Answering Our Caffeine Conundrums

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Cold brew coffee

For many of us, caffeine is a huge part of our daily lives, but we actually know very little about it. Murray Carpenter, journalist and the author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us (Hudson Street Press, 2014) explains the history and effects of this addictive, legal, "performance-enhancing" drug, and answers some basic "caffeine conundrums."

Our List of Caffeine Conundrums

  • It has all the effects of a drug, but we don't necessarily think of it as a drug.
  • It's a huge part of our daily lives, for decades and decades, but we think of it very casually.
  • We know it's working, but we're not sure how.
  • A lot of us drink it every day, but we still haven't figured out exactly how much is enough.
  • It works on almost everyone, but in really different ways.
  • A cup of coffee is almost entirely water, but does it dehydrate us?