Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have been harvested and dried but not roasted. You can roast them to make them suitable for brewing coffee or use them to derive green coffee bean extract.
This extract is available in various forms in health food stores or online and is often touted as a weight loss supplement. We recommend you speak with your doctor before trying it. But this article will walk you through what it is, its reported benefits, and potential side effects.
What Is Green Coffee Bean Extract?
Green coffee bean extract is a supplement extracted from unroasted green coffee beans. It has been around for a long time as a by-product of the Swiss Water decaffeination process, but it has only recently ascended to pop culture fame (1).
Unroasted coffee beans are picked and processed from the coffee cherries of Coffea plants. Once roasted, they gain the characteristic brown hue we recognize as coffee beans. But before roasting, they can be used to make green coffee bean extract. Green coffee extract is made by steeping dried green coffee beans, either whole or ground, in pure water.
The pure extract doesn’t taste great, so it is usually turned into pills, powders, or capsules to be taken orally. It is commonly used by adults in doses of 60 to 185 mg a day for up to two to three months. The most common reason for taking this over-the-counter supplement is to lower blood pressure. However, doctors do not normally prescribe it. If you have any questions, refer to your healthcare provider.
How Does Green Bean Coffee Extract Work?
Green coffee bean extract works like regular coffee, only with amplified advantages. Drinking brewed coffee has health benefits, many of which are linked to its caffeine and chlorogenic acid content.
The benefits of coffee include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, supporting heart health, preventing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, lowering the risk of depression, protecting against liver diseases, and increasing longevity (2). It also famously boosts energy, reduces sleepiness, enhances athletic performance, and can aid in weight management.
Does Coffee Bean Extract Have Caffeine?
Green coffee bean extract contains caffeine, so it is considered a stimulant. However, it has a much lower caffeine content than brewed coffee. A higher-end 800 mg dose of green coffee bean extract has 16 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of coffee usually contains about 100 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces (3).
The Importance of Chlorogenic Acids
Chlorogenic acids are bioactive compounds with antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the risk of certain cancers and relieve pain, respectively.
The amount of chlorogenic acids actually decreases during roasting, so raw coffee beans are better for your health than roasted coffee.
Some of the most common benefits of green coffee bean extract that have been linked to chlorogenic acids include the ability to help control and reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure for heart health, especially for individuals with hypertension, and the ability to control or prevent type 2 diabetes (4).
Who Should Not Take Green Coffee Bean Extract?
Some green coffee bean extract reviews list minor side effects. Many of these are the same as regular coffee, such as elevated heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. So if you find you are sensitive to coffee, be cautious when trying the extract.
Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Help You Lose Weight?
Limited clinical research has been done to support green coffee bean extract weight loss claims. And the research supporting it doesn’t hold up due to poor methodology, including small sample sizes and a lack of long-term follow-up.
Dr. Oz Starts A Craze
Mainstream awareness, interest, and sales of green coffee bean extract and its reported weight loss properties rose quickly after Dr. Oz hyped it up on his popular TV show. In May 2012, it was advertised as a “miracle” pill that burned fat fast without exercise or diet.
To test his claims against rising criticism, Dr. Oz had 100 women in his studio audience participate in a weight loss study. After two weeks, Dr. Oz and his researchers claimed the women in the green coffee bean extract supplement group lost two pounds on average compared to the others who lost one pound on average. However, the researchers who were paid to conduct the study (by none other than the producer of green coffee bean extract!) have since spoken against their own research (5).
The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, [retracted] the paper.
Further studies are needed to properly discern the effects of green coffee bean extract on weight loss. But in general, it’s best to avoid purported weight-loss miracle solutions. That includes other trends like enzyme coffee for weight loss or the current TikTok enthusiasm for “lemon coffee.” If you are concerned with your weight, avoid shortcuts. They never lead to long-lasting change. Aim to get adequate sleep, drink water, eat healthy food, and move your body.
For more information on green coffee bean extract, check out this YouTube video:
Green coffee bean extract comes from raw, unroasted green coffee beans. Its high chlorogenic acid content may convey some health benefits like lowering blood pressure. But while cultural icons like Dr. Oz endorse green coffee bean extract as a miracle fat-burning pill, its efficacy as a weight loss supplement is unfounded.
What Drugs Interact With Green Coffee Bean Extract?
Other stimulant drugs interact with green coffee bean extract in an adverse way by elevating your blood pressure and heart rate. Some stimulants include epinephrine, pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), phentermine (lonamin), and diethylpropion. Stimulants work directly on your nervous system, so it is important not to overdo it. If you are taking birth control pills, your body will be slower to break down the caffeine in your system, which could lead to more headaches, jitteriness, and a quickened heartbeat.
Can I Take Green Coffee Bean Extract On An Empty Stomach?
Yes, you can take green coffee bean extract on an empty stomach. Most people experience no side effects from doing so. Some may feel the same as they do when drinking a regular cup of coffee on an empty stomach, including elevated stress hormone levels, spikes in blood sugar, caffeine jitters, migraines, panic attacks, poor sleep, and digestive issues. However, there is little scientific evidence to suggest it’s harmful. Ultimately, it’s up to your own tolerance and preferences.
What Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Taste Like?
Green coffee bean extract tastes more acidic and vegetal compared to regular roasted coffee. It is milder and lighter in taste with a grassy flavor comparable to herbal or green tea, but without the bitter aftertaste.
Starbucks Refreshers uses an innovative green coffee extract made from 100% Arabica beans. While only available in select grocery stores in the US, you’ll find tastes of sparkled orange melon, strawberry lemonade, and raspberry pomegranate.
Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Affect Sleep?
Green coffee bean extract can affect sleep due to its caffeine content. However, it is much lower in caffeine than traditional brewed coffee. So if you’re a regular coffee drinker, you may sleep better after switching to the extract. If you suffer from insomnia, be careful adding green coffee bean extract to your routine, and plan to take it only in the morning.
- Coriate. (2023, February 5). Decaf and Patented: Secret of Swiss Water Process Decaf Coffee. Retrieved July 5, 2023, from https://www.fnb.co.id/decaf-and-patented-secret-of-swiss-water-process-decaf-coffee/
- van Dam RM, Hu FB, Willett WC. Coffee, Caffeine, and Health. N Engl J Med. 2020;383(4):369-378. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1816604
- Best Price Nutrion. (2023, May 20). Does Coffee Bean Extract Have Caffeine & How Much. Retrieved July 5, 2023, from https://www.bestpricenutrition.com/does-coffee-bean-extract-have-caffeine-how-much
- Leech, J. (2023, May 17). How does green coffee bean extract work? Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318611
- CBS News. (2014, October 21). Dr.Oz-endorsed diet pill study was bogus, researchers admit. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dr-oz-endorsed-green-coffee-bean-diet-study-retracted/