This is the new dangerous challenge on social networks: the “dry pre-workout”. In good French, it’s all about soaking up a dose of pre-workout energy drink powder but without liquids, before doing a bodybuilding session. Bad idea for the heart.
Composed in particular of vitamins, amino acids and green tea extracts, pre-workout energy drinks often also contain stimulants such as caffeine or taurine. This makes them products to be consumed with caution. In fact, if “the amount of caffeine in energy drinks poses no risk to most people, an excess can cause negative effects such as headaches, nervousness, irritability and insomnia”, recalls Dr. Martin Juneau, a cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute. And overdose can also affect cardiovascular health, with strokes and cardiac arrests reported in recent years from drinking these drinks.
However, a new challenge has recently emerged on the Tik Tok network called “dry pre-workout”. It involves absorbing a dose of powder to be rehydrated in a pre-workout energy drink but without adding any liquid. The idea is to consume it just before a sports session, especially bodybuilding.
Why is it not recommended?
Consumed dry, the powder provides a large serving of caffeine in a single dose, rapidly delivered to the body. This causes a significant increase in blood pressure and therefore a risk of heart attack, following intense physical activity. A 20-year-old woman, for example, suffered cardiac arrest after the challenge according to Buzzfeed media.
To learn more about this phenomenon and the associated dangers, Princeton University researchers looked at 100 Tik Tok videos indicating #preworkout. They then analyzed various elements of these videos: the likes (popularity), the method of ingestion, the number of doses and the association with other substances. Results, a great success of these videos in which pre-workout powders were most often associated with other energy drinks, protein powders or creatine or even alcohol.
A real danger to the health of young people (a majority of men since they were 64% in the videos of the study) who follow this type of challenge according to the authors. Which healthcare professionals recommend to be aware of “the omnipresence of these dangerous practices among young people”.