Can You Dry Scoop Protein? (A Registered Dietician Answers)

A new trend is seen on TikTok where people dry scoop their protein powders.

This trend, which comes across more like a “challenge”, makes people grab one scoop of protein powder and try to swallow it. Some people drink a sip of water to help the powder go down easier, but most often it’s consumed without any water.


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One suggested reason why people dry scoop their protein powder is because they believe it might increase the rate of protein absorption within the body.  However, there is no scientific research to back up this claim. 

Dry scooping protein powder can be used for convenience (i.e. if you don’t have water or a shaker cup available) or simply because it’s your favorite way to consume protein powder.  But it’s no better than simply mixing protein powder with water or any other type of liquid.

Below, I’m going to discuss a couple of valid reasons for dry scooping whey protein, the potential risks (which in my opinion as a Registered Dietician outweigh the benefits), and some alternative ways you can mix your whey protein instead of dry scoping. 

Are There Benefits To Eating Protein Powder Without Water?

Pros vs Cons of Dry Scooping Whey Protein

Currently, there is no evidence that dry scooping protein powder is more effective than having it with milk or water.  It’s not going to absorb faster or more efficiently just because you consume it without liquid.

With that said, there are still two valid reasons to dry scoop whey protein:

1. You Don’t Have Access to a Shaker Cup or Liquid 

Imagine you run to the gym and forget to pack your shaker. If you don’t have a place to mix your protein shake, it might be convenient to eat it straight out of the tub. 

In the end, you get the same nutritional value (so long as you don’t cough it up as I’ll explain below).  So if you’re in a pinch, measure out the portion size you want, scoop it out, and place it in your mouth. 

2. You’re in a Bulking Phase and Don’t Want to Fill Your Stomach up With Water

For some people in a bulking phase where they are eating a lot of calories, it might be easier to dry scoop protein powder to prevent adding too much liquid (volume) into your stomach. 

For example, if it’s close to bedtime and you still need to eat 1000 calories, taking 3-4 protein shakes might add too much liquid to your stomach. 

Hence, having dry scoops of protein powder might make it easier.  That way, you leave room in your stomach for other calories that are necessary to reach your caloric surplus.  

Key Takeaway

With both of the scenarios above, the reason why I’m suggesting you can dry scoop your protein is because you’re in a pinch.  

You’ve either forgotten your shaker or you’ve had a day of eating where you’re left with a ton of calories to consume in a short period of time. 

Both of these situations are not ideal, and in reality, it’s because of poor nutritional planning.  So yes, dry scoop if you need to, but I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis.  

Let’s now talk about the side effects of dry scooping.

Is It Safe To Dry Scoop Whey Protein? (2 Side Effects)

There are a couple of side effects from dry scooping protein powder. 

1. Increased Risk of Choking

When you add a powdered supplement straight into your mouth without any liquid, there is a chance that you might choke. 

If you don’t end up choking, at a minimum, your airways will be irritated, and you’ll likely spend a lot of time trying to cough out the powder.  

In addition to increased irritation of your airways, there is another consequence of coughing…

2. Increased Wastage

As seen in some of the dry scooping videos on Tik Tok, when someone grabs a scoop of protein powder and places it into their mouths, the reaction is the same. They start coughing.

When you cough, you expel some of the product out of your mouth. This means that you waste more product and are probably not getting the intended grams of protein in the end.

Since you cannot calculate how many grams you ended up coughing, you might be decreasing your protein consumption unnecessarily.

So, Is It Better To Dry Scoop or Not? What Should You Do?

At the end of the day, dry scooping won’t provide any additional benefits to you. If you find it easier to increase your protein intake this way, you are good to go.

However, if you do decide to dry scoop protein powder, make sure that you do it in small doses instead of one big scoop. That way, you reduce the risk of choking and increasing wastage.

If your reason for dry scooping protein is because you’re looking to prevent adding too much liquid to your stomach, then check out my following tips that don’t involve the risks of dry scooping. 

Other Ways To Mix Protein Powder Without Water

Other ways to mix protein powder without water

Add It To Jello

If you like adding powdered milk to your jello, try switching it for your protein shake next time. 

Make some sugar-free lemon jello and add some vanilla protein powder to have an amazing lemon pie snack that is low in calories and only contains protein.

Have It In Your Oatmeal

The next time you are making oatmeal, add a scoop of protein powder to increase the protein content in your meal. 

Opt for the chocolate protein powder to create a chocolate goodness meal. Add some nuts and flaxseeds to increase the healthy fat intake.

Make It Into An Energy Ball

Another great way of having protein powder is making it into an energy ball. 

This is made by mixing oatmeal,honey, sugar-free chocolate chips, protein powder, and dates. You mix it up in a food processor until it has a smooth texture. Grab some of the mix and make them into balls. 

The benefit of making these is that you can freeze them and have them anytime you want.

If you want to make them at home, check this energy-ball recipe out. 

Protein Pancakes

Like with oatmeal, you can add a scoop of protein to your pancake mix to make some delicious protein pancakes. 

The problem with pancakes is that they are very low in protein and very high in carbs. By adding the scoop of protein, you help balance out the meal.

Check this recipe out for the most amazing protein pancakes you will ever make, or check out my article on Can You Mix Whey Protein With Eggs for a couple more protein pancake recipes. 

Make It Into a Sauce

Finally, one of my favorite ways of consuming protein powder is making it into a sauce. 

If you want chocolate sauce, mix 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder with just 2 tablespoons of water. You can add more or less water until you get the desired consistency. Add it to your ice creams or on top of strawberries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Dry Scooping Protein Powder?

Dry scoop protein is when you take a scoop of protein powder and eat it without diluting it in water or milk. You grab a scoop of protein and place it directly into your mouth. Then you attempt to eat it or swallow it. Some people take a sip of water to make it easier. 

Is It Bad to Dry Scoop Protein Powder?

As long as it is not a pre-workout that you are dry scooping, there is no risk in taking protein powder out of the jar and consuming it. However, if you take a large scoop, you could choke, resulting in coughing and irritating your airways.  

What Is the Point of Dry Scooping Protein Powder?

The point of dry scooping protein powder is to get all of the protein powder in one take without adding too much liquid to your stomach. If you don’t fill your stomach up with liquid, you don’t feel full and can eat more calories —a beneficial attribute for those in a weight gain phase. 

Is It More Effective to Dry Scoop Protein Powder?

Dry scooping protein is the same effectiveness as drinking it with a liquid.  However, some people who end up coughing will waste grams of protein by spitting it out. If you are going to dry scoop protein powder, do it in small portions, 1tbs at a time.

Other Protein Resources

About The Author

Brenda Peralta

Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist.  In addition to being an author for, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.

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