It’s unclear if this habit, which Piana’s girlfriend revealed to police, had anything to do with his untimely death, but it’s hard to imagine it was good for the guy.
Three months after his death, it’s still unclear why Piana died. The bodybuilder reportedly collapsed at home while getting a haircut in early August. After being rushed to the hospital, he was placed in a medically induced coma. Three weeks later, he died.
According to TMZ, Piana’s girlfriend said the substance he snorted was CON-CRET pre workout powder, which is packed with caffeine and supposed to increase alertness and energy before a workout.
The instructions call for it be mixed with water and consumed orally. But it’s not unheard of for people to suck it up with their nose. In fact, Piana made no secret of the habit.
Despite his warning in the video that this technique is only for professionals, snorting pre-workout powder is not as novel in the bodybuilding community as it seems outside of it. There are many threads on forums of people debate the sanity of such a move and plenty of them endorse it.
Piana’s preferred method of ingesting caffeine probably didn’t kill him and he was, by his own admission, doing things that were worse for him. The one-time Mr. California used steroids for 27 years, and he encouraged those who followed him to avoid the drug. “If you have the choice to stay natural or do steroids, stay natural. There’s no reason to do steroids, you’re only hurting your body, you’re hurting yourself,” he said in an April 2016 YouTube video.
But Piana insisted that he knew how to use the drugs without risking his health. “Bodybuilding is not my main objective in life. It’s just something I do on the side. So I would never in a million years risk ruining my health or ruining my future do to bodybuilding,” he said in another YouTube video.