The Caffeine Controversy: A Deep Dive into Panera’s Charged Lemonade Lawsuits

  • Panera’s Charged Lemonade: This hyper-caffeinated drink has been implicated in two wrongful-death lawsuits since its introduction in 2022. The company has since added warnings, reduced its caffeine content, and removed the self-serve option.
  • Caffeine Consumption: The question of how much caffeine is too much is difficult to answer. While caffeine boosts alertness, productivity, and mood, there’s a point where consumption can become uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy.
  • Health Impacts: Consuming high doses of caffeine can result in a state of intoxication known as caffeinism, with symptoms including seizures and life-threatening irregularities of the heartbeat.
  • Highly Caffeinated Products: The increasing availability of highly caffeinated products makes it more possible than ever to ingest large amounts of caffeine. These include energy drinks, caffeinated coffee cubes, energy chews, marshmallows, mints, ice pops, and vapes.
  • Tracking Caffeine Consumption: There’s a need for a way to track caffeine consumption, but currently, there are no good options. The FDA does have a recommended daily caffeine limit of 400 milligrams, but this is a rough guideline and not safe for everyone.
  • Energy Drinks and Kids: Energy drinks are popular with kids, who are more susceptible to caffeine’s effects because they’re smaller. Kids tend to drink even more when drinks are labeled as highly caffeinated.
  • Caffeine Benefits: Research shows that caffeine can improve cognitive performance, speed up reaction time, and boost logical reasoning. It may even reduce the risk of Parkinson’s, diabetes, liver disease, and cancer. However, our grasp of how to maximize its benefits is feeble at best.