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Doctors warn against TikTok dry scooping challenge

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Health officials are warning teens from participating in a viral TikTok trend that could land you in the hospital.

A 20-year-old Tennessee woman suffered a heart attack after trying the “dry scooping” challenge. People will attempt to post videos of themselves swallowing pre-workout powder dry on social media.

Similar challenges have emerged in the past, such as the Cinnamon Challenge and eating Tide Pods.

Tony Meives, owner of Badger Fitness in Madison, said pre-workout powder is common in the fitness industry.

“It’s for people that maybe when they need a little motivation,” explained Meives. “To kind of just pep them up. Very similar to what coffee would do for the average person in the morning.”

UW Health’s Dr. Matt Anderson and UW Health nutritionist Jean Reiche say the effect this challenge has on the body is not a positive one.

“Pre-workout has a lot of caffeine, about 4 cups of coffee in one scoop,” said Reiche. “No one really drinks 4 cups of coffee in one scoop, so no one really drinks four cups of coffee within minutes so it is risky on the heart.”

Dr. Anderson says parents should have the conversation with their child about the risks the challenge has and what it can do. When it comes to using pre-workout powder for fitness, most people may be better off without it.

He also added that the popularity behind the dry scooping challenge likely stems from people just wanting to prove they can do it.

“I would say from a younger person’s perspective stay away from it all together,” said Meives.

If you have pre-workout powder in your house right now, health officials say its probably a good idea to store it out of reach from your children.

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