You may have heard about using bouillon as a handy electrolyte supplement for keto. One cube (Wyler’s brand) has 750mg of sodium. That’s quite a bit! When you need sodium in a pinch for keto, bouillon cubes are tough to beat. For that reason, keto experts like Stephen Phinney (MD) and Jeff Volek (RD) have been big proponents of using bouillon cubes. They highlight its use especially for those who are currently fat adapting.
So… Given that, how do we actually use these things?
Well, they aren’t lifesavers…and I wouldn’t recommend chewing on them… But, you can make some really tasty soups and quick broth drinks with just one cube (or less).
In this article, I’m going to show you the best ways to use bouillon and even a few alternatives to it.
I DO use store-bought bouillon cubes myself. But, I WILL say is that there are healthier options out there that provide AMAZING benefits!
Best Ways to Consume Bouillon for Keto
1. Consume Bouillon as a Drink.
This is great for when you are at work, or you simply don’t have time for anything crazy. You might want to make note that some of the ingredients within the bouillon cube will not dissolve in cold water. It actually NEEDS to be hot.
What to Do:
- Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave as you would for hot tea.
- Drop 1/2 or 1 cube of bouillon in your water.
- Stir until dissolved and consume.
2. 5 Minute Egg Drop Soup Recipe
This is a REALLY tasty recipe that can be made in just a few minutes. I make this at least once a week. If you aren’t picky about the ingredients, you can substitute out the bacon fat for butter.
Are you in the market for a new pre workout meal? Boom! You just found it! I would recommend cooking this up 1 to 2 hours before your next gym sesh. Eggs are a light protein and many bodybuilders eat eggs in some form before the gym.
Health Concerns with Store-Bought Bouillon Cubes
Store-bought bouillon cubes taste great, but we can’t really say that these are REAL food. Using these bouillon cubes for keto definitely has its health concerns.
The main culprit here is MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). MSG is found in many different processed foods and is used as a flavor substitute for meat broth.
Some studies out there suggest MSG can be toxic to the nervous system and may lead to headaches and other body aches. [*] While the FDA does recognize the ingredient as safe, some people may be more sensitive to it than others.
The other concern is that bouillon cubes contain MANY processed ingredients like maltodextrin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed corn protein, hydrogenated soybean oil, and others.
It is healthier to make your own stock or broth.
Better Options to Standard Bouillon Cubes
1. Homemade Stock and Bouillon Recipe
Homemade bouillon cubes! …that only take a whole day (or two) to make…
If you have the time… seriously, this is the way to go. This isn’t a recipe that you have to slave away at all day long, you just need to keep an eye on it. It’s simple.
Homemade stock and bouillon on keto is a great healthy alternative to store-bought cubes. They can be stored in the fridge or freezer or even dehydrated to keep in the cupboard.
The health benefits of making this stock should be comparable to any bone broth recipe.
There are two recipes for this. The first is to make the stock. From your stock, you then boil this down to a thick layer that will be used to form the cubes.
Now that you have your stock ready to go, you can make your bouillon cubes.
2. Homemade Bone Broth
Bone broth has been the talk of the town lately and for good reason. There are quite a few health benefits associated with it. Most of these come from the high levels of collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamate found in bone broth.
Proline and Glycine are known to be “non-essential” amino acids but there is recent debate over whether they should be classified as “essential”. The body doesn’t seem to be able to make the amounts that we need. [*]
Some Bone Broth Benefits Include [*]
- Improved Joint Health
- Better Gut Health
- Improved Immune System Function
- Increased Detoxification
- Better Skin Health
3. Ketorade Electrolyte Drinks
This is the most simple option to remedy the keto flu and stay healthy on keto. There are various recipes out there on how to make this. Check out ours at the end of our potassium supplements review.
You don’t need to use bouillon to get enough salt. A far better option is to use something like pink Himalayan salt that contains many different trace minerals. As far as we know pink Himalayan salt is the best form of salt available.
If you make an electrolyte drink, you’ll get your potassium needs in at the same time.
When Should You Consume a Sodium Boosting Drink?
- When you feel tired or otherwise lousy.
- Right before a workout.
- When you have a headache.
When you are starting out on the ketogenic diet, try consuming a bit of salt when you feel tired. This is the time when your body is losing water weight and you could be experiencing a drop in blood pressure.
The research that Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek did on keto, suggests that up to 5g of sodium per day is healthy. I would experiment for yourself to gauge what your needs are. If you are strictly maintaining ketosis, your needs may be on the higher end.
⚠ My final note to this is that salt is NOT the answer to every problem on keto. It sure is talked about A LOT with low carb dieting but there are plenty of other nutrient deficiencies that can happen.
Salt deficiencies tend to set off a chain reaction of other electrolyte deficiencies. Lifestyle habits are going to contribute to your sense of well being as well.
What is Your Experience with Bouillon?
I’d love for you to make a contribution to this article. Comment below!