Being into fitness is a good thing, but it’s easy to cross the line into viral fitness trends that hurt your health rather than help it. Enter: dry scooping, one of the latest fitness trends making the rounds on TikTok. Essentially, dry scooping involves eating a scoop of pre-workout powder or protein powder to boost energy before hitting the gym. Instead of diluting these powders and drinking the contents, fitness fanatics jumping on the trend are dumping the powder directly into their mouths and swallowing the powder dry (no water or milk included). But pre-workout dry scooping can have serious detrimental effects on your health. In one of the worst case scenarios, it can even land you in the hospital.
Does Dry Scooping Pre-Workout Have Any Benefits?
The reason why gym buffs dry scoop is to absorb pre-workout energy powder faster. And to this effect, dry scooping does work. Eating the powder dry does get it into your system quicker, allowing the user to feel the effects more rapidly, says Benedict Ifedi, MD, a family and sports medicine physician with Memorial Hermann Medical Group in Texas. However, fast absorption isn’t necessarily a good thing. Not only can rapid absorption of the ingredients found in pre-workout powder be dangerous (more on that in a minute), but these supplements don’t actually have the benefits proponents claim they do.
When it comes to pre-workout energy powder, which often contains caffeine, there is some proven boost to anaerobic energy. This means it gives you more energy for short, high-intensity bursts of training. But when it comes to increasing your upper and lower body power, you won’t see much benefit.
Further, pre-workout powders are lacking long-term research — not only for efficacy, but also for safety. They’re unregulated and can even contain banned substances, such as anabolic steroids and harmful stimulants or hormones (1,3-dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, which can lead to heart attacks, is one of the most widely publicized).
As for protein powder, research has found that protein intake has a similar effect both before and after workout. So there’s no need to hastily dry scoop before you work out. A post-workout protein shake will work just as well.
Why Is Dry Scooping Pre-Workout Bad For You?
There are two main dangers of dry scooping. First, consuming dry powder itself can lead to choking or inhalation, which can cause