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IF YOU’RE ON the fitness side of TikTok, you may now be well familiar with the “dry scooping” craze. The idea is to swallow your pre-workout powder straight—no mixer, no chaser.

Shocker, but just because you see it on TikTok doesn’t mean you should do it, says Kim Yawitz, R.D., owner of Two Six Fitness. Dry scooping mania is no exception.

“People have been dry scooping powdered pre-workout supplements for quite a while,” but it’s popularity increased after trending on TikTok, says Yawitz. It’s easy to assume that dry scooping is safe because, unlike other crazes (throwback to the ‘Tide Pod challenge’), you’re eating something fit for human consumption.

But dry scooping pre-workout can be dangerous and even life-threatening, according to the National Capital Poison Center.

Ahead, the scoop on dry scooping—and why you should steer clear.

What Does It Mean to Dry Scoop Pre-workout?

Dry scooping means eating your pre-workout powder dry instead of mixing it with water or other liquids, as directed.

“I always think of it like Fun Dip for fitness fanatics, albeit much more dangerous than eating candy,” says Yawitz.

Does Dry Scooping Pre-workout Energize You Faster?

It might, but the risk of the ramifications outweigh the benefit of being hit with your caffeine punch a tiny bit quicker.

“Mixing pre-workout with water slows the delivery of caffeine, sugar, amino acids, electrolytes, and other substances to the cells. When you take your pre-workout dry, you’re hitting your body with all these ingredients very quickly,” says Yawitz. “That may seem like a good thing if you’re about to do a tough workout, but the potential downsides are far greater than any slight advantage you might get during your workout.”

What Are the Dangers of Dry Scooping Pre-workout?

Dry scooping is a risky activity for your health, for several reasons.

For starters, Yawitz says, pre-workout supplements are poorly regulated in general. The FDA does not require supplements to be tested prior to going to market, so the only way to know you’re getting what your pre-workout says you’re getting is to choose a product tested by an independent third party, like NSF. Even if your pre-workout has been third-party vetted, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to dry scoop.

Powders pose more of a choking hazard compared to liquids. Dry scooping may sound like a temporary discomfort that’s quicker than slamming down 8 ounces of mixed pre-workout, but it could lead to bigger problems like asthma flares and aspiration pneumonia, Yawitz says.

Caffeine-wise, dry-scooping is like slamming three cups of coffee (or even more!) in two seconds flat. “This can lead to uncomfortable side effects, like shakiness, rapid heart rate, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and heart palpitations,” she says.

Plainly put, “there’s a reason why the directions on pre-workout labels call for mixing it with water,” Yawitz says. Following the directions on supplements labels will keep your consumption of them safe.

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Headshot of Perri O. Blumberg

Perri is a New York City-born and -based writer; she holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Columbia University and is also a culinary school graduate of the plant-based Natural Gourmet Institute, which is now the Natural Gourmet Center at the Institute of Culinary Education. Her work has appeared in the New York Post, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, Oprah Daily, Insider.com, Architectural Digest, Southern Living, and more. She’s probably seen Dave Matthews Band in your hometown, and she’ll never turn down a bloody mary. Learn more at VeganWhenSober.com.

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