By Dr. Brittany Masteller
There’s a popular trend circulating gyms and the internet, especially on TikTok, called “dry scooping” (1). Many of you are probably familiar with this trend, but for those of you who aren’t, dry scooping is when you consume a scoop of pre-workout powder directly in your mouth without first mixing it in water. While this consumption method can technically be done with a variety of supplements, the most common is with pre-workout.
There seems to be some concern over the safety of this dry scooping trend. However, there’s not much evidence to suggest that it's harmful in any way. Much of the concern surrounding dry scooping is regarding the safety of ingesting pre-workout supplements (which often contain high amounts of caffeine) rather than the actual act of dry scooping. For example, consuming high amounts of caffeine can be dangerous for certain populations, such as children or individuals with underlying health conditions. There are some considerations for the dangers of dry scooping, like an accidental inhalation of the powder, which could lead to choking.
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any supplements, especially if you have any health conditions, are pregnant or nursing, or are under the age of 18.
Why do people choose dry scooping over mixing pre-workout with water? One of the most common reasons reported is to avoid drinking an entire glass or shaker of water before exercising to avoid the feeling of water sloshing around in the stomach. Some people just prefer to dry scoop the pre-workout into their mouths, then follow up with a few sips of water to wash it down. It can also be a faster way to consume the pre-workout if you’re running late or short on time.
When deciding if consuming pre-workout (or dry scooping it) is the right supplement decision for you, consider the following:
Before adding any supplements to your diet, we always recommend consulting your medical care provider to ensure the supplement is a safe addition. Our supplements are designed for healthy adults and not for individuals who are under the age of 18 or have underlying health complications that may be impacted.
We recommend consuming pre-workout in conjunction with proper food and hydration before your workout. If you’ve decided to dry scoop, it is especially important that you consume water and stay hydrated before, during, and after working out.
Not all pre-workouts are the same. Different brands have different ingredients, and various amounts of those ingredients. The differences in dosage could impact the physiological response you experience (i.e. 250mg vs. 100mg of caffeine). We suggest reading the nutrition label, looking up the supplement description on the company’s website to learn more about the contents of the pre-workout, and verifying that the supplement brand you’re purchasing from is third-party tested.
If you’ve decided to add pre-workout to your supplement routine, we offer two types of pre-workout. Our stimulant pre-workout product, Buff Pre, comes in a variety of flavors and is designed to power you through workouts. Buff Pre contains 200mg of natural caffeine, Beta Alanine to support delaying muscle fatigue, and L-Citrulline to support optimal blood flow. If the caffeine content of pre-workout is a concern (i.e. you’re sensitive to caffeine or are working out late in the evenings), we also offer a stimulant-free pre-workout, Buff Pump. This product is designed to keep you focused and hitting workouts with max effort without the spike (and crash) of caffeine. Like Buff Pre, it contains Beta Alanine to support delaying muscle fatigue and Betaine to support an increase in work capacity.
Still considering dry scooping? Fear not… There isn’t much evidence out there to suggest that dry scooping is inherently dangerous. While it is not recommended for certain populations, this recommendation is more a result of pre-workout consumption in general, rather than the method of which it is consumed. We’re in favor of always fact-checking TikTok claims against scientific evidence, but for this trend it appears the hype around the danger of dry scooping is a bit overstated. If you’re a healthy adult dry scooping pre-workout, consider the tips provided above and be mindful when tossing the powder in your mouth!
1. Lin, Allison, et al. "Dry Scooping and Other Dangerous Pre-workout Consumption Methods: A Quantitative Analysis." Pediatrics 149.1 Meeting Abstracts February 2022 (2022): 204-204.