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Mercy doctor warns of dangers in TikTok ‘dry scooping’ challenge

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 8:55 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A new viral social media challenge is encouraging people to dry swallow a scoop of pre-workout powder instead of mixing it with water. That challenge is circulating on TikTok.

Dr. Chris Amundsen, a Mercy sports medicine physician, says swallowing any large amount of dry powder can be dangerous.

”Your mouth just cannot produce the amount of saliva to keep up with the amount of dry substance that you’re putting in your mouth,” Dr. Amundsen says.

Dr. Amundsen says you can be potentially inhaling the powder into your lungs.

“It can give you generalized inflammation in your lungs. It can cause more complicated problems leading to pneumonia and issues like that,” Dr. Amundsen says.

One parent, Jackie Nally, says she remembers how popular the cinnamon challenge was when she was growing up, and this new challenge concerns her. That’s why her 10-year-old son isn’t allowed to have his own social media accounts, despite being pressured by his friends and other kids at school.

“Our kids don’t always understand and don’t know that what they’re seeing isn’t real. So when they see this on the Internet, especially if it hasn’t been filtered through the years of experience that we as adults have, then they don’t understand that this doesn’t work that way,” Nally says.

One girl went viral on TikTok saying this challenge actually gave her a heart attack.

Dr. Amundsen says with all the caffeine in pre-workout, it can give you heart palpitations and chest pains. He encourages people who use those products to do so as directed and dilute them with water.

“With much more concentrated substances, your body can absorb them much quicker and it’s not really equipped to work with that,” Dr. Amundsen says.

Dr. Amundsen says dry swallowing that powder can also irritate your stomach because of the concentrated amount of caffeine.

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