I work in the fitness industry and am all about feeling good in your own skin so you can imagine that my TikTok feed is full of other fit enthusiasts who share motivating tips, inspiration and occasional suggestions for workouts or nutrition. But when it comes to the latter, I am always careful to check the person’s credentials and background: if they are not a certified personal trainer or registered dietitian, I usually take their advice with a grain of salt. After all, anyone can seem to be an expert on social media, and while one of the benefits of the platform is giving votes to the voiceless, this concept does not apply to unqualified people who provide faux expert advice. .
It’s the framework for control that I explored a recent TikTok trend with: the one with dry scooping before training or even basic protein powder. Dry scooping simply means dumping a scoop of dry powder directly into the mouth, rather than mixing it with water or milk in a shake. It might sound like the infamous cinnamon challenge, and I promise you, it’s just as messy and has just as few benefits. In fact, the dietitians I spoke to warned that it can even be dangerous.
Why is it unsafe to dry scoop pre-workout or protein powder?
Ayat Sleymann, RD, explained that powder before exercise can contain large amounts of caffeine, which can be dangerous when ingested quickly. “A sudden dose of excessive caffeine can trigger rapid and irregular heartbeats, which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and even death,” Sleymann told POPSUGAR. Diluting exercise with fluid slows down absorption instead of dumping it all into your system at once. “Cases of stroke, heart attack, hepatitis and death have been reported by not following dilution instructions,” Sleymann explained.
Sarah Grace Meckelberg, MS, RD, added that when you dry scoop powder – whether it is before exercise, protein powder or the aforementioned cinnamon – you risk accidentally inhaling it and getting it into your lungs and sinuses. “You’ve probably seen it happen: someone puts a scoop in their mouth, just to breathe in and get a ton of powder out everywhere,” Meckelberg said. Not only does it make a huge mess, but inhaling powder can cause infection.
Dry scooping can also wreak havoc on your teeth. “Many pre-workout programs have citric acid in them, and putting this hard acid directly on your teeth can chew away at your enamel in a way that permanently damages them,” Meckelberg told POPSUGAR.
In addition to the risk of dry forest alone, Sleymann pointed out that supplements such as protein powder and pre-training are minimally regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so they are often brought to market without being tested for efficacy or safety. In other words, you do not really know what you are putting into your body.
Therefore, the experts I spoke to recommend eating whole, nutritious foods before and after a workout. Rachel Paul, PhD, RD, explained that some of her favorite high-protein proteins include two hard-boiled eggs and a guacamole packet with a serving, two ounces jerky, a cheese stick with an apple or a banana, and peanut butter. However, if you decide to go the route before training, be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow them instead of a trend you saw on TikTok.