Is 'Dry-Scooping' Pre-Workout Safe?

You may have heard of or seen a workout trend that involves taking a pre-workout powder dry, otherwise known as dry scooping. Ingesting the powder dry will supposedly give your workout an even bigger boost than it would if you mixed it with a liquid (as directed). Dry scooping might seem rather harmless, but there are risks involved that you should know about before giving it a try.

One danger involves too much caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations, an upset stomach, and dizziness. Some powders contain as much as 250 milligrams of caffeine in one dose, Kathryn Boling, M.D., told Health. Cardiologist Nicole Harkin, M.D. added that too much caffeine could elevate your heart rate and blood pressure severely. Not only that, but too much caffeine can be toxic, according to emergency medicine physician Kelly Johnson-Arbor, M.D. (via Self).

There is also a slight chance that you could choke on the powder, or that it could cause trouble breathing. If you have respiratory or lung issues, such as asthma, breathing in some of the powder particles into your lungs could cause serious harm.

Pre-workout powders are not tightly regulated by the FDA

Another reason why you should not dry scoop your pre-workout is because these powders are not tightly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, making it impossible to know exactly what is in any of them. In fact, some companies label ingredients as "proprietary blends," which provides consumers with no real information about what they are consuming (via Discover). While they are sold as energy boosters, they could contain drugs or toxins that are not good for you in the first place, much less when consumed in a concentrated form. 

While it might be tempting to chug down a scoop of powder to enhance your workout, the best way to get fueled up for a workout is to do it the old-fashioned way — with food. Rachel Paul, Ph.D., RD, told Popsugar that a couple of hard-boiled eggs and a serving of guacamole is one of her favorite pre-workout snacks. Other ideas include a cheese stick with peanut butter, an apple, or a banana.