Story at a glance:

  • ”Dry scooping” is when one consumes raw protein shake powder without liquid or without mixing it in liquid first.
  • Dry scooping could lead to heart attacks.
  • A 20-year-old Onlyfans model almost died from dry scooping.

TikTok users are “dry scooping” their fitness protein shake powders – powder intended to be consumed and mixed with water –  which is causing them to have heart attacks.

It is a trend, much like the black out challenge or TidePod challenge, that could kill the people attempting to do it, Fox News reported.


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One of its early victims is a woman named Briatney Portillo who ate raw scoops of a protein powder called Total Raw. Luckily for the 20-year-old Onlyfans model, she survived her heart attack after being rushed to the EMT, but she warned fellow impressionable socialites to not follow her mistakes.

The cause of her heart attack was likely caused by the high levels of caffeine.

"This fad is similar to the ephedrine craze for weight loss that is now banned," Satjit Bhusri, cardiologist and founder of Upper East Side Cardiology, told Fox News. "The intent behind dry scooping is to allow the performance-enhancing supplements pre-workout to enter the bloodstream faster than the typical pre-workout drink." 

Many of these protein, pre-workout products contain caffeine, creatine, taurine, B-vitamins, NO2-boosters, and branch chain amino acids, according to Men’s Health, meaning it is essential to dilute some of its effects by drinking it with milk or water as opposed to swallowing it raw and dry and then drinking something after the fact.

"By dry scooping, absorption begins directly through the membranes in your mouth and continues through your esophagus and into your stomach," Bhusri explained. "As pure dry powder, there is no dilution and the fast entry into your bloodstream results in an immediate release of supplements. Of those, it is the incredibly high dose of caffeine that enters the blood very rapidly. This, like ephedrine, causes an abrupt increase in adrenaline and puts the heart in overdrive." 

For someone who has narrow blood vessels supplying the heart, the reduced blood flow from the powder can cause chest pain and shortness of breath.

"In people who have undiagnosed coronary artery disease, there becomes a supply-demand mismatch for oxygen as the heart is demanding more and more, but due to an undiagnosed blockage, the supply is not there, this leads to a heart attack," Bhusri said. "The increase in heart rate can also be a trigger for underlying arrhythmias. This can lead to, amongst other things, a stroke." 

"There are absolutely no benefits to dry scooping," Bhusri warned. "The alternative is the gold standard, body conditioning. If done the right way, with a structured diet and exercise program, similar results will be achieved. Moreover, these results will have a positive effect on the body and the heart. The result will be a healthier heart, a more relaxed cardiovascular system and a marked decrease in the risk of heart disease." 


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Published on Jun 07, 2021