Why You Shouldn’t Dry Scoop Pre-Workout + What to Do Instead

Tempted to dry scoop your pre-workout powder for a quick energy boost?

Think again!

While it may look all rough and rugged, dry-scooping a pre-workout can leave you coughing, wheezing, and even gasping for air.

In this article, we’ll show you why dry scooping is a bad idea and what you should do instead.

Is Dry Scooping Bad for You?

Dry scooping pre-workout powder is not only unpleasant but can also be harmful to your health. 

That said, it’s not inherently bad. It’s just not the most optimal way to consume powders.

The concentrated nature of the powder can cause irritation and inflammation in your throat and lungs, leading to coughing, wheezing, and even suffocation. 

It can also cause stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting, effectively hindering your workout and minimizing your gains.

So, maybe it is inherently bad, all things considered?

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Dry Scoop Pre-Workout

Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t dry scoop pre-workout.

It can be dangerous

As we have already said, dry scooping pre-workout can be dangerous. 

The powder can easily get stuck in your throat, leading to choking or even lung aspiration. Ingesting pre-workout powder without proper hydration can also cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, potentially leading to additional health issues.

It can cause digestive discomfort

Dry scooping pre-workout can cause stomach discomfort and digestive issues. 

Pre-workout powders often contain high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants, which can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause acid reflux, bloating, and diarrhea. 

Mixing the powder with water or another liquid dilutes the concentration of the active ingredients and makes it easier to digest.

It is not more effective

Finally, contrary to popular belief, dry scooping pre-workout is not more effective than consuming it in its intended form. 

Mixing the powder with water or another liquid allows for a more even distribution of the active ingredients throughout the body, leading to a more consistent and sustained energy boost. 

Dry scooping pre-workout can actually result in uneven absorption of the supplement, leading to a less effective workout.

Is it Ok to Chug Pre-Workout or Do You Have to Sip It?

As long as you’re not taking too long to drink it – it doesn’t matter if you chug or sip your pre-workout shake.

So, it’s both ok to chug and sip a pre-workout.

If you consume your entire pre-workout shake in one sitting, in about five minutes, it doesn’t matter how many gulps or sips it has taken you to do so.

What You Should Do Instead of Dry Scooping

Luckily, you can do more than one thing instead of dry-scooping pre-workouts.

Take pills

Taking caffeine and citrulline pills and capsules before a workout will pretty much give you the 70% of the total boost a good pre-workout formula would, at an objectively lower cost per serving.

That said, you need to know how to dose these.

200-300 mg of caffeine and 4-6 g of citrulline should do the trick for pretty much everyone. [1]

If you want to add more to the mix, especially on the mental side of things, L-theanine and L-tyrosine capsules can also give you an edge. [2]


Pre-workout gummies are a thing, and while they are usually overpriced, sub-par products, chewing a few gummies still beats swallowing a spoonful of powder.

At least from a convenience standpoint.

But just to double down – most pre-workout gummies are either overpriced, badly formulated, or both, so keep that in mind.


Finally, what you can do is what most regular people do when they need more energy – eat.

Eating a well-balanced meal before a workout certainly won’t give you the caffeine buzz or citrulline pumps, but it will provide you with the necessary energy to power through.

As long as you include some protein, healthy fats, and simple carbs in one meal – you should be golden.

You Don’t Really Need to Take Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements can help, that much is clear.

However, you don’t really need them.

It is more than possible to get a great workout in without any stimulants or pump enhancers in your system.

Sure, great pre-workout formulas will cause a noticeable difference in your performance, and that will generally result in better results over longer periods of time. But to say pre-workouts are necessary for great performance in the gym is just plain incorrect.

You can grow without them!


What you should do instead of dry-scooping your pre-workout is do what every other person does – make a shake and drink it.

And, if that doesn’t sit right with you for whatever reason, citrulline or caffeine pills could be a good alternative if you want a little bit of a boost before you hit the weights.

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