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Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us Hardcover – March 13, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1594631382 ISBN-10: 1594631387

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (March 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631382
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 "In his quest to understand our unique relationship with caffeine, Murray Carpenter leads us on a romp through history and tours of Colombian coffee fields, Chinese tea lounges, and a factory that pumps out synthetic caffeine for soft drinks." Maddie Oatman, Mother Jones

"Carpenter's entertaining narrative dissects caffeine's circuitous route into consumer culture and its tenacious hold on the human mind and body." Kirkus Reviews

"The book is anything but preachy, yet along with acknowledging caffeine's benefits, Carpenter bluntly addresses its dangers, which can include anxiety, panic attacks, disrupted sleep and, if taken in large doses, even death. Caffeinated highlights not just the physiological downsides of caffeine but the problems that regulators face in trying to curb what he calls 'an industry running wild.'" Rachel Feltman, Scientific American

"A tenaciously researched look into the physiology, psychology and commerce of caffeine."--the New York Post

"As Murray Carpenter makes clear in his methodical review, our society's metrics are no match for this substance's nuances, whether among athletes, teenagers, experimental subjects or the average dependent Joe." Abigail Zuger, M.D., The New York Times

"Caffeinated offers a fascinating, often disturbing look at America's favorite 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

“Riding a buzz clearly generated by its subject, Murray Carpenter's Caffeinated takes readers around the world on a journey that brings humanity's favorite 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, Wired.com

Caffeinated is the entertaining, sweeping, well-researched saga of the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug and its various delivery systems, from coffee and Coca-Cola to chocolate and energy drinks.  Murray Carpenter, himself a happy addict, covers the caffeinated waterfront.” --Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country & Coca-Cola and Uncommon Grounds
 
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

"I'm not sure if Murray Carpenter's splendid book, Caffeinated, will lead you to drink more coffee, or less. But it will certainly make you think about your next cup of joe (or tea or Red Bull) in new and startling ways. Carpenter makes a mighty mountain out of a milligram, weaving together a story of history, science, lore and slick marketing in ways that offer surprising vistas at every turn."—Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum

“I don’t even drink coffee, but I found Caffeinated enlivening, with just the right overtones of sweet and bitter. Weaving together history, law and science, Carpenter makes a compelling case that most of us are addicted to a brilliantly marketed drug disguised as a mellow morning ritual. Fascinating, disturbing, to be savored.”—Florence Williams, author of Breasts 
 
“From unassuming Diet Cokes to the canned monstrosities chugged by college kids, caffeine seems to be in nearly everything we drink – but where does it come from, what does it do to our bodies, and why have we come to consume so much of it? In Caffeinated, Murray Carpenter gives us the answers. He traces the evolution of this habit, from idyllic highland coffee farms in Guatemala to regulations-averse Chinese factories that produce mountains of synthetic caffeine. Caffeinated distills an extraordinary reporting effort on this long-used “flavoring agent” into a captivating tale of insidious drugging that deserves shelf space alongside Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”—Jennie Erin Smith, author of Stolen World

“The world's most popular stimulant now has a book to match. A double espresso shot of java journalism, Caffeinated brews up a masterly combination of page-turning narrative with deeply researched history and news. From professional athletes to industry insiders, from the coffee plantations of Colombia to the world's largest, most secretive caffeine manufacturing plant in the hinterlands of China, Carpenter spill the beans on America's drug of choice. More eye-opening than a case of Red Bull!”—Dan Hurley, author of Smarter

About the Author

MURRAY CARPENTER has reported caffeine-related stories for the New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, NPR, and PRI’s The World. He has also written for 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, and has worked as a medical lab assistant in Ohio, a cowboy in Colombia, a farmhand in Virginia, and an oil-exploring “juggie” in Wyoming. He lives in Belfast, Maine.

 

More About the Author

Murray Carpenter is the author of Caffeinated, How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. He has worked as a radio reporter for Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and as a newspaper reporter for Maine Times and The Republican Journal. As a freelancer focused on science and environmental stories, he has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Bangor Daily News. His radio stories have aired on NPR, PRI's The World, and Living on Earth. And he has written for a number of magazines, including Wired, National Geographic and Audubon. He lives in Belfast, Maine.

Customer Reviews

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Very well written and easy to read.
Doug Hyde
I knew it was a book I would read, what I did not know was how much I would enjoy it and how it would take my thoughts to so many places.
Steven R. McEvoy
I read it over coffee, tea, Monster and Red Bull energy drinks.
runjinxrun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on April 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
From the first time I saw a cover for this book I was hooked. I knew it was a book I would read, what I did not know was how much I would enjoy it and how it would take my thoughts to so many places. Back in university I was called Captain Caffeine by my roommates, working fulltime midnights, fulltime course load, community involvement and relationships meant I was counting my coffee consumption in pots not cups and usually started the day with 2 Jolt's. Then 10 years later when I returned to university and I was a supervisor at Starbuck's I average 8 quad grande drinks a day. Before I worked at Starbucks my favorite drink was a Quad Espresso with 16 extra shots, a Venti cup of Espresso and on more than one occasion drank 2 of them back to back while sitting in Starbucks in a Chapter's bookstore. I have embraced caffeine and swam in a lake of it. But I am older now and a little wiser (I hope) and I absolutely loved this book.

The book begins with a defining a few terms that we will encounter a few times throughout the rest of this review. The first is CDM - Caffeine Delivery Mechanisms, this includes any method ingesting caffeine whether it be natural or artificial form. The second is SCAD, Carpenter attempts to come up with s standard dose for comparison purposes: "In an effort to make this easier, I came up with a measure called a Standard Caffeine Dose, or a SCAD. A SCAD is seventy-five milligrams. This is a handy standard, roughly equal to a shot of espresso, 150ml of coffee, a 250ml can of Red Bull, two 350ml cans of Coke or Pepsi, a 500ml bottle of Mountain Dew, or a pint of Diet Coke (which has higher caffeine concentrations than Coke)." p.XV. Carpenter has gone on a journey through the different CDM's available both at home and abroad.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Philip W. Tatler on March 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a masterful romp through the bizarre world of coffee and caffeine, especially caffeine. Mr. Carpenter has succeeded in writing a book that will have lasting impact and change the way we regard our coffee habit. By isolating caffeine as simply a white powder additive, he provoked me to reevaluate my "light and favorable addiction". Would I drink coffee without caffeine? Hell no! I never liked decaf. In my enthusiasm for this marvelous book, and despite being only half way through, I wanted to be sure to let people know that just the first half would be worth the price. Innovative, comprehensive and always interesting! Very well done, Mr. Carpenter! (NOTE: Completed the book and, yes, it was excellent!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Fisher on April 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent, spellbinding description of the multiple uses of caffeine worldwide. Left me thinking there should be an analysis of caffeine content in every product it is added to as it clearly is a drug.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By runjinxrun on June 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Excellent picture of the addiction that is caffeine. As a professional drinker of most things caffeine, it was an eye-opener in some ways, anecdotally and historically entertaining. Scientifically, lightweight but it's information in layman's terms, and it works. I read it over coffee, tea, Monster and Red Bull energy drinks. And cast a few uneasy glances at my drinks of choice more than one. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By What I. Like on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the way the book takes you on the author's journey around the world as he explores the world of "caffeine".
It opened my eyes to a lot of things. I ordered another copy and sent it to a friend who is an athletic coach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caroline MacDougall on July 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A must read for anyone interested in how caffeine affects our health, addicts our bodies, and is synthesized in quite unnatural ways. Plus the background of the caffeine industry's manipulation of government regulations - or rather the absence thereof - makes for fascinating reading of a story that dates back to the early 1900's and fast forwards to today's "energy" drinks. Whether you're a caffeine lover or avoider, you'll find plenty of information that has never been complied before and will make you an informed consumer. Highly readable as Carpenter moves about the topic interviewing the best caffeine researchers, looking at caffeine's athletic enhancement effects and trying to visit factories in China and Europe where caffeine is synthesized. Of course not one would let him in but his story still keeps you entertained and educated the whole time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Hyde on March 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and easy to read. Effectively and comprehensively addresses caffeine to provide historical context, answer the many questions around personal use, and address compelling societal issues.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chimirev on June 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book does a great job covering history of caffeine around the world, and in US. It follows caffeine to its modern and historical sources, talks about many court cases, and what FDA is (or more often is NOT) doing about it.

Book talks very little about how caffeine helps, hurts, and hooks as, as the title suggests.

I would not have bought this book if I knew what the content would be.
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