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See Inside Scientific American Volume 310, Issue 3

Book Review: Caffeinated

Reviews and recommendations from Scientific American



Hudson Street Press

Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us
by Murray Carpenter
Hudson Street Press, 2014 ($25.95)

“Let's get personal— this substance courses through my veins as I write these words. It is a drug, and I have been under its influence ... for the last 25 years. And I am in good company,” writes journalist Carpenter in Caffeinated. His book examines the caffeine industry, the coffee and other products it churns out, and the complex effects the chemical has on our bodies. 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.”

This article was originally published with the title "Caffeinated."

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