Energy Drinks Increase Heart Contractions
Overconsumption of energy drink Red Bull causes woman's brain to swell.Reuters

Lena Lupari, 26, from Northern Ireland spent some £6,000 in a year on what appears to be an addiction of the energy drink.

"I used to drink 28 cans of Red Bull in a day and I'd only have a meal at night but it would usually be something fast-food like a takeaway or a packet of pasta," Lupari told MailOnline.

"I've got three young children, one with special needs, and didn't have time to make anything. I'd been suffering from migraines and headaches for about five years but I just ignored them and took painkillers.

"Then my vision went and I couldn't even lift my head off the bed and I ended up in hospital for six days."

A single can of Red Bull contains nearly 80mg/250ml of caffeine, which is equivalent to a cup of coffee.

It was only after Lupari started suffering vision loss and bad headaches that she realised the damage done by consuming nearly 3,000 calories of the energy drink everyday.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that Lupari had swollen optic nerves and suffered from what was believed to be Idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Forced with a decision to quit or face further deteriorating health issues, Lupari said: "I don't want a gastric band or surgery but I think they should offer help for someone with this and to motivate them - something like a boot camp.

"Losing the weight doesn't mean it will go away forever but it means I won't need surgery."

Earlier a team of researchers from the German University of Bonn studied the heartbeats of 17 people for an hour after they consumed an energy drink.

"The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher [in energy drinks] than in other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola," said Dr. Jonas Dorner.

"There are many side-effects known to be associated with a high intake of caffeine, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death."