Few remember the American athlete Gertrude Ederle, who was cheered with confetti by an estimated two million New Yorkers in 1926. At the age of 19, she swam across the English Channel. Because conditions were rough, Gertrude did not swim in the 21-mile straight line she had anticipated. Instead, she navigated a 35-mile course from Cap Gris-Nez, France, to Kingsdown, on the English coast.
Nevertheless, she set a record of 14 hours and 31 minutes, breaking the previous record of 16 hours 23 minutes set in 1923 by Italian Sebastian Tirabocchi.
What gave her the strength to make the arduous crossing? Bone broth, supplied by her companion boat.
Back in the early part of the 20th century, athletes recognized the strengthening powers of broth. They knew they needed to eat meat, not candy bars—or energy bars, as they're known today.
While the marketplace is infused with a weekly rotation of super food staples you supposedly should be adding to your diet, bone broth has stood the test of time. Made by simply roasting and simmering the bones of pastured animals in water for a very long time, bone broth is nature's most nutrient-dense, easily-digestible liquid, filled with micronutrients, minerals, amino acids and collagen.
As an athlete, the daily addition of bone broth to your diet could be the cure for what ails you, including the tendons in your wrist that hurt or the ligaments in your knee that swell. Cate Shanahan, the head doctor for the LA Lakers, recently said bone broth was "the number one miracle food for your joints and connective tissue (including bone) is bone broth because it contains compounds that act like growth hormones in these tissues."
This principle doesn't apply to just pro athletes. Any level of athlete will benefit from the healing liquid of broth. When it comes to nutrition, eating a well balanced, anti-inflammatory diet isn't enough; the amino acid chains that are available from making bone broth aren't going to be found in the meat we eat everyday.
Bone broth introduced into your diet will kill inflammation and swelling. It will make you feel younger at the gym, on the bike or on a run. As athletes, we make a daily habit of beating up our body to grow stronger. Bone broth as a daily supplement intake is one of the best sources of fuel for your body to heal and grow.
In addition, bone broth heals leaky gut syndrome (bloating, gas, cramps or any other digestive issue) by reducing inflammation and increasing absorption rates of nutrients. Why does this matter to the athlete? You process food more efficiently, which aids muscle recovery quicker and enhances your performance faster.
Bone broth is one of the best things you to add into your daily diet. It's easy to make, loaded with flavor, and provides tons of nutrients. Like Dr. Shanahan says, "What it really boils down to is this: In the context of real food, flavor equals nutrition."
Stay healthy with our nutrition guide.