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in: Coffee, Food & Drink, Health & Sports, Nutrition, Podcast

May 6, 2020 Last updated: May 12, 2020

Podcast #608: How Caffeine Hooks, Hurts, and Helps Us

More than 80% of the world’s population consumes the same psychostimulant every single day. Yet few of us know very much about our favorite daily drug . . .  caffeine.

My guest today will shed some light on humanity’s love affair with this pick-me-up substance. His name is Murray Carpenter and he’s the author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. We begin our discussion exploring what caffeine does to our mind and body, before delving into how caffeine consumption developed in different places all around the world and how the way we get our caffeine fix has evolved over the millennia. Murray and I then discuss the popularity of coffee in America and how our grandparents actually drank way more of it than we do today. Murray explains how caffeinated sodas became a stimulating competitor to coffee in the 19th century and how energy drinks became a huge business in the late 20th. Murray and I then discuss how you’re probably ingesting more caffeine than you realize, and what the generally recommended maximum amount to consume per day is. We then get into whether caffeine can enhance athletic performance, and how much you need to take for it to make a difference. We then discuss the overlooked benefits of caffeine, as well as its downsides, and end our conversation with the question of whether caffeine is an addictive substance. 

This episode will get you thinking about your morning joe differently.

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Show Highlights

  • What is caffeine? Is it a drug?
  • What does caffeine do in our body?
  • The origins of caffeine use 
  • The various ways you get caffeine into your system
  • How is it that we’re consuming less coffee than our grandparents’ generation? 
  • The rise of caffeinated soda 
  • How coffee and soda have changed over the decades 
  • The fascinating history of energy drinks 
  • Why is it so hard to figure out exactly how much caffeine you’re consuming?
  • How much caffeine is safe/healthy to consume? 
  • Does caffeine help you in physical endeavors?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Murray

Murray’s website

Murray on Twitter

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Coming soon!