Lifestyle & Human Interest

Family Issues Warning When 21-Year-Old Dies Tragically After Drinking Caffeinated Protein Shake


The world’s most popular drug is likely something you consumed this morning. In fact, I often find myself enjoying it while writing articles for Liftable.

It’s caffeine, and cultures around the world have enjoyed it in coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and other similar goodies. But a case out of Australia reminds us that the dose truly is the poison even when it comes to something as innocuous-seeming as caffeine.

According to the account published by, Lachlan Foote’s life seemed full of promise. But on Jan. 1, 2018, that life was cut short.

The 21-year-old Foote had gone out on the town with his friends to ring in the new year. Not long after 2017 rolled into 2018, he came home and kissed his mother goodnight.

That was the last interaction she would enjoy with him. He collapsed into unconsciousness on the bathroom floor and never came to.

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According to the Daily Mail, his parents would find him there later dead. Given the date of his passing, rumors began to swirl about possible drug abuse.

It took more than a year for an official coroner’s report to set the record straight. It turned out that Foote hadn’t touched anything illegal.

However, he did have fatal amounts of caffeine in his system. See, Foote had a yen for protein shakes, and powdered caffeine is sometimes mixed in with them in Australia as a dietary supplement.

“It turns out that Lachlan came home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends and made a protein shake, innocently adding too much Pure Caffeine Powder — a teaspoon is lethal (the equivalent of 25-50 coffees),” his father, Nigel Foote, shared on Facebook.

“We think Lachlan obtained the caffeine powder from a friend or work associate as a thorough search of his computer and bank statements, by both myself and the police, revealed no mention of caffeine powder, only related protein powder products.”

He added, “it appears the pure caffeine powder was bought by someone else and shared, so it’s very likely that Lachlan never got to read the warning label on the packet and was unaware of its potency. And the fact that he kept the caffeine powder in our kitchen pantry (where one of us might have mistaken it for flour or sugar) proves the point — Lachlan would never have kept it there had he known it was a threat to the family.”

That theory got boosted by texts Foote had sent on the night of his death. He’d contacted a friend in the wee hours, complaining of his shake’s flavor.

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“I think my protein powder has gone off. Just made an anti hangover / workout shake and it tasted awful,” he wrote.

“Anyway … night lads. Cya in the morning.” Unfortunately, morning never came for Foote.

Caffeine power is widely available in the Land Down Under.

However, you can’t find it in the United States. The FDA outlawed it after 18-year-old Ohio teen Logan Stiner also died from ingesting too much.

“It’s just insane that something so dangerous is so readily available,” Nigel Foote stated.

“Please warn your friends, talk to your children … and perhaps check your kitchen cupboards … pure caffeine powder looks just like any other white powder … but a heaped teaspoon of it will kill you.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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