- Panera’s Charged Lemonade is going viral on social media as users discuss its caffeine content.
- One TikToker explained drinking five lemonades in one sitting, unknowingly consuming upwards of 1,300 mg of caffeine.
- A regular 20-ounce lemonade contains 260 mg, the equivalent of drinking 2.5 cups of coffee.
Panera’s Charged Lemonade has the internet abuzz yet again.
While the lemonade garnered attention for its caffeine content when it first launched in April 2022, a new round of similar viral posts on TikTok and Twitter have cropped up, with users comparing the beverage to crack and stimulants like Adderall.
“I have learned something that should be illegal. It has to do with this drink at Panera,” TikTok user Sarah Baus said in video viewed nearly 1 million times.
In the post, Baus says she drank several of the lemonades in one sitting while working remotely from her local Panera and taking advantage of its free refill policy. She unknowingly consumed upwards of 1,300 milligrams of caffeine.
“It has caffeine, and I knew that, but when I’m sitting there I’ll drink four or five of these. And I was always like, ‘Man when I work at Panera, I feel great, I feel awesome, I get so much done,'” she says in the video.
But, she says, after looking up its nutritional details she was shocked to discover that the 20-ounce beverage contains 260 milligrams of caffeine.
In response to Insider’s request to comment, Panera pointed to information on its website. The chain describes the drink — which is infused with caffeine from guarana and green coffee extract, and comes in three flavors including strawberry lemon mint, Fuji apple cranberry, and mango citrus — as “the ultimate energy drink guaranteed to charge up your day.”
Panera includes the calorie and caffeine content of beverages on signs at its restaurant drink stations, drive-thrus, and on its website. According to drink’s nutrition facts on Panera’s website, a regular 2o-ounce Charged Lemonade contains 260 mgs of caffeine, while the large 30-ounce size boasts 390 mgs.
By comparison, 20 ounces of coffee (the equivalent of roughly 2.5 cups) contains 220 mgs, while the same volume of Red Bull has approximately 185 mgs of caffeine. The Charged Lemonade is on-par with energy drinks like a 24-ounce can of Monster Energy, which has 240 mgs.
US Food and Drug Administration guidelines state that a healthy adult can safely consume 400 mg of caffeine a day, while including the caveat that “there is wide variation in both how sensitive people are to the effects of caffeine and how fast they metabolize it.”
Though the caffeine content in both the regular and large sizes of Panera’s Charged Lemonade fall within this range, the issue — as pointed out by Baus and other TikTok users — is that the chain’s free refill policy is prompting some consumers to drink several in one sitting.
“I don’t drink coffee,” Baus said. “I’m not used to caffeine like that. And I feel like the Hulk, and I’m drinking these and I really like them. I’ve decided I’m going to water them down, but Panera, who’s gonna create a product with 260 mg of caffeine? Look what you’re doing, I’m dying.”
On Twitter, others are sounding off on the popular beverage, linking to the viral TikTok videos and sharing their own experiences.
“Somebody at Panera gon end up getting sued,” wrote one Twitter user.
“This Panera drink thing is how I know y’all would try crack if it was presented in a different way,” wrote another.