Dry scooping: Experts on why you should avoid this viral fitness fad


A new trend that is gaining popularity on social media platforms like TikTok is ‘dry scooping’ or the practise of consuming a scoop of protein powder without diluting it in water. The fad, believed to give a bigger boost of energy for longer and harder workout, is dangerous, warn experts.

Why is it not advisable?

Protein powders are known to consist of a blend of amino acids, B vitamins, caffeine, creatine, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients. So, neat consumption of such ingredients may create health issues. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is common for pre-workout supplements to have 150 to 300 mg of caffeine per serving. The potential dangers of consuming too much caffeine include risk of insomnia, anxiety, dehydration, and abnormal heart rhythm, according to the National Institutes of Health.

While the ingredients may help boost one’s stamina before a workout, there are some risks in consuming extra energy-boosting stimulants. “For example, consuming too much caffeine can increase the chances for a heart disorder,” Deepti Khatuja, clinical nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, told indianexpress.com.

protein Protein powders should be diluted with water. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Where did the trend originate from?

As per everydayhealth.com, one TikTok user — kimg966 — shared a dry scooping video in late May 2021, racking up over 7.6 million views. In it, she tries to swallow a cap full of of the powder, but spits it out even before she can consume water. Another user, reportedly, suffered a heart attack owing to the fad.

Why must one exercise caution?

Viral social media challenges, which are blindly followed by youngsters, pose many physical and mental challenges, experts mention. “This latest fad of ‘dry scooping’, which involves users taking a scoop of protein powder without diluting it with water has already led to unfortunate incidents. I would request kids not to take up such mindless challenges because ingesting protein powder on its own can lead to heart and lung seizures – and even death. The highly concentrated powder can lead to choking, accidental inhalation, over-consumption injury, and death,” said Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder and director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

One scoop of powder might be packed with as much caffeine as five cups of coffee which makes is dangerous to consume, experts said. “It can further increase the chances of high blood pressure or increased heart rate, and accidently inhaling the powder into the lungs could cause choking or an infection or pneumonia,” remarked Khatuja.

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