Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Hooks, Helps and Hurts Us

By Murray Carpenter

Most people can’t get through the day without a hit of caffeine. Chances are you’re one of them. But do you really know what that daily coffee or coke is doing to you?

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. It wakes us up, boosts our mood, and offers the potential to improve both our athletic performance and our intellectual prowess.

But did you know that caffeine can play a role in health problems such as obesity and anxiety, depending on how it is delivered to the body? Many purveyors of caffeine-based products have ducked regulation for decades – how have they been allowed to get away with this? And are you aware of how caffeine is used to reinforce buying patterns, sharpening our craving for it?

From the coffee farms of Guatemala to the world’s largest synthetic caffeine factory in China, Murray Carpenter draws on the latest research to reveal the little-known truths about this addictive, largely unregulated drug that we consume every day in coffee, energy drinks, teas, colas, chocolate, and even painkillers.

Format: Paperback
Release Date: 13 Mar 2014
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-00-755851-3
Murray Carpenter has reported caffeine-related stories for the New York Times, NPR, and Wired Magazine. His work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and other media outlets. He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Colorado and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. He lives in Belfast, Maine, USA.

”'Riding a buzz clearly generated by its subject, Murray Carpenter's Caffeinated takes readers around the world on a journey that brings humanity's favourite drug to life, in all its glory and grime. You'll never think the same way about your morning cup of coffee again.” - Mark McClusky, Editor,

”'A thoroughly enjoyable and addictive read, very much like its subject matter. It makes you think about your own caffeinated existence, and is a definite read for those unable to get through the day without a cup of tea, a shot of espresso or a bite of a chocolate bar.” - Northern Echo

”'From the production and import of pure caffeine to the growth of companies like Green Mountain Coffee, Monster energy drinks, and Starbucks, Caffeinated is a full profile of one of our nation's favourite ingredients.” - Serious Eats

”'Caffeinated offers a fascinating, often disturbing look at [our] favourite recreational drug. The book is another reminder that some people will do just about anything to make money - at the expense of our health.” - Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Command and Control

”'Caffeinated is a surprising exposé of the 'caffeine industrial complex,' the industry that markets this substance in every form it can. This book compellingly argues that the health hazards of excessive caffeine intake need more attention and better regulation. I’m convinced. You will be too.” - Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, and author of What to Eat