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Panera Bread said it's discontinuing its Charged Sips drinks


Panera Bread likes to be known - well, it's in the name - for its bread, but lately, the fast casual restaurant chain has been in the news for their Charged Lemonades - and not for a good reason.


These are heavily caffeinated drinks that are now part of at least two wrongful death lawsuits. Panera says it's taking those drinks off the menu now.


JENNIFER TEMPLE: Lemonade is not something that people would expect to have caffeine.

INSKEEP: Jennifer Temple directs the Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory at the State University of New York at Buffalo and spoke with us last year about the Panera drink.


TEMPLE: So they may refill it over and over again, not even knowing it had caffeine or not even thinking it had caffeine.

FADEL: The Food and Drug Administration says a typical eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 100 milligrams of caffeine. Panera's Charged Sips have up to three times that much.


TEMPLE: The lemonades were out with all the other drinks, and they were able to be refilled over and over again, so it would be difficult for somebody to know exactly how much caffeine they've consumed.

INSKEEP: Now, in two lawsuits, the consumers involved had underlying heart conditions, which Temple says makes for a higher health risk. For healthy adults, the FDA says 400 milligrams per day of caffeine is safe, but if you have too much, you will feel the effects.


TEMPLE: They feel nauseous or jittery or anxious or irritable, and if they continue to consume caffeine beyond those feelings, then they can start to have some more serious side effects.

FADEL: A source familiar with the company's plans confirmed to NPR that the Charged Lemonades would be discontinued nationwide, and they didn't say why.

(SOUNDBITE OF CANAPE'S "MIRO") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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