(WTOL) - New research shows energy drinks are even more dangerous than experts previously thought.
A study had one group of people drink energy drinks and the other group, a carbonated water drink with the same amount of caffeine. The group drinking energy drinks, versus the caffeinated carbonated water, had more pronounced abnormal heart rhythms.
"Basically, your EKG is supposed to be narrow. Those wiggly lines on graph paper, they're supposed to be pretty narrow, but they're getting stretched out and that usually causes people to go into deadly heart rhythms," said Cardiologist with Mercy Health, Dr. Mohammed Alo.
Dr. Alo says the findings of the study suggest there's something else in the energy drinks, besides caffeine, creating the effects.
"These other things had like taurine and guarine and B-12 and lots of other additives, but there's obviously something with that combination that's causing this to be worse than just drinking caffeine," Dr. Alo said.
Dr. Alo says it's particularly dangerous for kids to drink energy drinks because they, or their parents may not know if they have a preexisting heart condition.
"Especially children, if we don't know they have conduction disease or heart disease, the first time we're finding out is if they're consuming a lot of these energy drinks and then something happens," Dr. Alo said.
A typical energy drink also contains about 27 teaspoons of sugar.