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What is dry scooping? Nutritionist discusses dangerous pre-workout trend

There are better ways to maximize your workout than trying this trend.
The latest trend on TikTok? Consuming protein powder in its powder form, instead of mixing into a beverage.
The latest trend on TikTok? Consuming protein powder in its powder form, instead of mixing into a beverage.Anna Efetova / Getty Images

Another day, another TikTok wellness trend. The trend du jour is called dry scooping. Dry scooping refers to when a person takes a pre-workout powder (which can contain protein, caffeine, creatine and other ingredients) and swallows it dry, as opposed to mixed and diluted in water as intended, then chases it with water. Aside from the fact that this just sounds completely unappealing, why would someone want to do this?

Well, the reason behind the trend is that dry scooping supposedly gives you a bigger energy boost so that you can then work out harder and longer.

It has become increasingly popular on TikTok with many claiming it is the secret behind their workouts. But, for others there have been negative effects, including one person reporting that she suffered a heart attack.

In pre-workout powders the amount of ingredients and combination of ingredients will vary but many brands include anywhere from 150 to 300 mg of caffeine per scoop. This is approximately one to three cups of coffee. If you’ve had a morning cup of coffee, then you have a scoop of powder, it can cause your blood pressure or heart rate to rise which can lead to heart rhythm disturbances.

Other possible dangers of swallowing powders without being diluted include choking. Dry scooping gets a hard pass in my book.

If you want to maximize your workout with adequate energy, take a pass on the quick fixes and go the old tried and true route. Go for a snack that is an easily digestible form of carbohydrate, protein and water for hydration. A smoothie is a perfect option here since it is easy to digest and can incorporate protein (if you wish) and carbohydrate in the form of fruit. Try this banana avocado smoothie and say “pass” to dry scooping.