May 5, 2022
Dry-Scooping: A Hazardous Fitness Trend
Exercise is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is easy for people to think it is not enough to produce the gains they want. Unfortunately, the pursuit of more significant gains or more effective workouts and methodologies can lead to the implementation of viral "fitness" trends, which are not backed by science and are dangerous.
One such trend currently circulating TikTok and other social media environments is dry scooping — the act of eating a scoop of protein or pre-workout powder straight from the bottle or can without diluting it. Some videos of the trend have shown fitness fanatics dumping the powder into their mouths and claiming it gives them an energy boost before going to the gym.
There is no evidence to support the claim of greater energy than drinking the mixture diluted with milk or water as instructed. The only current findings point to adverse reactions, with some resulting in hospitalization.
Examining the Hype Around Dry Scooping
Those who subject themselves to the dry scooping trend explain how the process results in faster absorption and accelerated energy results. According to medical professionals, there is truth to the claim that dry scooping results in quicker absorption, but they warn that rapidity is not always a good thing. Many professionals take the warning a step further, claiming the supplements do not provide the benefits proclaimed by advocates.
While some evidence suggests pre-workout energy powder can boost anaerobic energy, resulting in more energy for short, high-intensity training, there is minimal effect on upper and lower body strength. Additionally, long-term research into the efficacy of such powders is limited, if non-existent.
The manufacture and production of pre-workout powders are unregulated. There are reports and evidence of some of these products containing banned substances, such as anabolic steroids, DMAA, and 1,3-dimethylamylamine.
There is no reason to dry scoop when it comes to protein powder. Research into the effects of the protein shows that protein has a similar impact when taken before and after training, so a shake post-workout is just as beneficial as one consumed before.
Reviewing the Potential Hazardous Side Effects
The two primary issues with dry-scooping are inhalation or choking and caffeine. Dry-scooping can lead to choking and the inhalation of the powder into the lungs. The inhalation of the powder can result in aspiration pneumonia. The possibility of such an illness is why manufacturers specify the powder is to be diluted before consumed.
Pre-workout powders contain dangerous levels of caffeine when not diluted as instructed. One scoop of dry powder can have over 475 mg of caffeine, more than five cups of coffee. When the body ingests excessive amounts of caffeine in a short period, it can cause several health issues, including:
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart attack
Taking Pre-Workout Supplements
While dry-scooping is a dangerous trend, you can still use pre-workout powder occasionally. However, the substance requires dilution, as the label instructs. Additionally, you should consult with a doctor or dietician before using the supplement and let them know which powder you want to use, allowing them to review the ingredients. Finally, do not use the product if you are under 18.
Exercise and a healthy diet are the keys to a balanced lifestyle. While it is normal to want faster results, stick to tried and true practices and avoid trends, especially those without evidence. Dry-scooping is dangerous and represents one of those baseless trends.