Many people kick off their day with a large cup of coffee or two, but the amount of caffeine actually coming in these drinks is not so clear-cut.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the average adult can safely consume 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee. But the amount of caffeine can vary from drink to drink. Sometimes a large coffee or energy drink can contain nearly as much as the FDA’s recommended daily amount, posing serious health concerns.
The parents of 21-year-old Sarah Katz recently filed a lawsuit against Panera Bread after Katz, who had a cardiac arrhythmia that made her sensitive to caffeine, consumed one of their “Charged Lemonades.” These energy drinks contain up to 390 milligrams of caffeine, according to Panera’s website. In contrast, Red Bull says one of their 8.4 fluid ounce cans has 80 milligrams of caffeine.
Katz’s heart condition meant she had to limit her caffeine intake. However, the lawsuit alleges that Panera did not adequately label the beverage as an energy drink, according to CNN. The news outlet reported that as a result, Katz went into cardiac arrest after drinking a Charged Lemonade and subsequently died.