TikTok's buzzing with workout tips! One trend catching fire on the platform is “dry scooping” your pre-workout powder. PWO's are meant to be mixed with water or juice and downed a few minutes before hitting the gym. But is dry scooping pre-workout a wise move, or is it best to steer clear? Before you grab that scoop, here's my five cents as a registered dietitian.
How dry scooping a pre-workout can look like… What do you make out of this?
What Is Dry Scooping?
Easily explained, dry scooping is when one scoops up a pre-workout, creatine, or other supplement and swallows it straight down, then chases it with a swig of water afterwards. I've covered it before in my article about dry scooping creatine.
Dry Scooping PWO Can Be Life-Threatening
Some users have reported severe side effects such as heart issues, breathing troubles, and choking after trying this method. Why? Well, it's pretty straightforward: the ingredients in pre-workout supplements can be risky and lead to toxicity, especially when not used as directed by the manufacturer. Swallowing a hefty amount of powder can lead to choking and breathing issues.
Plus, downing a full scoop of pre-workout without mixing it with water first means you're getting a huge dose of ingredients all at once. With caffeine being a common ingredient, overdoing it or gulping it down too fast can trigger anxiety, a racing heart, chest pain, and other problems like dizziness and tremors.
If you ask me, this is an insanely stupid trend (like most TikTok trends), and one should stay away from it. What's wrong with the good old way of mixing Pre-workout with water?
What is a Pre Workout? And is it also Dangerous?
Pre-workout typically encompasses supplements or powders that folks consume before hitting the gym. The ingredients can differ depending on the brand you choose, but the main contents are:
- Caffeine: Often the primary ingredient, caffeine boosts energy levels and enhances focus.
- Creatine: Helps increase muscle strength and power output during high-intensity workouts.
- Beta-Alanine: Aids in reducing muscle fatigue and improving endurance.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which help with muscle recovery and reducing muscle soreness.
- Nitric Oxide Precursors: Such as arginine and citrulline, which promote increased blood flow, leading to better muscle pumps and improved nutrient delivery to muscles.
- Taurine: Supports hydration and electrolyte balance and may also help improve endurance.
- Tyrosine: Aids in mental focus and cognition during exercise.
- Beetroot Extract: Contains nitrates that can improve blood flow and enhance exercise performance.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Often included to support overall health and energy metabolism.
Pre-workout supplements are not dangerous if used as recommended by the supplier. However, there have been cases of pre-workout overdosage that have ended really badly. I use pre-workout daily, but never more than one scoop at a time and maximum once daily – as it should be used.
Summary: Final Scoop
What did the fitness enthusiast say about taking too much pre-workout? It's a scoop gone too far!
Jokes aside, one does not have to be an expert to understand that dry scooping pre-workout cannot be a good idea. However, as a registered dietitian and ACE-certified nutritionist, I am an expert in the field, and I can state that it is not good for you. Kids, stay away from dry scooping any supplements! Mix it with water and enjoy instead.