Over the past few years TikTok has taken the world by storm. The social media platform, primarily used by ‘Gen Z’ (under 24 year olds) has the power to get a song to number 1 in the charts in a matter of days, influence millions of people to make that iced coffee and turn teenagers into millionaires for simply making up dance routines in their bedrooms.
One viral video can turn anyone into a TikTok celebrity with the power to influence impressionable youngsters into doing just about anything.
The platform features a huge amount of fitness related content with the hashtag ‘FitTok’ racking up a staggering 6.1 billion video views. Whilst some of the content creators demonstrating their workout routines and offering fitness and nutrition advice are trained professionals, a large proportion of these fitness influencers are amatures without qualifications in these fields.
A recent study found that 1 in 4 TikTok influencers are giving out incorrect and sometimes harmful advice.
‘Dry scooping’ is the latest TikTok fitness craze that has alerted the attention of medical professionals who warn the trend may pose a significant risk to health.
What is ‘dry scooping’?
The term refers to gym-goers consuming their pre-workout powder dry, without having mixed it with water.
This is advised against by the manufactures of these products for a number of reasons.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to be taken before a workout, to flood your system with sugar, caffeine and various other stimulants to give you a boost throughout your final sets.
The ‘dry-scooping’ trend is based on the idea that swallowing the powder dry will give you a quicker hit of energy and therefore you’ll need to wait less time in between taking the supplement and starting your training. There is no evidence to suggest that this claim is correct, and doctors are concerned about the harmful effects of consuming caffeine in this way.
Why is ‘dry scooping’ dangerous?
First of all, overconsumption of caffeine and other energy boosting stimulants can have a detrimental effect on the heart, leading to palpitations and extra or missed beats.
While some brands keep a sensible limit on their caffeine content, the desire to have the most extreme, intense brand on the market has resulted in potentially dangerous caffeine levels in some products. One scoop of powder could contain the equivalent amount of caffeine as five cups of coffee!
This means that ‘dry-scooping’ even a small amount could have immediate, dangerous consequences to otherwise ‘healthy’ individuals.
Secondly, ‘dry scooping’ also poses a choking hazard if the powder is accidentally inhaled, which could subsequently lead to respiratory issues, infection and even pneumonia.
Overall, whilst it’s clear that medical professionals would strongly advise against consuming pre-workout supplements in this way, it’s also important to consider whether the supplement is needed at all.
If your caffeine consumption throughout the day is already high, it may be wise to reduce this in order to ensure that your pre-workout energy boost isn’t putting added strain on your heart.
Before choosing a pre-workout supplement, always read the label, do your research and consume it in the recommended way to ensure your safety and get the most out of your workouts.
Village Gym members can get 20% off nutrition supplements from our trusted partners Optimum Nutrition.