Down To Enter Your Iced Bone Broth Era? RDs Say It’s Liquid Gold for Gut Health and Hydration—Especially for Summer

Photo: Stocksy/ Martí Sans
It’s no secret that bone broth has been a hot topic of debate in recent years. And while it’s far from being a magical elixir—and should definitely not be considered a meal replacement—registered dietitians agree it certainly has many health benefits to offer.

So, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bone broth? A hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup? (Same.) However, Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND, a board-certified naturopathic physician, New York Times bestselling author, and nutrition expert, would argue this isn’t the only way we should be consuming bone broth regularly—especially come summertime. Instead, you may be surprised to hear her say, “serve it on the rocks, would ya?”

Experts In This Article

Indeed. We’re talking about iced bone broth, the soon-to-be coolest (literally) beverage of the summer. We caught up with three nutrition pros to delve into the benefits of drinking bone broth iced cold. Plus, a few genius ways to ensure it’s as nutritious—and, more importantly, deliciously undetectable—as possible.

Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you've try it.

The benefits of bone broth (iced or hot)

Let’s talk good ol’ bone broth. Whether it’s iced or hot, bone broth is rich in collagen, gelatin, and glycine. According to Dr. Petrucci, collagen is packed with essential amino acids that help promote healthier skin, joints, and gut. “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it maintains the skin’s structure—but we begin to lose collagen as we age,” Dr. Petrucci says. It's perfectly natural. It's also why she recommends eating collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth (which is derived from animal-based connective tissues), at all phases of life.

What’s more, Dr. Petrucci notes that collagen contains 19 amino acids, which is great news for the health of your gut microbiome. “Many of the amino acids that make up collagen, specifically glutamine and glycine, have been linked to gut health. Glutamine, specifically, can help repair the gut lining and improve digestion,” she says. Another gut-boosting factor of bone broth is the abundance of gelatin, which Dr. Petrucci notes is formed when collagen found in bone broth is cooked and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Finally, collagen is a good source of certain essential vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Dr. Petrucci also highlights that bone broth is a quick and easy way to add some protein to your diet, as well as boost your body's hydration.

Why you should be sipping on iced bone broth this summer

As the days get hotter, a bowl of hot, steamy, and sweat-inducing bone broth might be the last thing on your mind. To that end, may we suggest iced bone broth instead? As we mentioned earlier—whether it’s iced or hot—the benefits are equal. So, why not give it a refreshing twist? “Iced bone broth is a great addition to your diet and is perfect for summer. It holds the same benefits as regular hot bone broth. It’s gut healing, protein-rich, and a great source of collagen. The only difference? It’s just consumed cold,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and the founder and director of Real Nutrition.

But, of course, if your ick-alert is blaring by now, there are easy ways to make iced bone broth much more palatable so you reap all of the benefits without any aftertaste. “I would add a slice of lemon or blend it into a green smoothie that isn't sweet. Think drinkable salad,” Shapiro says. Another (genius) way to make it? Gazpacho. “Add bone broth to gazpacho or other cold soups to boost protein and add depth to your recipe,” she says.

Just a friendly reminder from the registered dietitian: “Remember to tell any vegan or vegetarian friends that there is bone broth in there!” Also, Shapiro recommends purchasing grass-fed or pasture-raised bone broth that has no added ingredients besides spices.

Of course, there are endless possibilities when it comes to serving bone broth cold. But if you ask Dr. Petrucci, the best way, hands-down, is in the form of a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) beverage. Yep, you (likely?) heard it here first, folks.

Straight out of Dr. Petrucci’s arsenal of tasty, fun, and refreshing recipes, you’ll find what she’s coined as a “brocktail,” which is a twist on a classic Bloody Mary with a splash of bone broth, of course. Or, if you’re looking for an alcohol-free alternative, Dr. Petrucci suggests making a hydration cucumber melon cooler (recipe ahead) made with ultra thirst-quenching ingredients like cucumber, honeydew melon, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and... bone broth.

The best part? When combining all of these flavorful ingredients together, the presence of the slightly herbaceous bone broth will go completely unnoticed.

How can you tell you have high-quality bone broth?

Although we’ve built a substantial case for iced bone broth, Bianca Tamburello, RDN, a registered dietitian, has one very important note (not related to nutrition). She points out that high-collagen bone broth—like Azuluna’s Pasture-Raised Chicken Bone Broth—might not have the best texture when served cold and, thus, is better consumed hot if mouthfeel is of concern. “If your bone broth isn’t thick when cold, it’s likely low in collagen, and you’re missing out on major health benefits. Keep in mind that bone broth is different than standard broth found at the grocery store, which is liquid when chilled,” Tamburello says.

That said, a quick fix for potentially congealed or gelly-like bone broth? Freeze it! In a recent TikTok video, Dr. Petrucci delves into the many ways she uses the bone broth ice cubes she keeps on hand at all times. “Sauces, soups, stews, cocktails, mocktails, anything,” she says, and the list goes on. Bone broth smoothies, anyone? Until then, here’s a refreshing mocktail to hold ya over.

iced bone broth cucumber cooler
Photo: Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Cucumber melon cooler

Yields 2 servings

1 cup homemade chicken bone broth or Dr. Kellyannʼs Chicken Bone Broth
1 cup ripe honeydew melon, chilled and rough chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and rough chopped, plus 2 vertical slices for garnish
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 1 to 2 limes, plus wedges for garnish
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp jalapeño hot sauce or 2 pinches cayenne
Bone broth ice cubes or regular ice cubes

1. Place all ingredients except the ice in a blender and blend until pureed. Fill two tall glasses with ice, add blended mocktail mix, and stir. Garnish with a cucumber stick, lime, and cilantro.

Up next? DIY immunity broth:

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