Panera’s Charged Lemonades have been controversial ever since their debut in April 2022.
The primary controversy surrounding the lemonades was not that they had caffeine, but just how much caffeine could be found in each Charged Lemonade. For example, a large Charged Lemonade has almost 400mg of caffeine; for context, a single 250ml can of Red Bull has just 80mg of caffeine, and experts say one should limit themselves to 400mg of caffeine per day.
These high amounts of caffeine have allegedly had human consequences. The FDA announced that it was “gathering information” about the product after parents sued the company, claiming that their daughter died after drinking the Charged Lemonade.
Now, a user on TikTok has sparked discussion after sharing her own experience with Charged Lemonades. In a video with over 798,000 views as of Friday, TikTok user Olivia (@oshafff) claims that drinking two of the Charged Lemonades gave her caffeine poisoning, rendering her unable to move.
the charged lemonade is so dangerous bro but its so good♬ original sound – Olivia
While she says that it was “100% [her] fault for not reading the label,” Olivia claims that she drank two large Charged Lemonades before going to class.
“All of a sudden I get so light-headed,” she recalls. “The bell rings to switch classes. I go across the hall into, like, the football coach’s classroom, and I just f*cking lay there. I’m like, ‘I need to go home now.’”
Soon, things got worse.
“I get home, my eye starts twitching, uncontrollably twitching,” Olivia states. “My legs start twitching. My thumb gets stuck like this—I just cannot feel my thumb, can’t move it. And then I just start sobbing. Couldn’t move my legs, couldn’t control my body.”
Eventually, Olivia was able to determine what she says was the culprit for these issues: the Charged Lemonades.
“I figure out I have caffeine poisoning,” Olivia explains. Olivia’s mom then called poison control, who allegedly told her that she would simply have to “wait it out.”
“It was so bad,” Olivia remembers.
While caffeine overdoses are rarely life-threatening, they can be deeply unpleasant for those experiencing them. Symptoms range from minor issues like headache, dizziness, and irritability, to more concerning problems such as trouble breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and convulsions.
On TikTok, users shared their own experiences with the highly caffeinated drink in Olivia’s comments section.
“I don’t think ppl realize how much caffeine is in the charged lemonades,” wrote a user. “Like they’re insane.”
“Panera literally advertises the amount of caffeine everywhere and I still have parents trying to get it for their children weekly,” added another. “Like ma’am plz no.”
“I just don’t understand how their even allowed to sell that,” noted a third.
The Daily Dot reached out to Panera via email and Olivia via Instagram direct message.