The fitness world is full of fads. Some fads work, and others don’t.
There are also many popular pre-workout supplements on the market.
When fads and pre-workouts combine, things can get really dangerous. In a recent TikTok trend (where all terrible things start), some people made videos showing them dry scooping a pre-workout supplement.
But is dry scooping pre-workout bad? In this article, you’ll learn what dry scooping is and what makes it so dangerous.
What are pre-workout supplements?
People take pre-workout supplements before they begin working out. These supplements contain a wide range of ingredients to boost exercise performance.
Many pre-workouts also contain varying amounts of caffeine to increase energy levels. Some pre-workout powders contain far more caffeine than what’s in a cup of coffee.
What is dry scooping?
Most pre-workout supplements come in powder form. The correct way to use pre-workout powders is to mix them with water and then drink the mixed beverage.
Dry scooping is consuming pre-workout powder with no water.
6 dangers of dry scooping a pre-workout supplement
With the basics out of the way, it’s time to learn what makes dry scooping pre-workout powder so dangerous. Here’s a closer look at the many dangers of dry scooping.
If you’ve ever eaten too much of a powdery candy at once, you might have felt your mouth quickly dry out. Having a lot of powder in your mouth can quickly dry up your saliva. It can also cause you to choke.
You might remember the ill-fated cinnamon challenge from about a decade ago. If you didn’t see these videos, they were “challenges” featuring someone trying to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon.
Needless to say, most of the people in these challenge videos didn’t complete this challenge. Instead, they looked like idiots risking their lives while coughing up cinnamon powder all over their rooms.
Water lubricates your mouth and throat, making it easier to swallow. Trying to consume only powder can lead to trouble swallowing or even suffocation.
2. Too much caffeine
Another reason to avoid dry scooping pre-workout powder involves the caffeine in these supplements. That’s not to say that caffeine or the amount of it in pre-workout powder is dangerous.
Having probably tried over 50 pre-workout products in my life, I can say that many of them do contain a lot of caffeine. But I’ve never encountered anything over 200 to 250 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Keep in mind that the FDA recommends that adults have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.
This is a good point to mention that people have varying sensitivities to caffeine. If you’re like me, you have a high caffeine tolerance. Having a high tolerance to something means it takes a lot of that ingredient to have an effect on you.
Then, there are people who are sensitive to caffeine. I envy them. Unfortunately, some people with sensitivities to caffeine weren’t aware that many pre-workout supplements contain hundreds of milligrams of this ingredient.
After dry scooping, some people experienced a caffeine overdose or caffeine-induced panic attacks.
You’d have to be dry scooping a lot of pre-workout powder for your caffeine intake to be fatal. But, as someone who has accidentally consumed too much caffeine, I promise it’s not a fun experience.
Some of the side effects of too much caffeine consumption can include the following:
- Excessive shakiness
- Trouble sleeping
- Feelings of nervousness or anxiety
- Rapid heartbeat
- Frequent urination
Even if you have a high tolerance for caffeine, dry scooping is still a dangerous idea. Taking a pre-workout with water dilutes this powder and your caffeine intake over a period of time.
Dry scooping pre-workout products sends hundreds of milligrams of caffeine right into your system all at once. While this might not always lead to a caffeine overdose, that much caffeine isn’t easy on the heart.
3. Digestive issues
A pre-workout product and digestive issues go together like peanut butter and jelly. Even when taken correctly, it’s not uncommon for slight nausea or even diarrhea to happen from the high caffeine content in a pre-workout product.
If you dry scoop pre-workout powder, you can worsen this supplement’s side effects on your stomach.
4. Not great for your teeth
Many pre-workout products contain a variety of acids. Of course, these acids aren’t dangerous to digest. They’re similar to acidic ingredients that give candy and other food a sour flavor.
When you mix these powders in water, it both dilutes the powder and lets it pass through your mouth quickly. Trying to ingest dry powder leaves acidic ingredients coming into direct contact with your teeth.
Over time, this acid exposure can quickly degrade the enamel of your teeth.
5. Risking a lung infection
As you know, the lungs help air come in and go out of the human body. If you try to dry scoop a full scoop of a pre-workout product, you risk accidentally inhaling this powder.
When you inhale powder, it’s likely going into your lungs. As unpleasant as that is to think about, it can get worse. This foreign material in the lungs could lead to a potential lung infection.
6. Wasting your pre-workout supplements
Taking pre-workout supplements correctly (with water) can help improve workout performance and give you more energy. That’s one reason why most of these supplements aren’t cheap.
It’s not uncommon to see supplement companies selling their products for upwards of $40-50. Paying that much money is fine if you get to experience the benefits of these products.
However, dry scooping pre-workout products is not how to correctly take this supplement. Instead of gradually increasing energy and a great workout, following the dry scooping trend will be a terrible and potentially life-threatening experience.
And, ingesting dry powder by itself is wasting each dose of your pre-workout supplement because this is not taking it the right way.
How to safely use pre-workout powder
I answered the question: “Is dry scooping pre-workout bad?” Now, let’s look at the right ways to take pre-workout products. Following the tips below lets you boost energy levels the right way.
Read the label of any supplement before using it.
The best way to avoid taking dangerously high doses of a pre-workout or making any other mistakes is to read the label of any supplement you’re using.
Not reading the label of your supplement before trying it can lead to all sorts of adverse reactions.
Never take more than the recommended amount.
Getting a product ready to sell legally involves a lot of steps, especially in the supplement industry. So, you can rest assured that these companies create the maximum dosage information with your safety in mind.
Unfortunately, some people think that one scoop or whatever the recommended amount is isn’t enough. And that’s where things can get dangerous. The caffeine found in a typical pre-workout is more than enough to get you energized.
If for whatever reason, a solid 200-ish milligrams of caffeine doesn’t give you increased energy, it could be time to take a tolerance break.
Don’t consume more than one pre-workout supplement at a time.
Taking a pre-workout product is a great way to improve exercise performance. Unfortunately, certain gym goers might get the idea that they’ll double the effectiveness of their workout by taking two pre-workout products at once.
Unless you’re specifically taking supplements meant to be used together, do not combine pre-workout products.
You wouldn’t put yourself in danger by having a few too many branched-chain amino acids. Instead, the danger of consuming multiple pre-workout products comes up from the caffeine these supplements contain.
So, is dry scooping pre-workout bad? Yes! I do not recommend you dry scoop a pre-workout supplement. If you do, you risk dealing with breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, and other serious dangers.