A TikToker chugged eight scoops of pre-workout supplements and ended up hospitalised when his brain began to swell up against his skull.
Bernard Hsu, a YouTuber, often shares videos based on real-life stories and most recently he posted about a 25-year-old who turned up in an ‘emergency room unconscious’.
The fitness TikToker, who Hsu referred to as Ja, discovered that by swallowing pre-workout powder it will help ‘bypass the water and allow the body to digest it as soon as possible’ which would make it more effective.
“Clearly, this was nonsense intended to sensationalise an unnecessary class of supplement, but Ja was determined,” Hsu said. “He was going to dry-scoop pre-workout for a video to post, and get 100,000 followers.”
Although Ja ‘felt like he was choking’ after swallowing just two scoops of dry powder, he continued the TikTok trend as he was so chuffed with how many new followers and likes he was getting.
But once he upped the scoops to four, the fitness buff felt ‘instant regret’.
Hsu continued: “He thought it would be funny for the video to just chase it down with four more scoops already mixed in with water, as he washed everything down and got ready for his workout.”
Ja then headed to the gym, despite feeling unwell, and began sweating before he even started lifting weights.
The pre-workout powder he’d downed beforehand was full of caffeine, creatine, and a ‘focus energy blend,’ plus various other things. As a result, the TikToker felt ‘jittery’ and began to feel his heart beating faster and his eyes bulging.
Ja’s concerned mum took him to the hospital but both she and doctors were baffled as to what was wrong, until his phone was accessed and the videos were found.
By this point, medics noted that he had high blood pressure, an ‘erratically’ beating heart and one of his pupils was much bigger than the other.
As the eyes are controlled by the brain and not the heart, the doctors concluded that the organ had to be bleeding and expanding in his skull.
Hsu explained: “The combination of huge amounts of caffeine and beta phenylethylamine in eight scoops of pre-workout swallowed all at once, with heavy lifting, all together could have increased Ja’s blood pressure so high that it caused his brain to start to stroke in the form of a bleed.”
Fortunately for Ja, medics managed to prevent his brain from oozing out of the cracks of his skull, as surgeons removed a part of it to relieve some of the pressure.
As the TikToker was young and healthy, he managed to make a full recovery after months of rehabilitation.
Although it sounds pretty obvious, Hsu has advised others to not try this kind of pre-workout supplement dry-scooped.
“If you’re really training seriously, you shouldn’t need anything extra to help you focus on training, because this is a non-essential supplement,” he said. “Don’t push it with this kind of stuff.”