Does protein powder expire?
The answer is..... YES it does expire.
So, how long does protein powder last once opened? Does it go off? Does it go bad in heat? How can you tell? Sadly, protein powder can go bad on you eventually. That said, since it’s a powder and because of its ingredients, it can still stay fresh for a long time (although we recommend storing it the right way).
Keeping it too long after the recommended expiration date means the powder loses its efficiency.
Below, we’ve answered all your expired protein shake questions to the best of our knowledge…
Is it safe to eat / drink expired protein powder?
This will generally depend on how long ago the protein powder expired and how the powder has been stored (cool/warm environments or environments with relatively high humidity). Because protein powder itself is almost devoid of any water content it doesn't spoil the same way that dairy based products usually would. If the protein powder has been dry stored and isn't giving off any pungent scent then you should be OK.
How Long Can You Keep Protein Powder?
Most protein powders last for around two years in total. Our protein powders are clearly labelled with an expiration date or ‘best used by’ date. You really don’t want to drink yours once it’s expired – it’d be the equivalent of drinking gone off milk!
Can You Still Use Protein Powder After It Expires?
It’s not a good idea to use protein powder after its expiration date. This is mainly because the muscle-building mojo diminishes after the use-by date. How? Via a chemical reaction called Maillard browning. Basically, this is when protein reacts with sugar left over from when the whey was removed from milk. This results in a steady breakdown of the amino acid lysine.
If lysine is lost, the powder won’t do its job, as it isn’t a complete source of protein.
That said, because protein powders are dry, it makes it virtually impossible for microbes to grow. Therefore, they don’t go off in the same way dairy or meat does. If it’s only been a couple of days beyond the expiration date, it should be fine to drink.
There’s a test you can do to make sure. Put a small amount of powder on your tongue. If it tastes like cardboard, bin it.
How Do You Know If Your Protein Powder Has Gone Bad?
It’s fairly simple to tell if protein powder has gone bad. Soy, egg or milk-based powders will typically smell if they’ve gone bad. Although if there’s no moisture and the powder doesn’t smell fusty, then simply put a little bit on your finger and taste it.
Aside from smelling bad, you’ll notice wet clumps in the powder if any moisture has gotten inside. In which case, throw it away. Protein shakes and powders are incredibly sensitive to water and will go off fast when they come in contact with it. In fact, if a powder is exposed to water prior to its expiry date, it’s likely to go off sooner than the date printed on it.
How Long Can You Keep Protein Powder in Water?
So, how long are protein shakes drinkable after mixing? For how long can you store yours in water? So long as it’s left in a sealed shaker or container in the fridge, it should be fine to drink for up to two days. You don’t really want to leave it for longer than this, as it’ll taste terrible (just remember to shake before you enjoy).
Storing Protein Powder
Want to keep your powder fresh for as long as possible? Check out our guide below.
You should always seal the powder’s bag or container securely and never keep it open for too long. The last thing you want is your powder being exposed to outside elements for a lengthy period of time unnecessarily.
So, make sure it isn’t exposed to oxygen, sunlight, heat or moisture. Since protein powder absorbs both water and heat, ensure you keep your product away from these.
Store your powder in a dark, dry, cool area such as a kitchen cupboard, desk drawer or even a bedroom wardrobe. All of these places are dry, cool and dark and will stop your powder from coming in contact with water, heat or sunlight.