of modified intermittent fasting.

#1 Supports digestion

Digestion is crucial to good health. An unhealthy digestive system can lead to many problems with your physical and mental health. Many people choose to do a bone broth fast to reset and recalibrate their digestive system.

Bone broth is a natural and rich source of collagen. The GI tract lining needs collagen to make its lining. Collagen works to protect and smooth the lining of your entire digestive tract and could even support people with leaky gut syndrome, IBS, and other digestive disorder types.

Additionally, an amino acid present in bone broth, called glutamine, is known to maintain the function of the walls of the intestines, further supporting people with leaky gut syndrome.

Gelatin, present in high amounts in bone broth, helps to bind to water in your digestive system, helping to move food through your gut more easily. This supports better digestion, too, and can help rid your body of toxins.

#2 Healthier joints

Another amazing benefit of the collagen found in bone broth is that it can support healthy joints. Collagen is found in bones, tendons, and ligaments. It’s actually the main protein in all of these parts of the body.

On top of this, gelatin (also found in bone broth) contains both proline and glycine. These are both amino acids that are used by the body to build connective tissues like tendons. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which are compounds found in cartilage. Research suggests that these compounds can actually reduce joint pain.

This may be particularly useful for people who struggle with joint aches from osteoarthritis.

#3 Supports skin health

Another function of collagen in the body is to support the elasticity of the skin and help you to maintain your youthfulness. Intake of collagen may have an impact on the function of your skin barrier, which helps to lock in hydration and can reduce the signs of aging too.

Additionally, collagen can boost skin firmness, decrease puffiness, and reduce the amount of cellulite on your skin. Research has found that collagen can also have a positive impact on skin moisture, helping to eradicate skin dryness.

For those trying to reduce signs of aging, and those with skin conditions exacerbated by dry skin, bone broth protein could be the answer.

#4 Enhances immunity

Bone broth has many positive effects on gut health, which can, in turn, have a positive impact on immunity. By strengthening the gut lining, fewer particles from the gut can seep into the bloodstream.

For people with leaky gut and other gut health issues, problems within the digestive system can increase inflammation across the body. Bone broth, like other anti-inflammatory foods, can minimize this inflammatory response by sealing the gut lining.

Other aspects of overall health that bone broth has traditionally been used for include boosting energy levels, promoting healthy sleep, and supporting a healthy mood. Choosing to drink bone broth may also support detoxification processes.

Risks of a Bone Broth Fast

As with all kinds of intermittent fasting, there are risks associated with the process. These are explored below.

#1 Possible lead contamination

Lead is stored in the bones of cattle that graze on lead-contaminated soil. It can also settle on vegetables and plants that are stewed alongside these bones in the process of making bone broth. Therefore, while avoiding solid food and consuming only bone broth, you are at a higher risk of lead-based food poisoning.

#2 Glutamate acid sensitivity

There is research that suggests that bone broth has high levels of glutamate. This compound may cause side effects like anxiety, restlessness, low energy, mental fatigue, sleep issues, and problems with concentration.

#3 Digestive distress

This could include an upset stomach, bloating, and constipation. It could also trigger symptoms in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).

#4 Nausea, faintness, and headaches

This is caused by a lack of food or low blood sugar levels.

#5 Excessive weight loss

Bone broth may accelerate body fat loss, but following a bone broth fast for too long could lead to unhealthy weight loss. Losing too much weight too quickly can lead to side effects, including nutrient deficiencies, gallstones, and muscle loss.

Bone Broth Fasting Is Not for Everyone

On top of these side effects that you need to be aware of, there are also people who should not follow a bone broth fast. These include:

  • People who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Anyone with low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) or type 1 diabetes. (Speak with your healthcare provider if you have diabetes to find out more about the risks.)
  • Anyone who has had an eating disorder or is currently struggling with disordered eating.
  • People with medical conditions that may be exacerbated by intermittent fasting of any kind.
  • People who rely on medications that need to be eaten with solid food.
  • Anyone with a digestive disorder that may be exacerbated by intermittent fasting.

If you’re unsure of whether this style of intermittent fasting is suitable for you, then you must speak with your healthcare provider. They can advise you of any risks and help you to follow this eating pattern as safely as possible. Remember to listen to their advice, and don’t try bone broth intermittent fasting if you have been advised otherwise.

A Word From an RD

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating method, and bone broth fasting is a variation of this. To properly follow a bone broth fast, you need to only consume broth for upwards of 24 hours.

Consuming bone broth is not a new phenomenon. Bone broth has been used for its variety of health benefits for centuries. It is known to improve digestion, skin health, joint health, and more.

If you’re trying a bone broth fast, remember to maintain hydration, prepare your body beforehand, and stop fasting if you feel very ill. If you’re unsure whether a bone broth fast is right for you, it is always advised that you speak with your doctor first.

Bone broth fasting can offer a total reset of your body, but it is only beneficial to your health if you do it safely.


How much weight can you lose on a bone broth fast?

Advocates of the bone broth diet claim that it can help you to lose up to 15 pounds. However, you should be aware that much of this weight is likely to be water weight, and you are at risk of regaining this weight once you return to eating normally.

How to do bone broth fasting safely?

Safely following a bone broth fast requires maintaining hydration, preparing your body beforehand, and stopping the fast if you feel ill.

How much bone broth should you drink while fasting?

Most people recommend 2–3 quarts of bone broth during fasting. It is also important that you get this broth from various sources to give your body nutritional variety.


A bone broth fast means consuming only bone broth for a period. It is important to get broth from a variety of sources to nourish your body and get as much collagen and other protein as you can.

Bone broth fasting can be challenging, so you may want to start with a less challenging form of fasting first, like the 14:10 method or the 16:8 eating pattern.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: October 17, 2023
8 min read 867 Views 0 Comments

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