I Swapped My Coffee for a Daily Cup of Bone Broth - Here's What Happened By Stephanie Eckelkamp Jul 10, 2017 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
by Nellie Procopiou
I love everything aboutcoffee— the smell, the taste, the rush of creative energy that flows to my brain just minutes after my first sip. And until recently, I’d say coffee and I have been in a pretty good relationship.
But while once upon a time a morning cup would suffice, I’m now a consistent two-cup-a-day kinda gal — and by “cup” I mean 12 to 16 ounces. It would be one thing if 32 ounces of coffee a day were giving me superhuman powers, but it’s not. Instead, the more I drink, the more it becomes a crutch, only boosting my energy levels up to the point where I feel “normal,” i.e. not about to fall asleep any time I sit down.
So recently, I decided to do an experiment: swap my second coffee (because there’s no way I’m ditching my morning cup) forbone brothevery day for at least a week and see what happened.
Why bone broth? A few reasons: it packs some serious nutrition, with a decent amount of completeprotein(5-10 grams per serving) andcollagen, which is being linked to everything from reduced joint pain to stronger hair and nails to improvedgut health; it’s got more heft than herbal tea, which I’ve tried (and failed) to sub for coffee in the past; and it’s now insanely convenient, thanks to a number of new brands that are selling prepackaged options and even powdered versions of it that you simply mix with hot water.
Here’s what I noticed when I added them to my daily rotation.
I got a different kind of energy boost
I was kind of nervous when I started this experiment and I fully expected to fail (positivity isn't always my strong suit). So I was pleasantly surprised when I did, in fact, feel pretty great while sipping on my 3 p.m. cup of bone broth. It delivered a dose of what I’d call “calm energy.” Unlike coffee, which can make me feel amped up, anxious, and nervous if I drink too much, bone broth simultaneously increased my ability to focus and made me feel comforted and calm.
This may have happened for a few reasons: For one, drinking too much coffee can actuallydeplete levels of B vitamins, which help your body make neurotransmitters that regulate mood and stress—so drinking less coffee over time could certainly result in reduced stress due to higher nutrient stores. But, more realistically, the immediate calming sensation I experienced was likely due to the fact that I was sipping on something that tasted like chicken soup, which always seems to soothe my frayed nerves. The energy boost I got, I assume, had more to do with the calories and protein in the bone broth—meaning I was actually giving my brain nutrients it needed to function as opposed to tricking it into a state of alertness with caffeine.
This isn’t to say I felt perfect. The first few afternoons of nixing coffee I was still dealing with some drowsiness and crankiness. But the switch was less painful than expected.
Bone broth cured my chronic munchies
Whenever I grab an afternoon coffee at work, I tend to also grab a snack. Maybe it’s mental, since coffee seems to pair so well with a cookie, or granola bar, orJustin’s Peanut Butter Cups(man, those are good). Or maybe—as many Internet anecdotes claim—the coffee itself triggers sugar and carb cravings. Either way, come 3 p.m., the only thing keeping me awake is a severe case of the munchies.
But when I sipped on bone broth, I felt satisfied without needing an additional snack. Each brand I tried clocked in at around 40-50 calories per serving and contained 10 grams of protein, so the fact that it curbed my carb cravings makes total sense. And on days when I needed a little something extra, I started to add a drizzle of olive oil, chopped garlic or herbs, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to up the flavor and satiety factor.
Pro tip:If you want to sip on bone broth at work, I definitely recommend theVital Proteins Organic Bone Broth Collagen. You mix it up with hot water and don’t have to worry about thawing or storing anything. The other two picks are great for home use, especially if you plan to cook with them.
After a few days, I was less bloated
Weird, right? I thought so too, until I did a little digging. Turns out that because coffee is acidic,it can be an irritantand cause immediate swelling if you have a sensitive stomach — which I do, thanks to extensive use of antibiotics when treating myLyme disease.
Bone broth, on the other hand, containscollagen, which more and more experts are touting for its gut-healing properties. Specifically, one amino acid in collagen called glycine may reduce GI inflammation, aid digestion, and help resolve the condition known asleaky gut syndrome(a.k.a. intestinal permeability), which occurs when the tight junctions in the gut that control what passes through the lining of the small intestine don’t work properly.
And I’m not even mad about it. Some hot summer days, a soup-like beverage does nothing but induce rage ... and that's not the goal of my experiment.
I had a good run—a solid week—before I had an afternoon cup of coffee after a night of lackluster sleep. And the upside was that it delivered a more immediate and noticeable buzz than I was used to as result of my overall reduced caffeine intake.
I’m not going back to my old ways though. The plan is to continue with bone broth in the afternoon (with some herbal teas thrown into the mix) and use coffee as more of a strategic tool when nothing else will cut it. Because sometimes it really is the only solution.
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