The dangerous 'dry scooping' TikTok trend doctors are warning against

·3-min read
Photo credit: Yulia Lisitsa - Getty Images
Photo credit: Yulia Lisitsa - Getty Images

Another day, another TikTok 'health trend' that, to be frank, is pretty silly – this time around it seems social media users are trying 'dry scooping'. Never heard of it? We hadn't either, until videos showing gym goers swallowing pre-workout energy powder down, then chasing it with water, as opposed to using it properly and mixing with liquid beforehand.

Such powders typically contain caffeine, to kickstart and energise the fitness fan ahead of their workout, as well as help with focus, mental clarity and assist with muscle growth.

Generally, those who've tried the trend walk away unharmed, but doctors are now speaking out against dry scooping a pre or post-workout protein powder, especially as two TikTok users have posted follow-up videos saying it had a drastic impact on their health.

One user, who has the handle @brivtny, shared a video of herself with a clown filter on from a hospital bed, claiming that she had a heart attack after trying the trend:

Speaking to Cosmopolitan exclusively, Dr Reyan Saghir broke dry scooping down and explained why it's not the brightest idea (and whether or not it could even cause a heart attack). "The though behind this trend was that ingesting the dry powder alone can provide an increased and more concentrated pre-workout boost to overall enhance your strength, stamina and endurance when undertaking a strenuous and active session," says Dr Saghir.

He adds, "However, dry scooping can be very dangerous and unhealthy for numerous reasons... [Having a heart attack] is an extreme effect of dry scooping but explainable, as with many pre-workout powders the key ingredient to provide that ‘extra kick’ is caffeine. In one scoop, you could be ingesting the equivalent to three cups of coffee."

Dr Saghir then says that instead of having the caffeine paced over even a few minutes or an hour, by dry scooping your ingesting this high dose within seconds. "This then triggers an ‘adrenaline’ like effect on the body with the amount and intensity of contractions on the heart increasing significantly, placing it under much strain. This, even for a normal healthy heart, is dangerous, but for somebody with a previous heart condition? It could be fatal."

Mixing the pre-workout powder with water, however, would mean you’re more likely to spread this high dose over your workout reducing the burden on the heart.

Photo credit: Tatiana - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tatiana - Getty Images

"With heart attacks being the most significant side-effect of a high dose of caffeine, other more common symptoms people might experience include dizziness, headaches, dehydration, nausea and palpitations," he adds – which again, doesn't exactly sound pleasant tbh. "Dry scooping also poses a major choking risk, by ingesting a whole powder with only the minimal saliva in the mouth the powder can clump and is very likely to enter the airways. Once there it could restrict breathing and what once seemed like a ‘fun challenge’ suddenly becomes very serious."

The bottom line? Overall dry scooping is definitely not a worthwhile TikTok trend to engage in, says Dr Saghir. "It's probably one to avoid."

Noted, noted, and err, yeah, noted!

Cosmopolitan UK's July/August issue is on sale on 10th June and available for purchase online.

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