What Is Dry Scooping? Woman Suffers Heart Attack After Trying TikTok Trend

A 20-year-old TikTok user suffered a heart attack after following a trend on TikTok to "dry scoop" before her workout.

Normally, pre-workout powder is mixed with water to make a drink. However, TikTok users are swallowing mouthfuls of the powder by itself, believing it has stronger effects. Pre-workout powder generally consists of caffeine, B Vitamins and creatine, which provide more energy and increase muscle growth.

Briatney Portillo shared her experience with the trend to her TikTok account on April 15, using the clown filter and sound. "Taking a dry pre-workout scoop because I saw it trending on TikTok," she wrote on the clip. "Ending up in the hospital because I had a heart attack."

According to a follow-up video, Portillo began to experience a heavy chest and chest pains during her workout but ignored it at first, along with the nausea and fatigue.

"After I took the pre-workout, I started to feel tingly and itchy all over my body, which wasn't a good feeling, but I googled it and it said that was a normal side effect, so I began to do my workout," she told Buzzfeed. "I started to feel a heavy feeling in my chest and slight pain, but it wasn't too bad. I thought it was maybe anxiety or a bad panic attack, so I decided to just ignore it and push through my workout."

After returning home to shower, the pain eased so she went to her work as a dancer, but the pain returned once she arrived. "In the locker room of my job, I started getting hot, even though it was cold in there. I started sweating a lot and was drenched even though I was wearing a bikini," she told Buzzfeed. "Then my chest pain came back and this time it was more intense."

"The pain went to my back and to my left arm, and my left arm went slightly limp, so I knew those were symptoms of a heart attack. I called 911 and the ambulance came," she said.

Portillo was rushed to hospital and after running tests on her, nurses found her troponin levels were high, meaning she had a heart attack or her heart was stressed. After staying overnight and running more tests, medical staff concluded that Portillo had an NSTEMI. NSTEMIs tend to be less harmful to the heart than other heart attacks as it often means only part of the blood supply was blocked.

Although Portillo claimed in a later TikTok that she thinks the same would have happened if she mixed the pre-workout with water due to not consuming caffeine regularly, many doctors have warned against the trend. Kathryn Boling, MD, a primary care physician at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center told Health.com that the amount of caffeine all at once is a concern.

Some pre-workouts have 250 milligrams of caffeine in one scoop, which according to the USDA is three times the amount in a coffee. The powders tend not to be highly regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, meaning the amount of caffeine in it can be hard to know for sure. Boiling also told Health.com that choking is another big risk factor when swallowing powders whole, just like the cinnamon challenge.

On the trend that sent Portillo to hospital, a spokesperson for TikTok told Newsweek: "The safety of our users is our top priority. We launched an investigation as soon as this content was brought to our attention. We work to either limit, label, or remove content that depicts dangerous acts or challenges. We have applied warning labels to these videos, reminding users that behavior of this kind can result in serious injury. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."

Update 6/5/21, 03:25 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from TikTok.

An "Emergency" Sign at a hospital
An "Emergency" Sign in front of a hospital. A woman was rushed to hospital after following a 'dry scooping' TikTok trend. Getty Images. Getty Images