A 20-year-old woman has claimed that she had a heart attack after swallowing a scoop of undiluted pre-workout powder, prompting experts to warn against the dangers of the viral ‘dry scooping’ trend seen on TikTok.
Briatney Portillo, an Only fans star and stripper from Florida, opened up about her scary experience in a series of TikTok videos, saying she rushed to the emergency room after her left arm went limp — a sign of a heart attack.
‘Taking a dry pre-workout scoop bc I saw it trending on TikTok,’ she captioned a clip of herself in the hospital in April. ‘Ending up in the hospital because I had a heart attack.’
Scary: Briatney Portillo, 20, claimed she had a heart attack after swallowing an undiluted scoop pre-workout powder in viral video filmed in the hospital
Story time: Portillo said she suffered from chest tightness and pain after dry scooping, but she thought it was anxiety at first
Portillo’s video has been viewed more than 2.3 million times and received thousands of comments, with some TikTokers saying the same thing happened to them.
Fans of pre-workout supplements, or ‘pre-workouts’ for short, claim they enhance workout performance, but some experts say they can be dangerous, especially if they are used incorrectly.
Pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and while ingredients vary between brands, amino acids, B vitamins, caffeine, creatine, and artificial sweeteners are typically included, according to Healthline.
They often come in powder form and are to be mixed with water before consumption. However, the new dry scooping trend on TikTok has people pouring the performance-enhancing powder down their throats so it hits the bloodstream faster, which can have harmful side effects.
Horrifying: The Only Fans star said called an ambulance later that night after her left arm and side went limp, which she knew were signs of a heart attack
‘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,’ Portillo told BuzzFeed.
The exotic dancer ignored the symptoms and continued with her workout, mistaking the tightness in her chest for anxiety.
‘I started to feel a heavy feeling in my chest and slight pain, but it wasn’t too bad,’ she explained. ‘I thought it was maybe anxiety or a bad panic attack, so I decided to just ignore it and push through my workout.’
When the chest pain subsided, Portillo started feeling nauseous and light-headed. She went home, showered, and headed to the club where she dances. She said she was getting ready in the cold locker room when she got hot all of a sudden.
Say what? After running a number of tests, it was determined that she had an NSTEMI heart attack, which is typically less damaging
Warming: Portillo explained that she shared her story on TikTok to save others from making the same mistake she did
‘I started sweating a lot and was drenched even though I was wearing a bikini. Then my chest pain came back and this time it was more intense,’ she told BuzzFeed. ‘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.’
Medical professionals initially didn’t think she was having a heart attack because of her young age. After running a number of tests, they determined she had an NSTEMI heart attack, which is typically less damaging.
She was given an intravenous heparin drip to thin her blood and stayed overnight at the hospital for observation, but, thankfully, there wasn’t any permanent damage done to her heart.
In one follow-up video, Portillo explained that she dry scooped Redcon1’s Total War pre-workout powder.
Redcon1 suggests mixing the powder with four to six ounces of water and drinking it 30 minutes prior to working out.
WHAT IS DRY SCOOPING?
Dry scooping involves swallowing a dry scoop of pre-workout powder instead of diluting it in water before a workout.
Pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and can have high amounts of caffeine
While ingredients vary between brands, amino acids, B vitamins, caffeine, creatine, and artificial sweeteners are typically included, according to Healthline.
The new dry scooping trend on TikTok has people pouring the performance-enhancing powder down their throats so it hits the bloodstream faster.
The fad can have harmful side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure.
One scoop contains about 350 milligrams of caffeine, roughly three times the amount found in a cup of coffee.
Portillo believes she would have had a reaction even if she diluted the pre-workout powder because she has a low caffeine tolerance. She said she knew she was suffering from a heart attack and not anxiety when her ‘left side went limp.’
While she has warned against dry scooping by sharing her story, other TikTokers have posted videos of their own health scares after trying the trend.
Dr. Nicole Harkin, a cardiologist based in San Francisco, told BuzzFeed that taking a large amount of a pre-workout can acutely increase heart rate and blood pressure while warning against the dry scooping trend.
Wild: Other TikTokers have posted videos of their own health scares after trying the trend. One woman couldn’t breathe after and needed an inhaler after dry scooping
Yikes: Someone else spit out the powder on her boyfriend and threw up when she tried it for herself
‘Using a product differently than intended by the manufacturer, such as dry scooping, is rarely a good idea. It’s meant to be diluted, and when you don’t do this, it can have potential serious consequences in the body,’ she said.
Dr. Harkin added that anyone with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or arrhythmias should check with their doctor before trying a pre-workout supplement.
Meanwhile, Dr. Satjit Bhusri, cardiologist and founder of Upper East Side Cardiology, compared the trend to ‘the ephedrine craze for weight loss that is now banned.’
‘As pure dry powder, there is no dilution and the fast entry into your bloodstream results in an immediate release of supplements. Of those, it is the incredibly high dose of caffeine that enters the blood very rapidly. This, like ephedrine, causes an abrupt increase in adrenaline and puts the heart in overdrive,’ he told Fox News.
‘In people who have undiagnosed coronary artery disease, there becomes a supply-demand mismatch for oxygen as the heart is demanding more and more, but due to an undiagnosed blockage, the supply is not there, this leads to a heart attack.’
Dr. Bhusri added: ‘The increase in heart rate can also be a trigger for underlying arrhythmias. This can lead to, amongst other things, a stroke.’