What Is Dry Scooping And Is It Safe? Know These 12 Dangers

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What Is Dry Scooping?

In this article cover the Dry Scooping trend including it's possible origin and side effects. This includes dry scooping pre-workout, creatine, BCAAs and other powdered fitness drinks. At the end of you will know all potential risks of dry scooping.

Dry scooping is the consumption of pre-workout powder supplements without mixing them with water. Taking a pre-workout or other powdered fitness supplements increases the risk of adverse physical problems, including heart issues.

This article is not meant to be a substitute for medical guidance, but there is a lot of evidence out there that backs up that dry scooping can be dangerous.

Let's get into what dry scooping is. There are two established truths: 

People will do anything to gain a competitive edge, and people will take unnecessary risks for fame and fortune. Dry scooping is the latest Tik Tok trend and an assumed source of improved absorption and effectiveness.

If the era of viral, risk-taking videos has proven anything in the last few years. It would be to “avoid anything a viral video on the web or an app tells you to do. 

Without mixing it with water, it changes how the body absorbs it, creating toxic levels in the body. 

What Does Dry Scooping Mean?

Dry scooping is taking your powder, pre-workout supplement straight out of the container, with no water or liquid of any kind. These scoops are pretty large, usually around 400mg. 

Imagine taking a fistful of flour or cocoa powder and stuffing it in your mouth until your cheeks are full. Then, you have to swallow it somehow.

Of course, you can break it up into smaller amounts of powder, but it will still dry your mouth severely. 

There are several common ingredients in pre-workout, including the following:

Under normal circumstances, no one would dry swallow the powder form of any one of these supplements, much less all of them at once. 

What Can Dry Scooping Do?

Dry scooping is assumed to be a faster, more efficient method of getting pre-workout into your system.

Severe dry mouth will be the most immediate and obvious side effect. It isn't easy to swallow any dry pre-workout powder without water; that will be the first thing you go for. 

A swallow or two of water will help get it down, but it's likely to be in clumps.

Swallowing lumps of semi-wet pre-workout powder will hurt your throat, and the dry powder that inevitably heads down your gullet as well will dry and inflame the lining of your esophagus. 

Suppose you are already one of those people that has trouble swallowing pills. In that case, it could very easily cause choking and inhaling some of the powder as you try to breathe around it.

This is called aspiration, which can either make things worse or cause the tiny alveoli in your lungs can inflame. 

There are many problems inflamed alveoli can cause down the road, but the immediate effect will be a burning or sharp pain in your chest when you inhale.

While the substances in pre-workout could all cause problems when they are absorbed this way, caffeine is the most dangerous. 

Who Started Dry Scooping?

Dry scooping was (is) a TikTok trend because kids these days will do just about anything to rack up views. 

These TikTok trends include all sorts of bizarre acts, including snorting condoms, eating Tide Pods, opening ice cream containers in grocery stores, then licking the ice cream before capping and replacing it on the shelf. 

Back in May of 2022, kimg966 (a Tik Tok username) racked up 7.6 million views dry scooping. The video and the act itself quickly went viral.

  • TikTok user and OnlyFans star Briatney Portillo: Heart Attack (survived
  • @mkaaaybabee: Stopped breathing (survived)
  • TikTok Fitness Influencer JA: Blood pressure increased to the point where he had a stroke (survived)

While the dry scooping trend can't necessarily be narrowed down to a single individual who started it all, these three are huge TikTok influencers.

And were some of the original dry scoopers who suffered life-threatening consequences. 

What is the Dry Scooping Challenge?

The challenge is less about working out and being healthy and more about taking a full scoop of pre-workout powder (dry), followed by a few sips of water. That's it. That's the entirety of the challenge.

Dangers Of The Dry Scooping Challenge Video

Why The Dry Scooping Supplement Challenge Is Dangerous

Does Dry Scooping Work?

It depends on what the word “work” really means. Do the supplements in the powder do what they are intended to do? Absolutely. Unfortunately, when you take pre-workout in this manner, it can do more harm than good. 

Pre-workout is meant to mix with water, so the body can slowly sort through and digest it. 

However, taking it as a powder changes the absorption methods, coats the esophagus in dry powder, and causes potential breathing problems (among other things).

Unfortunately, the rapid absorption with this method is often too much.

It's working, but it's working in overdrive. 

Dry Scooping Side Effects

Unfortunately, the number of potential side effects from dry scooping is numerous. Some of them are severely impactful and potentially deadly. 

  • Aspiration
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Infection in the lungs
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

Can Dry Scooping Hurt Your Throat?

Dry scooping can give you a sore throat at the least and severe irritation and inflammation at the worst. Your esophagus is meant to stay moist. 

The immediate effect of swallowing powder is an intense drying of the throat passage, causing a burning sensation and making it difficult to swallow. 

Can Dry Scooping Cause Heart Attack?

While there is no scientific literature on the subject, TikTok and OnlyFans phenom Briatney Portillo suffered from a heart attack not long after taking the pre-workout, dry scooping TikTok challenge.

Can Dry Scooping Make You Sick?

Some known symptoms from dry scooping include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. 

People react differently to different substances, but some things stay the same throughout. Getting sick from dry scooping is definitely one of the more common factors. 

Can Dry Scooping Hurt Your Teeth?

While there are no reported symptoms concerning the teeth. Several TikTok and YouTube users who have tried the pre-scooping challenge complained of moderate to severe burning sensations in their gums. 

The liquid you take might damage teeth in time, especially if it's acidic.

Dry Scooping Vs. Mixing

There's no arguing that dry scooping is a far more difficult way of taking pre-workout supplements. 

Mixing with water is the primary method, and it's labeled on the directions of every pre-workout container on the market. 

There's a reason you don't see “dry scooping” instructions.

Mixing it with water is far more beneficial because it's designed to be mixed and absorbed in that way.

In pre-workouts, nitric oxide, caffeine, beta-alanine, taurine, and creatine are not meant for the rapid absorption you get from dry scooping.

The more you dry scoop, the more likely you will experience the negative side effects of misusing fitness supplements (powders).

What Happens When You Dry Scoop Supplements? Risks And Benefits

There are some potential benefits of dry scooping. However, there are no scientific studies on the efficacy of dry scooping versus taking it as directed. 

Pros (potential)Cons
More rapid energy boost Convenience factorNumerous potential side effects Too much caffeine too fast Accidental inhalation (aspiration) Choking and Long-term Baker’s Asthma
Pros and Cons of Dry Scooping Table

Can I Dry Scoop Creatine?

There is no available research on the potential, improved benefits of dry scooping creatine over taking it as directed. The only standard on which to weigh its potential benefits is word of mouth.

Since the body only stores creatine in the cells, rather than expending it immediately, there really seems to be no benefit you could possibly derive from taking it dry instead of taking it mixed. 

Is Dry Scooping Creatine Bad?

It’s not necessarily bad. However, anytime you attempt to consume dry powder, regardless of what it is, you run the risk of choking, aspirating, or creating a burning sensation in your esophagus and lungs.

How to Dry Scoop Creatine

You simply measure out a scoop of creatine and dump it in your mouth, either whole or in portions (in portions if you wish to prolong the drying taste but it is the safer method), followed by sips of water to help you swallow it. 

Benefits of Dry Scooping Creatine

There are no known or proven benefits to dry scooping creatine. There are no scientific studies on it either. While some say it gives them a bigger pump, that’s essentially impossible, since ingested creatine is never immediately used

Side Effects of Dry Scooping Creatine

Like the benefits (or lack thereof), there are no side effects to dry scooping creatine, other than the aforementioned potential for problems when swallowing it. 

How to Take Creatine Properly

However, as long as you keep taking it, it ultimately doesn’t matter. All you need to do to take it correctly is mix it in warm water, tea, or juice. Sugar helps the body absorb it better and warmer liquids dissolve it better. 

Dry Scooping Key Takeaways

Creatine is stored by the body much in the way it stores fat, as a reserve to be used when necessary.

Your body already has creatine in the muscle tissue and that will be used before the creatine you take. As you take creatine over time, your body will simply have more in reserve, which is a benefit when lifting. 

Can I Dry Scoop Pre-Workout?

It's like asking if you can drive with a blindfold on. You sure can but you shouldn’t.

The risks involved are far too dangerous to justify the energy boost If you need an energy boost that you can’t get from drinking mixed pre-workout, you’re doing something wrong or you need to rotate off of it for a while. 

Is Dry Scooping Pre-Workout Bad?

It can be. Remember, dry scooping is something that has been around in very small circles for years but it's only recently exploded onto the scene.

That means there are no substantive, scientific studies on it. There’s no literature to separate it from regular mixing. 

All we have to go on are the devastating consequences we’ve seen and the advice of doctors. Some of the side effects should be a necessary deterrent, especially where the enormous intake of caffeine is concerned. 

How to Dry Scoop Pre-Workout?

Normally, it's done by taking a whole, dry scoop of powder by mouth, followed by sips of water. Swallowing too much water creates large gobs of pre-workout, which can choke you. 

Benefits of Dry Scooping Pre-Workout

There are only a few, known and potential benefits. These benefits are only relayed by word of mouth, once again lacking any scientific studies that would validate the practice. It's supposed to provide a huge and immediate energy boost.

It's supposedly convenient as well because we all know that choking and gagging down a massive scoop of pre-workout in the front seat of your car is so much more convenient than drinking 8 ounces of water. . 

Side Effects of Dry Scooping Pre-Workout

The following are the potential side effects of dry scooping pre-workout, also listed above:

  • Aspiration
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Infection in the lungs
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

How to Take Pre-Workout Properly

Mix pre-workout in whatever your favorite sport drink, juice, or beverage is. Sometimes it works better if you throw it in the blender and make yourself a smoothie.

Though some are highly against sugar, it does help the body absorb the pre-workout rapidly.

Dry Scooping Pre-Workout Key Takeaways

Dry scooping pre-workout is not a good idea, no matter how people on TikTok make it out to be.

As mentioned above, if you are no longer getting an energy boost from mixing it regularly, you should cycle off of it for a time, rather than risking your health by dry scooping it. 

Can I Dry Scoop Protein Powder?

Yes, you can dry scoop protein powder. Out of the bunch, it's probably the safest and most sensible supplement to dry scoop.

However, keep in mind that putting a large amount of dry powder in your mouth always presents a few risks. Also, it's not as effective as it is when mixed with milk.

Is Dry Scooping Protein Powder Bad?

Not necessarily, other than the inherent issues with putting dry powder in your mouth. It's considered a convenient alternative when you don’t have your shaker bottle with you or simply lack the time. 

How to Dry Scoop Protein Powder

Simply place a portion of the measured amount in your palm, put it in your mouth, and chase it with water or milk. Rinse and repeat until the entire amount is consumed. 

Benefits of Dry Scooping Protein Powder

The only benefit is convenience. It absorbs better when mixed with milk though you will still get the appropriate amount of protein either way. 

Side Effects of Dry Scooping Protein Powder

There are no known side effects of dry scooping protein powder. 

How to Take Protein Powder Properly

The best way to take protein powder is to mix it with milk in a blender. It absorbs far more easily and you can add additional things like bananas or a little bit of chocolate syrup for taste. 

Dry Scooping Protein Powder Key Takeaways

There is nothing wrong with dry scooping protein powder, although it may not be the best way to consume it comfortably. It's best when done only when it's a matter of convenience, rather than making it habitual. 

Can I Dry Scoop BCAAs (Amino Acids)?

You can do it but you have to keep in mind that you run some of the same risks as you would dry scooping pre-workout.

As long as there is no caffeine in the BCAAs you dry scoop, those potential side effects are semi-hamstrung.

But it's not the best option in the world and you should only do it if absolutely necessary. 

Is Dry Scooping BCAAs Bad?

There are a number of studies on the various BCAAs that are proof positive that they work.

However, dry scooping them isn’t going to create a difference that brings value to the choice. In other words, you don’t have much to gain from dry scooping and potentially some to lose. 

How to Dry Scoop BCAAs

Its best to dry scoop it in portions, rather than taking the fullest dose all at once. This way, you reduce the potential for aspiration, choking, and other cardiovascular and respiratory system issues. 

Benefits of Dry Scooping BCAAs

There are no known benefits to dry scooping BCAAs over mixing it, although there are plenty of studies showing the efficacy of BCAAs in general, in the above links.

Side Effects of Dry Scooping BCAAs

There are no potential side effects of dry scooping BCAAs, outside of the dangers of putting a lot of dry powder in your mouth. 

How to Take BCAAs Properly

The most effective and safest way to take BCAAs is to mix flavored BCAAs with water and slowly drink it on your way to the gym. A measured dose, according to the directions, is all you need. 

Dry Scooping BCAAs Key Takeaways

Like some of the other aforementioned supplements (besides pre-workout) there doesn’t seem to be anything inherently dangerous about dry scooping BCAAs, other than respiratory and choking problems associated with the act of taking it dry. 

Dry Scooping Supplements Key Takeaways

If you get anything out of this article, it should be that dry scooping typically causes more harm than good. Especially with pre-workout dry scooping.

Dry scooping protein, creatine, or BCAAs doesn’t produce any scientifically proven, measurable results. 

Dry scooping pre-workout is dangerous, not only in the act but also in the aftermath and you should avoid it. Keep in mind that just because it's on TikTok and has a million views, doesn’t make it healthy nor does it make it scientifically accurate.

Citations and References

Jackman, S. R., Witard, O. C., Philp, A., Wallis, G. A., Baar, K., & Tipton, K. D. (2017, May 24). Branched-chain amino acid ingestion stimulates muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis following resistance exercise in humans. Frontiers. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00390

Whoa, we can have way more caffeine than we thought! Greatist. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://greatist.com/discover/daily-caffeine-intake

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Creatine. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Creatine

Cappelletti, S., Piacentino, D., Sani, G., & Aromatario, M. (2015, January). Caffeine: Cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug? Current neuropharmacology. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462044/

Cheng, I.-S., Wang, Y.-W., Chen, I.-F., Hsu, G.-S., Hsueh, C.-F., & Chang, C.-K. (2016, August 5). The supplementation of branched-chain amino acids, arginine, and citrulline improves endurance exercise performance in two consecutive days. Journal of sports science & medicine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974864/

Science, A. (2018, April 5). Amino acids and muscle recovery after exercise. The Amino Company. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://aminoco.com/blogs/recovery/amino-acids-muscle-recovery/

Jeff Carpenter

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