JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Doctors are sending a warning about yet another social media challenge they say could be dangerous. The latest one making a splash on the social media platform Tik Tok is called the “dry scooping challenge”. It challenges people to dry swallow pre-workout powder.
The pre-workout powder is intended to be mixed into water or another liquid and sipped like a drink. Their purpose is to give people an extra boost of energy before taking on physical exercise. With the challenge, social media users are swallowing the scoops of powder without liquid.
Dr. Saumil Oza is chief of cardiology at St. Vincent’s hospital. He’s among the growing number of healthcare professionals concerned about people doing this.
“As a person, I think that’s pretty disgusting,” Dr. Oza said. “These pre-workout drinks are supposed to mix with water and there’s a reason they recommend that. So, when you go against their guidelines, you’re putting yourself at risk.
Doctors say powders like these can contain high doses of caffeine. Without water, it hits your body that much faster. One 20-year-old social media influencer says she suffered a heart attack after taking the challenge. Dr. Oza says underlying health conditions can play a big part.
“Many of these workout, pre-workout drinks have a lot of caffeine in them, which can have issues with patients with arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats,” Dr. Oza said. They can exacerbate those conditions.”
If this challenge sounds familiar, it is similar to the cinnamon challenge that hit social media several years ago. It led to numerous calls to the poison control center throughout the United States and even some hospitalizations for collapsed lungs. Dr. Oza says the “dry scooping challenge” is yet another reminder that if something seems like a bad idea, it likely is. That’s why you should only use products are they’re intended.
“You have to use some common sense,” Dr. Oza said. “Many things that you think are kind of crazy sounding actually are crazy-sounding for a reason because they could be hazardous to your health.”
Dr. Oza also says before you start taking any supplement for any reason or start any workout regimen, you should talk with your doctor first.
“I think doing it in a kind of more rational, thought-out way is important,” Dr. Oza said. “And not just doing what somebody on Tik Tok tells you to do.”