Supplements

Can Protein Powder Expire and Go Bad?
The Truth Behind the Shelf Life

How Long Does Protein Powder Last Featured Image
Written by Connor Sellers

Have you ever cleaned out your pantry or fridge and started throwing out food that has expired? The stale and almost empty bag of chips from a year ago, fruits that have gone bad, leftover meals, and finally, you come across protein powder.

You start to remember how much you loved this product for weight loss and protein shakes. It's a great source for nutrition in your diet, and you think that you should start using it as part of your fitness routine again. It's been a while though.

How long is protein powder good for? Can whey protein go bad?

​Does Protein Powder Go Bad?

protein powder scoop

It’s important to know that protein powders do indeed have an expiration date. You should always check the dates before you make those smoothies.

Protein powder products contain ingredients like soy, milk, or eggs that eventually expire. Whey protein is one example that is popular for a weight loss diet. (1)

It is not vegan friendly because it’s made from cow's milk and it does go bad just like any other dairy based product.

The protein powder shelf life is usually 1 or 2 years. It’s easiest and safest to check the container for the protein powder expiration date.

So before you consume your supplements, make sure to check the label and verify the expiration date. Avoid the possible side effects of drinking expired products.

​Is It Okay to Use Protein Powder Past Its Expiration Date?

Expired protein powder is not as effective. The proteins eventually react with the sugar left over from the whey or other ingredients, and it causes the formula to break down and no longer be a complete protein.

Vitamins also naturally lose their potency as time goes on. People shouldn’t drink expired protein powder as it doesn’t help them with their fitness or workout goals.

You can also watch this video by Lee Hayward to learn more about his take on consuming protein powders past the expiry date.

Expired Protein Powder Is Not As Effective

​How Long Does Protein Powder Last Once Opened?

glass storage

Contrary to popular opinion, the life expectancy of protein powder doesn't change based on when the container was opened.

The only factor that could change your protein powder expiration is making sure the protein powder is stored properly.

A helpful tip for protein powder storage is to ensure that you keep the container in a cool dry place. Heat can cause moisture to build in any supplements. (2)

The best place to store protein powder includes a kitchen cupboard, food pantry, or desk drawers. The top of your fridge at home is probably not the best place for your protein powder to be stored properly. This may help prevent your protein powders from expiring too soon.

​What’s the Best Way to Store Protein Powder?

The best protein powders will normally come in an airtight container designed to keep out moisture. It may be best to leave your protein powder in this container for maximum efficiency instead of other bottles or zipper storage bags.

Moisture is the sworn enemy of protein powder storage. Any kind of liquid will make the powder dissolve and become unusable faster. So if you open your container of protein powder and notice any lumps, then that’s the signal that you have expired protein powder.

airtight container

​How Can You Tell If Protein Powder Has Gone Bad?

bad protein powder

A strange odor is also a sign that the ingredients have gone bad and probably isn’t safe for your health. If you are still unsure if your protein powder is good, then taste a little bit.

Anything that tastes awful means that it is expired protein powder and shouldn’t be consumed.

Don't consume it just because you don't want to waste your money but hey, it will cost more if you go to the hospital because of side effects.

​How Long Does Protein Powder Last When Mixed?

Yes, you should be drinking it as soon as possible or storing it in your refrigerator. Otherwise, bacteria will begin to grow and make it unsafe to consume.

Try to drink it within 24 hours for best results and definitely don’t wait months to consume protein shakes. Your body will thank you.

By taking care of your protein powder, you’re also taking care of yourself. If you are needing help with your fitness goals, then reach out to us to learn how we can help you.

Where to next? See our other top related articles:


​References:

1. Joy L Frestedt, John L Zenk, Michael A Kuskowski, Loren S Ward, and Eric D Bastian, A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2289832/
2. Purdue University, Vitamins stored in bathrooms, kitchens may become less effective, retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302162257.htm

About the author

Connor Sellers

Connor Sellers is a personal trainer and senior coach at Total Shape. His mission is to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their fitness and lifestyle goals. He believes staying fit has an overall positive effect on one’s body, mind, and spirit. Read more about him here​.

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