What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds

What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 22:12

Many coffee lovers are curious about eating coffee grounds and wonder what happens if you eat coffee grounds? 

Are they safe to eat? Can you suffer adverse side effects from eating coffee grounds?

The answer to both questions is yes and yes.

Coffee beans and coffee grounds are safe to eat in moderation; yes you’ll get that caffeine buzz!

But be careful of excessive consumption, which can lead to some unpleasant side effects. They are safe in moderation.

Keep reading to find out more about eating coffee grounds and what happens when you do!

What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds?

When you eat fresh or used coffee grounds your body will be supplied with a concentration of antioxidants, fiber, phenolic compounds, caffeine and nutrients.

Some of the healthy compounds are absorbed in your mouth, but the majority are absorbed by your gut. The caffeine effects can be absorbed by the lining of your mouth and lead to a faster acting effect.

Be careful of over consumption of coffee beans as this can lead to excessive stomach acid and lead to a very upset stomach.

Is Eating Coffee Beans Healthy
Eating Coffee Beans Is Healthy

Read: Is it bad to drink coffee grounds?

Is Eating Coffee Beans Healthy?

Yes, coffee beans were eaten long before we started to brew coffee. There are some discoveries that indicate that coffee beans were eaten on a daily basis by the people who lived in Harar, Ethiopia hundreds of years ago.

If it was safe then, it is safe now!

Keep in mind that eating coffee beans is a concentrated form of consumption, and you will get all the nutrients and health benefits of coffee in a more focused form. The health benefits of coffee are well documented, studied and researched over thousands of peer reviewed studies.

Some of the proven health benefits are:

  • Protections against type 2 diabetes.
  • Improvement in overall health.
  • Helping to manage and control Parkinson’s disease.
  • Reduced risk of liver disease.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health.
  • Slows the progression of dementia.
  • Lower mortality risk.
  • Reduced risk of melanoma.
  • And more!

When you brew coffee, you dilute the nutrients that are in the coffee bean due to the use of hot water. Also, due to not consuming or extracting 100% of the nutrients from the coffee grounds you are not enjoying the full benefit of them.

This is good and bad, because coffee also contains myocotoxins, a harmful substance which means both the good and the harmful benefits of coffee may be magnified when you eat coffee grounds.

Such examples of the negative effects of over consumption and the negative side effects include:

  • Headaches.
  • Anxiety.
  • Stress.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Sleeplessness.
  • Panic attacks.

If you want to eat coffee beans or coffee grounds, their consumption in moderation is important.

When you eat coffee grounds or coffee beans, the caffeine rush is quicker than drinking a cup of coffee. As stated before, liquid coffee is diluted. The caffeine rush is more intense.

If you have elevated cholesterol, it is better for you to abstain from eating coffee grounds or coffee beans. The diterpene compounds found in coffee beans raise cholesterol levels if unfiltered or consumed directly.

Besides myocotoxins, there are other compounds in coffee beans that are harmful for the human body which normally get filtered out when brewing. If you really want to eat coffee on a regular basis consider lifeboost coffee as this company focuses on good quality coffee that is free from myocotoxins and other compounds.

Can You Eat Coffee Grounds Before Brewing?


you can eat the coffee grounds before brewing coffee. Consuming coffee grounds in this manner is the one that is more concentrated form of consumption.

If you are just starting and trying eating coffee grounds for the first time, start with used coffee grounds first. They are not so potent in the strong flavors and are easier to get used to.

If the idea is still not sitting well with you, try making a tasty Turkish coffee with an ibrik and drink the coffee grinds at the bottom of your cup. Once you get used to it and see that there is no adverse effect, you can progress to eating and enjoying used coffee grounds before progressing to fresh unbrewed coffee grounds.

Can You Eat Coffee Grounds Before Brewing
You Can Eat Coffee Grounds Before Brewing

Read: How much caffeine do you get from eating coffee beans?

How To Eat Coffee Grounds

Eating coffee grounds is easy. You can either do it directly with a teaspoon once, twice or thrice daily, which is the more direct way of enjoying them.

You also have the option of enjoying roasted whole beans as they are and either enjoy them by eating, or sucking on them like a candy or straight down hatchet!

There are of course better options like cooking and baking with your coffee grounds.

Cooking With Coffee Grounds

The acidic nature of coffee grounds makes it a great substance to use as a rub for your steaks, pork, chicken and even vegetables. The chlorogenic and caffeic acids in coffee help to soften and tenderize your meat and vegetables without loss of the dominant flavor.

1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of meat needs the use of four tablespoons of used coffee grounds. Of course, you can use fresh unused coffee grounds for a stronger flavor. Used coffee grounds work just as well. You can also add spices to alter the flavor of your rub and coffee marinade.

Let your meat and vegetables marinate overnight in your rub or marinade.

Cooking With Coffee Grounds
You Can Make A Rub With Your Coffee Grounds

Read: Eating coffee beans

Baking With Coffee Grounds

Baking with fresh coffee grounds provides you with countless culinary creativity that you can put to practice.

Making chocolate-covered coffee beans is a popular choice. Often a very fine espresso-like grind is required for baked goods.

You can make coffee cakes, brownies, cookies, coffee loaf cake, tiramisu, muffins to name only a few popular items.

My own favorite is to sprinkle coffee in sugar cookies and then add the same amount of cocoa powder.

Addicted To Eating Coffee Grounds

Eating coffee grounds is perfectly safe as long as it is in moderation. However, the condition pica, an addiction to eating substances that are normally considered inedible such as clay, tea leaves, coffee grounds, charcoal, egg shells and other such strange substances.

The addiction or daily consumption of coffee is not a problem, just as long as your addiction does not involve excessive consumption of coffee grounds.

The addiction or feeling that you need to consume coffee grounds may be due to being low in catecholamines, which are the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It may be caused by nutrient deficiency, as they saying goes, the body craves what it needs or is deficient in.

You can try to reduce your consumption by slowly reducing your intake slowly, perhaps by reducing by 20% or even as little as 10% every week.

Once you are down to a low in take, you can consider changing to used coffee grounds instead of fresh coffee grounds.

At the same time, take up a wholesome diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and consider supplementation with a multivitamin and mineral pill to ensure that you are not deficient in any nutrients.

Above all, consult with your physician and a specialist in addiction.

Will Drinking Coffee Grounds Hurt You?

Eating coffee grounds is perfectly safe and will not hurt you. The entire nation of Turkey consumes coffee grounds every day in their Turkish coffee, and many other Eastern European nations like Bosnia, Slovakia and Poland that have their own variation of Turkish coffee regularly consume coffee grounds with no adverse effects.

Drinking coffee grounds will only be a problem if you consume excess amounts. In moderation it is perfectly okay.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds?

Yes, it is completely safe to eat coffee grounds. Coffee has been eaten for hundreds of years, long before we started brewing coffee. In moderation, eating coffee grounds and coffee beans can even be healthy due to the nutritional profile, concentration of antioxidants, fiber and phenolic compounds.

Of course excess consumption in any form is not good due to the caffeine content. 

Eating coffee grounds can be good for your health due to the fiber content which is an important nutrient for aiding digestion, reducing cholesterol levels and regulating blood sugar levels.

The antioxidant content is good for cellular health and the nutrient content is good for your overall health.

Eating coffee grounds will not make you sick as long as you consume it in moderation. Too much of anything will have adverse effects and make you sick.

The adverse effect of eating too many coffee beans, ground or whole can and will lead to excess caffeine consumption, and you will have to deal with the temporary side effects of that.

Sleepless nights, stress, anxiety, heart palpitations and an upset stomach are the more common side effects of consuming too much caffeine. Please keep your caffeine consumption to 400 mg per day for adults and 200 per day for pregnant ladies.

Yes, eating coffee beans can and will give you the same caffeine boost and the beneficial health effects as you would have had you ground your coffee beans and brewed a cup of coffee.

The caffeine boost can be more significant, quicker and amplified when you eat coffee beans as, unlike brewed coffee or a shot of espresso, they are not diluted with water and thus your body may get the caffeine in a more focused way.

If you are craving coffee, it is possible that your body is low in catecholamines, which are hormones produced by your adrenal glands. Examples of Catecholamines are norepinephrine, epinephrine-adrenaline and dopamine. Since coffee and caffeine stimulate this part of your body, it may be that you are low in these hormones and need more of them.

There are a number of reasons why adults love coffee. It can simply be a the love for the rich aroma to the fabulous taste of coffee to that relaxing rise of the dopamine levels that coffee induces.

Coffee is a very pleasurable drink for a lot of different reasons.

Final Thoughts – What Happens If You Eat Coffee Grounds?

If you are wondering about what happens if you eat coffee grounds, you have nothing to worry about as long as you stick to the limitations and don’t over do it and lead yourself down the road of caffeine toxicity. 

Due to the health benefits and the concentration of antioxidants I recommend that you try it but to use lifeboost coffee since it is a healthy toxin-free brand of coffee. 

Join our active, fun and vibrant coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your coffee cooking and baking creations and your amazing recipes!

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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