A worrying trend is rearing its ugly head on the Chinese-created TikTok app. “Dry scooping” occurs when someone swallows a scoop of pre-workout powder straight from the container. Instead of mixing the powder with water or juice, gym sharks are taking the mix “straight to the head” in a bid to get more followers on TikTok and other social media platforms – at the price of their own safety.
Dry scooping has emerged as a popular TikTok trend because it is something people would not normally do if the camera wasn’t pointed at them. However, these people are knocking back shots of dry powders designed to be used to make workout smoothies and beverages. The trend is an offshoot of another popular – albeit dangerous – TikTok trend in which people were swallowing spoonfuls of other dry ingredients, including spices like cinnamon. The stunt was so dangerous that it sent several people to the hospital.
Nevertheless, some TikTok users “swear” by dry scooping. They claim that they’re able to save themselves a few moments of time by swallowing the powder directly instead of mixing it into a drink to take to the gym with them. These supporters claim they feel the “pump” faster and get the effects of the powder sooner than they would if they drank it down in a smoothie form. Others just feel cool joining a trend on TikTok.
Dry scooping may be “cool,” but it is extremely dangerous. Pre-workout powders are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means people are pounding back substances that could contain any number of ingredients. One source even warned that consuming dry powder could ruin a person’s teeth.
There have been reports of at least one twenty-year-old person suffering a heart attack after dry scooping. Other people simply could not breathe because the powder blocked their windpipe.
“You have to use some common sense,” Dr. Saumil Oza, chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Florida, told News4Jax. “Many things that you think are kind of crazy sounding actually are crazy-sounding for a reason because they could be hazardous to your health.”
Dr. Oza added, don’t just do “what somebody on TikTok tells you to do.” Being part of the latest social media trend is not worth risking one’s health over.
Many pre-workout powders include a lot of caffeine to help boost someone’s workout. They contain as much as three times the amount of caffeine found in a typical cup of coffee.
Dr. Joy Gelbman, a cardiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, said: “That big jolt of caffeine can ramp up the heart rate and the blood pressure, essentially putting a strain on the heart that can lead to the release of this cardiac enzyme called troponin” which is associated with heart attacks, Gelbman told Women’s Health magazine. “If you take a big shot of caffeine like that, in addition to any other caffeine you’re drinking in your normal daily habits, it can spike the blood pressure or the heart rate or lead to heart rhythm disturbances, which can be pretty dangerous to an otherwise young, healthy person.”
Beware of the dry scooping online trend.