Caffeine is an audiobook by Michael Pollan that is only available on Audible. Michael Pollan is an author who commonly researches topics related to food, culture, and the merging of both; he is also a professor of journalism at UC Berkeley.
I am not a coffee/caffeine drinker myself, but I still thought it was extremely interesting and insightful to learn more about the impact that caffeine has on people’s lives. In the book, Pollan talks about people’s relationship to caffeine, and how they think they are getting benefits from it (by getting more energy, focus, etc.); however, Pollan brings up an interesting counterpoint, which is that the caffeine, and by extension, the coffee/tea, is actually winning because it has become so addictive that people have no choice but to grow and consume it.
Furthermore, Pollan brings in incredible research and his own personal experience in trying to wean himself off of caffeine. Throughout the time when he was writing the book, he was also conducting an experiment to try to stop drinking caffeine (he used to drink it every day). He describes his trials and tribulations, and why it is so hard to stop drinking it once you have started.
In the end, Pollan reaches a mixed conclusion; he realizes that he does not have the focus/determination to succeed without drinking at least some caffeine, but he also understands that he needs to consume less. While he gives some suggestions on the optimal amount to consume (which varies significantly based on the person), I think the biggest takeaway from the book is just stepping back and reexamining the role that caffeine plays in daily life. It truly is one of the most addictive “drugs” in the world, and it should be considered more carefully.
If you have an Audible subscription, I would definitely recommend giving this a quick read (it is only 2 hours on normal speed)!
Caffeine Recommendation Rating: 3
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for