Can chewing raw coffee beans provide energy

Chewing Raw Coffee Beans for Energy

Is it good to chew raw coffee beans for energy

With so many different types of brewed coffees available today, you might be surprised to learn that some people are actually going without the brewing process and chewing the beans by themselves And why not? People have been chewing on them for hundreds of years. In fact, before people began brewing coffee beans as a beverage, they would often consume them raw mixed with a little animal for an energy boost. Yummy.

Today, more people are making coffee beans their new snack choice (sans animal fat) and there are three ways to do it: eating the coffee beans raw, munching on Arabica roasted coffee beans and the whole coffee cherry.

Coffee Cherries

The coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee cherry, a bright red fruit. Typically, the fruit is discarded and then the seeds (also known as the beans) get roasted. According to the former barista (who only goes by the name of Rudy) who writes for, many companies are now using the whole coffee fruit in making different beverages, foods and even flours. In fact, there is even a coffee cherry fruit tea now available.

Raw Green Coffee Beans

Yes, you can eat unroasted coffee beans and they are actually pretty good for you. They are rich is potassium, protein, fiber and antioxidants, but then again, every form of coffee contains those same benefits, but in different amounts. More on that below. They also contain about 20% more caffeine than roasted beans.

However, eating unroasted beans are not that common and for a good reason. Most people don’t like them. Green coffee beans are bitter, have a woody flavor and can be hard to chew. But Rudy says they are worth a try, especially people who enjoy eating pumpkin seeds. For those wanting to give them a try, Rudy says to make sure to get them fresh and then season and toast them as one would toast pumpkin seeds.

Even so, Rudy says he isn’t a fan of the green coffee bean “This isn’t my favorite option, as green coffee beans are pretty tough to chew and really acidic.” He does say that they can be ground down to be used in a health shake or mix in with other foods to get the rich nutrients.

“For the most antioxidants and fiber benefits, green coffee beans are best, though they are the hardest to prepare,” says Rudy.

There is also such a thing as green coffee bean extract, but for all the good found in it, there might also be a dark side. People taking the extract in higher dosages could find themselves running to the bathroom more often. It can cause stomach upset and bouts of diarrhea.

Roasted Arabica Coffee Beans

While roasted coffee beans aren’t exactly soft, they are a little easier to chew and lot more pleasant to eat. Especially if they are coated in dark chocolate. They still contain plenty of nutrients and will give one the needed energy boost they are seeking (Coffee Yak).

Still Packs a Punch

One of the main reasons people consume coffee in the first place is for a quick intake of caffeine to get their day started and/or to keep going during the afternoon. And of course, it make sense that roasted coffee beans contain plenty of caffeine, but it is a little different. It takes about 70 coffee beans to make the average cup of Joe which contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine. However, it only takes about eight coffee beans to take in that same amount of caffeine. The body absorbs the caffeine taken from the bean a lot faster than the brewed beverage too, so if one isn’t being too careful, they could easily take in a lot more caffeine than they had planned for.

Caffeine itself offers a lot of benefits. For one, caffeine can do wonders for one’s brain and central nervous system by boosting energy and alertness, elevating one’s mood, memory and performance. It can inhibit adenosine, a hormone that can cause drowsiness, can help improve one’s performance while exercising and can boost metabolism making weight loss just a little bit easier.

According to Healthline, one study has shown that two cups of coffee had a similar effect of taking a 30-minute long nap at reducing driving mistakes. Another study showed that a single shot of espresso (or five coffee beans) help to improve contentment, mood and attention. And yet another study that was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that a 60-milligram shot of caffeine (which is said to be about the same as an espresso beverage or eating five coffee beans) helps to improve contentment and mood along with attention span (Healthline).

Antioxidant Benefits

The one antioxidant that is prevalent in coffee beans is chlorogenic acid which sounds scary, but it is actually a “family of health-promoting polyphenols” says Healthline. This power antioxidant may reduce the risk of developing diabetes while also fighting off inflammation and cancers. However, it is difficult to know just how much chlorogenic acid one is taking in through the consumption of coffee beans since the amount varies from bean to bean and the different roasting methods. Even though coffee beans are considered a good source of chlorogenic acid, it is estimated that roasting the beans can result in a 50-95% loss of the good stuff.

Other Health Benefits

Studies on the coffee bean continues and the results, while not conclusive, appear to be very encouraging. Observational studies suggest a number of health benefits that can come from the consuming coffee beans. Some studies that have been conducted with both animals and humans suggest that green coffee bean extract may be good at reducing blood pressure. More work needs to be done of course, but the initial results are encouraging.

Other health benefits from consuming coffee may include a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, certain cancers, live illnesses and type 2 diabetes. It also appears that coffee is good for a number of brain disorders such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, a study done in 2015 for the Journal Circulation, researchers found that when one drinks coffee, they might receive an eight to 15 percent reduction in the risk of death!

However, there haven’t been many studies conducted using coffee beans to see for sure if they offer the same results. One study that was conducted by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2012 found that coffee grounds contained more antioxidants than brewed coffee.

Possible Problems

As the saying goes, all things in moderation. Consuming too many coffee beans can have a negative effect on the human body. Coffee beans are high in acid. The caffeine and catechol’s compounds found in coffee beans have shown to cause and increase in stomach acid which can cause an upset stomach. For others, the acid can actually go back up one’s esophagus leading to heartburn.

Just as drinking coffee can have a laxative type of effect for some drinkers, so can the consuming of coffee beans. People have assumed that caffeine was the culprit here, but as it turns out, studies of using decaffeinated coffee also proved to increase bowl movements.

Of course, no one should be surprised to learn that consuming too much coffee in any form can cause sleep disturbances, especially for people who are caffeine-sensitive. Often, office workers will drink many cups of coffee to shake off the morning cobwebs. They will continue to drink the beverage throughout the day to achieve boosts of energy only to find that they are unable to wind down and sleep at night and repeat the cycle all over again the next day.

In 2017, Sleep Medicine Reviews did a study that found caffeine was the culprit of less sleep time, bad sleep efficiency and will cause one to wake up more often when trying to sleep. But this study was not conducted by students or entrepreneurs who are trying to work harder and produce more.

How Much to Consume

Modern medicine testing proves once again that it can complicate things. On one hand, coffee beans certainly offer health benefits but also health dangers if taken too much. How does one know how many beans they can eat to reap the benefits but not so many to avoid the negative effects?

“Although tolerance to caffeine varies, single doses of up to 200 mg and usage up to 400 mg per day — around 4 cups of filtered coffee — are considered safe for adults,” says Healthline. “Anything more than this may negatively impact your health.” Symptoms of too much caffeine intake include migraine headaches, insomnia, nervousness, a bloated stomach, irritability and stomach pain.

“While consuming 400 milligrams of caffeine may come as fantastic news for coffee lovers, be mindful — a 16-ounce “Grande Blonde Roast” at Starbucks has 360 milligrams of caffeine,” says Susanna Kalnes for Live Strong. “Compared to the average cup, this contains a higher percentage of caffeine in coffee. And remember, coffee may not be your only source of caffeine for the day.”

It doesn’t help that the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans can vary from bean to bean due to size, strain and duration of the roasting. Robusta have been found to contain about twice as much caffeine as Arabica coffee and so on.

When it comes to snacking on chocolate-covered coffee beans, the average bean contains about 12 mg of caffeine (which also includes the caffeine found in the chocolate). An adult should be able to consume about 33 chocolate-covered coffee beans without going over what many consider a safe amount of caffeine. In addition, the amount of sugar found in the chocolate could outweigh some of the benefits.

The folks at Livestrong suggest that rather than just snacking on entire bag of coffee beans, one should chew on the slowly and try to savor the flavor and enjoy the “little caffeine boost one at a time” (

Final Notes on Chewing Coffee Beans

Chewing coffee beans is obviously somewhat practical and realistic, however, if someone wanted the full practical application of the coffee bean, there are other ways. Chewing only absorbs a small portion of the body’s ability to collect caffeine and other beneficial effects of the coffee bean. Brewing it is better. Though the saliva can obtain some of the neurological effects of caffeine, only the liver can fully benefit. The liver is only able to digest the bean if it is consumed, and the best way to consume coffee is in a beverage.


Livestrong – and

Healthline –

Coffee Yak –

Image Credits:

Coffee beans [ID 120674546 © Lightfieldstudiosprod |]

Fresh coffee beans [ID 156127854 © Virender Singh |]

Sleeping and coffee [ID 164929862 © Roman Stetsyk |]