Confessions of a Caffeine Addict by Marina Kushner

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Confessions of a Caffeine Addict is a collection of stories written by individuals who share the same problem-addiction to caffeine. Their stories serve as a wake up call. They reveal the dangerous and shocking consequences of excessive consumption of the drug caffeine.

My Review

I received this book from the author for an honest review. Full disclosure: I am a person who sleeps with a night shirt that reads “Need Coffee” – I started this book determined to dislike it. After all, it was suggesting that my beloved coffee was … addictive! In fact, it even went so far as to put coffee in the same category as drugs.

I am a writer. And I love my coffee. I like lattes and strong black coffee. I am not addicted. That’s what I firmed believed when I started this book. Oh, sure, I feel like I need to start my day with coffee but some days I can skip and I’m fine. I don’t even miss it.

And coffee has little effect on me. I’ve always been able to have a late night coffee and fall to sleep with no troubles at all. Deep down I thought I was probably immune to it.

I like tea as well. Black tea with milk (not cream) and no sweetener. I had my first taste of tea when I was about 4 years old and staying with my granny. She would make me milk and tea (emphasis on the milk) and I loved the taste of it.

Coffee I didn’t love quite so much. In fact, it wasn’t until my last semester of university that I started drinking it. One of my friends drank a lot of coffee and he told me it would give me more energy. So I decided to ignore the horrible taste, mix in copious amounts of sugar and cream, and get the wake up boost everyone at university seemed to enjoy. And just like that I was hooked.

I continued to drink coffee from that moment forward. When my daughter was a baby I was up to 5 cups a day and my doctor told me to knock it off. So I cut back to 1-2 cups a day. But I stayed there. I did stop several times when I did a juice detox but I always went back to my beloved coffee. I wasn’t addicted. I just liked the taste.

This book made me look at my coffee habit a bit closer. Every single story featured someone like me. Sure, many of them had a much larger consumption of caffeine each day than I did (one writer was consuming the equivalent to 3 grams of caffeine a day!). But they all felt they didn’t have a problem.

This is a fascinating read. It not only chronicles the stories of 40 individuals who struggle with caffeine addition but also outlines intriguing facts about the drug. Caffeine is found in almost all sodas on the market, in many teas and, of course, in coffee. Now I wonder how many individuals I know who are not reliant on caffeine in some way in their lives. I know plenty of individuals who don’t drink coffee but most of them drink soda, diet soda or tea. The only tea that is 100% caffeine free is herbal tea. Decaf even isn’t so great. And I won’t even get started on hidden caffeine in medications and the ominous energy drinks and caffeine pills!

After reading this book, I am taking a good look at my own addiction to caffeine and I’ve decided that I’m going to avoid this readily available drug for 2015. We’ll see how I do. I’m optimistic – I like herbal teas and have mounds of them in my pantry.

I highly recommend checking out this book. It will perhaps make you think twice before you pour your morning dose of java!

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