The latest TikTok trend to take social media by storm is known as “dry scooping,” where users of the Chinese app will swallow mouthfuls of caffeinated pre-workout powder instead of mixing it with water, believing it to have enhanced effects.
People are warning against the “viral challenge” after 20-year-old Briatney Portillo ended up in the hospital following a heart attack when she accepted the “challenge.”
Posting a video describing her experience, Portillo — who lives in Florida and is a model on OnlyFans — said that she felt chest pains while working out at the gym but pushed through the discomfort because she’s not a “beta.”
After feeling tired and nauseous, she “went home and had a shower,” before experiencing severe heart attack symptoms at her place of work.
“And then when I went to work, I was in the locker room, ‘cause ya’ll know I’m a stripper, and I got chest pains again and it went to my back, and then my left side starting hurting and my left side went limp,” Portillo said. “That’s when I knew it was a heart attack not anxiety.”
Atfer sweating profusely, “even though [she] was wearing a bikini,” Portillo was then taken to hospital by ambulance, “where it was confirmed that she had an NSTEMI, which is a heart attack that is typically less damaging to the heart.”
Portillo then warned her followers about the risk of such social media challenges, saying “being young doesn’t mean we’re invincible.”
According to Yahoo! News, “The pre-workout Ms Portillo consumed has more caffeine in one scoop than eight cups of coffee.” As Business Insider noted, “Pre-workouts are a type of supplement that blends performance enhancing compounds such as B-vitamins, creatine, and beta alanine, often with large doses of caffeine,” and that “Most are intended to be mixed with water before consuming, which helps dilute the ingredients.”
According to Health, another person who attempted this challenge “couldn’t breathe and needed her inhaler.”
Dr. Kathryn Boling, a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, said that “dry scooping” can cause choking, dehydration, and even lead to pneumonia if some of the powder is accidentally breathed into the lungs. However, the “biggest potential issue is the big hit of concentrated caffeine you can get from dry scooping pre-workout,” with the caffeine surge running the risk of exacerbating underlying heart issues.
“Those who may be at higher risk for issues with these substances, like people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, and arrhythmias, should absolutely check in with their doctor before using them,” said Nicole Harkin, a San Francisco cardiologist, according to BuzzFeed. “That said, everyone should make sure their doctor is aware of all substances they are consuming, including regular over-the-counter medications or supplements.”
Describing her experience from her hospital bed, Portillo’s TikTok video received over 2.3 million views.