- Can protein powder be used after expiration date?
- How long does unopened protein powder last?
- Is expired protein still effective?
- How do you know if your protein powder is bad?
- Passed best before and short-dated protein powder for sale
- Does Protein Powder Go Bad?
- How To Store Protein Powder
- Protein Powder’s Potency
- How long does protein powder last?
- Does protein powder expire?
- Anything Raw
- 100% Vegetable Juice
- Cold Pasteurized Drinks
- Beverages Stored Improperly
- Food Storage – How long can you keep…
- Is It Safe to Use Expired Protein Powder?
- Does Protein Powder Expire?
- A Primer on Supplement Expiration Dates
- Less Lysine
- When Does Protein Powder Go Bad?
- What can I do with expired protein powder?
- How To Tell if Your Whey is Bad
- Is it safe to use expired vegan protein powder?
- What happens when vegan protein powder goes bad?
- How can you tell if vegan protein powder has gone bad?
Can protein powder be used after expiration date?
Yes, out of date protein powder is safe to use. Since protein powder is such a dry substance there is very little risk of bacterial growth. This is applicable to both whey protein and casein protein.
Protein powder comes with a best before date rather than a use by date. This means it has been certified as safe to eat past the specified date. It’s only products with use by dates that you should avoid eating once the date has passed. Learn more about the differences between best before and use by here.
If the protein has been opened its recommended you consume it six to eight months after the expiry date.
How long does unopened protein powder last?
Unopened protein powder can last for years after the best before date. An unopened tub of protein powder kept in a cool, dry environment (a kitchen cupboard that isn’t above a stove, for example) can easily last up to two years past the initial best before date. The taste is unlikely to be compromised between six and 18 months after the expiration date; however, it may start to deteriorate after this timeframe. Where you notice changes in flavour, you can incorporate the powder into the food rather than consuming it as a standalone shake. In terms of safety, if the powder is stored in a cool dry place it can last for two years, sometimes longer. As explained above, the best way to assess your protein is to do a smell and taste test.
Is expired protein still effective?
Though expired protein is safe to consume, an important amino acid in the protein can start to break down over time, making it less effective.
Lysine is the amino acid found in protein powders that aids muscle building. Over time, lysine can begin to break down via a process known as the Maillard reaction. When this happens the protein may be less effective at aiding muscle building.
Deterioration in taste indicates that the Maillard reaction has taken place. This doesn’t mean it will be entirely ineffective, however, and since it is safe to eat you may still want to use it up or mix it in with newer protein powder to avoid wasting it.
How do you know if your protein powder is bad?
There are signs that indicate moisture may have got into the product, which increases the risk of bacterial growth. If you notice lots of clumps in the powder this may be the case. This doesn’t mean that the powder is absolutely unsafe to eat, but it can increase risk.
Other signs that you may not want to consume your powder include a change in colour and an unpleasant smell or taste. Since the product will still have a very low risk of causing you harm, the best way to assess your powder is to look at, smell and taste it. Use your common sense — if it the colour has changed a lot, and if it smells and tastes funny then it might be best to leave it. If you are happy with the taste then it’s fine to use.
Passed best before and short-dated protein powder for sale
Many protein powder enthusiasts look for deals on protein, as it can be expensive, and one of the best ways to save money is to purchase short-dated protein or protein that has passed its best before.
At Approved Food we often have a range of respected brand protein products available at reduced prices. Take a look at our protein range here to view our current offers.
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Does Protein Powder Go Bad?
Because it doesn’t rot, melt, or decompose like your standard refrigerated protein and produce, some of us tend to think of protein powder like flour, sugar, and other pantry staples — the kind that you forget to throw out after they expire. But when you remember that whey comes from milk, you might realize that it could be kind of important to pay attention the expiration date.
Does Whey Protein Expire?
Sure, it has an expiration date right there on the tub. You did check for an expiration date, right? Because as great as that ten-pound bag of Gold Standard Whey sounds, if you don’t finish it in a couple of years then you’ll likely hit that expiration date.
Does that matter?
Here is where we should say this isn’t medial advice and we would never recommend consuming expired food. When it comes to whey, a lot of the reason it has an expiration date has to do with moisture getting into the bag or tub, which is how you can get mold or other troublesome organisms.
It’s a pretty dry product to begin with, obviously, so the risk isn’t crazy high but with repeated openings throughout the months and years, the occasional use of a wet scoop, a splash of milk falling in as you hastily shake your shaker… look, stuff happens.
If the whey has changed consistency — like if it’s more densely packed and closer to wet sand than when you bought it — that might be a bad sign. If it smells weird or looks moldy, that’s a bad sign.
If the flavor starts to diminish or you start to see browning, that can be a sign of the “Maillard Reaction,” where the protein reacts with sugar in the product that gradually breaks down the amino acid lysine. Yep, it can indeed happen in old whey, according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.(1)
If you lose the lysine it really just means the protein might be less complete, which probably isn’t as big a deal as you think so long as all the branched chain amino acids are still there to help with muscle protein synthesis, according to research published in The Journal of Physiology.(2)(3) It’s also worth remembering that whey is so low in sugar that it’s unlikely to affect all that much of the lysine. Still, you might not want to consume something that’s so old it’s digesting itself.
Does Whey Protein Denature?
One thing a lot of people worry about whether or not their whey has been made or stored or aged in such a way that it’s denatured. If you look at a lot of different whey protein powders it’s likely you’ve seen plenty swearing that they’re cold processed or processed without acid to make sure nothing has been denatured.
“Protein denaturation has no practical impact,” says Ohio-based biochemist Dr. Trevor Kashey. “Ironically enough, if protein isn’t denatured then it’s not digested, and then not absorbed. Protein has to be denatured to be nutritive. Amino acid supplements are literally as “denatured” as you get!”
He adds that protein powder probably denatures as it ages but this doesn’t mean much practically.
“Whey is a waste product of making cheese, right?” says Kashey. “In most cases, cheese is made by acidifying milk so the casein comes out. So even the process of making cheese denatures the whey and purifying the whey denatures it more.”
People get held up on “denaturing” whey, but it’s not something that should be a big concern.
Expiration dates are just an estimate and unless you find the whey has started to taste like cardboard or grown mold or started to smell, it doesn’t seem likely that it will no longer be safe to consume to build muscle. We still wouldn’t recommend eating expired food, but we’d be lying if we said we throw out our whey because it’s a little past the expiration date. Use your head and give it a thorough examination.
Then start putting aside money for a new tub.
Can protein powder go bad? Protein powder is a popular substance used by people who are training or losing weight, usually added to juice or smoothies, as a dietary supplement. Common ingredients in protein powder include soy, eggs, and other hardy ingredients for maximum effect, and these are all things that expire. While protein powder has a longer shelf life than these ingredients do separately, it can indeed expire. Here’s how to keep your powder good for the longest amount of time and how to tell if it’s time to throw your powder away.
How To Store Protein Powder
The best place to store protein powder is in the container it originally came in. A high quality protein powder will come in an airtight, moisture locked container to make it last as long as possible. Protein powder is extremely susceptible to moisture of any kind, since it is formulated to dissolve in drinks. Keep your container of protein powder in a dry place, and avoid exposure to heat whenever possible. Does protein powder go bad even in these conditions? Yes, but it will take much longer.
Image used under Creative Commons from trec_lit
Protein Powder’s Potency
Can you use protein powder after expiration date? While your protein powder can last a while – sometimes beyond the official expiration date – without going bad, it is important to keep in mind that the protein powder’s formula is less effective the longer it is stored and the more elements it is exposed to. In general, vitamins and dietary supplements lose potency naturally as they age, so it is best to buy them right before you plan to begin your supplement regimen, rather than storing the protein powder for long amounts of time.
How long does protein powder last?
Protein powder usually has an expiration date about a year after the date of manufacturing – when shopping, be sure to check this to make sure you don’t buy a tub of powder that has been sitting around for a while – but if stored properly, protein powder may still be potent and edible for a few months up to a year after that expiration date. To save money, test your protein powder to see if it is still good before throwing it away.
Does protein powder expire?
Eventually, however, protein powder that is unattended to will indeed expire. When it does, here’s how to tell if protein powder is bad:
If any moisture has gotten into the protein powder, which may be visible due to wet clumps in the container, it will need to be thrown away. As mentioned before, protein powder is extremely sensitive to water and will quickly go bad once in contact with it. Letting the powder get wet can even expire it before the date on the canister.
Does the protein powder have a strange odor? If it does, it’s time to throw it out. Smell is often the easiest way to tell if something is expired, especially products that include soy, eggs, or milk.
If there is no moisture and the powder doesn’t smell bad, but you’re still unsure if the protein powder is safe, you may want to put a tiny bit on your finger and taste it. A very small amount is unlikely to make you sick, and odd tasting powder is a sure sign to throw it away.
Can protein powder go bad? Sure it can, especially if it isn’t stored properly.
We’ve all taken a swig out of a milk carton that’s a couple days past its expiration date without consequences. Which makes us wonder: Do these dates really mean anything?
“Expiration dates are something people find confusing and with good reason,” says Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers University. “There are expiration dates, best-by dates, best-before dates — and there’s not really a lot of standardization around what those all mean.”
In fact, Schaffner says expiration dates are mostly based on product quality, not contamination risk, and often they’re set by legislation that’s not always based on the best scientific evidence. For example, milk produced in Schaffner’s state of New Jersey has one expiration date if it’s sold within the state, but that same milk is stamped with a different expiration date if it’s sold just across the state line in New York.
Still, there are some drinks that food scientists just don’t take chances with. Here’s what they say could turn potentially dangerous.
E. coli is the pathogen most commonly associated with unpasteurized drinks, but it’s not the only one. “Unpasteurized milk can support listeria growth, even in the refrigerator,” says Kathleen Glass, associate director of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Pasteurization kills pathogens by heating up milk (and other beverages) to a temperature higher than that which bacteria can withstand. This was traditionally done in a giant vat, where milk was heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
These days, the more common technique is high-temperature, short-time pasteurization, which cranks up the heat to 161 degrees for 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling — which kills potential pathogens and makes beverages much safer to drink.
Interestingly, unpasteurized apple cider (which ferments over time) may actually become safer past its expiration date. “If your apple cider was contaminated with E. coli,” explains Schaffner, “the bacteria would actually die faster at room temperature because the cider would turn to alcohol and kill it.”
100% Vegetable Juice
Fruit juices tend to be acidic — think apple, grape, orange, and tomato — and acid is a good protection against foodborne pathogens, Glass says. Acid makes it harder for bacteria to survive. Fresh vegetable juices that aren’t blended with fruit juices, on the other hand, are more likely to become contaminated past their expirations, making them unsafe to drink.
Cold Pasteurized Drinks
Cold pasteurization kills bacteria in food without using heat. There are several methods of cold pasteurization, but high-pressure processing (HPP) is the one most commonly associated with fresh juices.
It works by applying intense pressure to already bottled beverages to kill off potential pathogens and extend shelf life, but it’s not a replacement for thermal pasteurization.
“Cold pasteurization is not quite as effective,” says Glass, “and the shelf life of cold pasteurized juices is still shorter than those pasteurized with heat, especially if they don’t contain fruit.”
Beverages Stored Improperly
It’s common sense that anything you buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store is going to go bad faster than the shelf-stable stuff. Keeping things at the right temperature is key. As a food safety educator, Glass can’t help looking at refrigeration thermometers at the grocery store.
“I have been known to find the manager and ask questions if I think something is off,” she says, noting that even your refrigerator at home can cause trouble. “I always make sure my fridge is between 38 and 40 degrees. Anything above that makes it easier for bacteria to grow.”
Food Storage – How long can you keep…
- How long does an opened package of diet drink mix last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions -to maximize the shelf life of opened diet drink mix store in a cool, dry area.
- How long does opened diet drink mix last at room temperature? Properly stored, an opened package of diet drink mix will generally stay at best quality for about 12 to 18 months at room temperature.
- To maximize the shelf life of opened diet drink mix, keep package tightly closed.
- Is opened diet drink mix safe to use after the “expiration” date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged – commercially packaged diet drink mix will typically carry a ” Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before”, or “Best When Used By” date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the diet drink mix will remain at peak quality.
- Storage time shown is for best quality only – after that, the diet drink mix’s texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
- How can you tell if diet drink mix is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the diet drink mix: if diet drink mix develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects appear, it should be discarded.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please
Is It Safe to Use Expired Protein Powder?
Photo: iprogressman/Getty Images
If you still think protein powder is only for muscle heads who never leave the weight room, you’re sorely behind on the fitness nutrition-times. Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps you recover from tough workouts, build muscle, and stabilize blood sugar so you can maintain good energy. (Pst, here’s your complete guide to the ‘IIFYM’ or counting macros diet.)
But try as you might, if you’re not one to reach for a scoop of whey protein (or soy or brown rice, or casein protein) every time you make a post-workout protein shake, it can be hard to use up those huge tubs of protein powder before the sell-by date. And while you might admit to using things like milk a few days after the carton says it’s expired, do the same iffy “rules” apply to protein powder? (I mean, is expired food really bad for you, anyway?)
Most likely, it’s OK, reassures Robert Wildman, Ph.D., R.D., chief protein officer of Premier Protein. He says that since protein powders are such dry products, there’s little risk of bacterial growth or spoilage. (Looking for a plant-based option, here are 3 clean vegan protein powders we love.)
What can happen is that they’ll stop tasting so great, he says. “The sell-by date is usually a year or more out, but after a long enough period, the intensity of the flavors can start to fade. It’s still safe to eat, but that’s when you might want to start cooking with it instead.” Wildman likes to add it to smoothies, pancakes, muffins, or even sprinkle it over oatmeal. (We’d suggest one of these 12 Sweet Ways to Sneak Protein Powder Into Your Meals.)
To keep your protein powder tasting great for as long as possible, store it in a cool, dry place, like your pantry. And keep it off the top of the fridge; the heat and humidity can cause it to degrade faster, says Wildman. (Wondering which kind of protein powder is best for you? These are the best protein powders for women, according to nutritionists.) And if you are planning on trying to down it past the expiration date, mix up a little in water and do a smell- and taste-test before using it. If it seems rancid or off in any way, trust your nose and ditch it. He also recommends tossing any protein powder once it’s a full year past the sell-by date-just to be on the safe side.(Or forgo the powder entirely for the next big protein trend: crickets.)
- By Mirel Ketchiff @mirelbee
Does Protein Powder Expire?
Quick answer: Yes, protein powder can expire due to Maillard browning – the breakdown of lysine, a key amino acid in protein powders. To check if your protein powder has expired, smell or taste a small amount and trust your senses. For more details, read on!
If you use protein powder as a supplement to help fill in occasional gaps in your diet, there’s a strong chance that these tubs of powder have a habit of sticking around for long stretches of time. When you go to dig one out, you might very well find that the expiration has long since come and gone.
What then? Does protein powder really expire? How do you know when your protein powder is too old to use?
A Primer on Supplement Expiration Dates
In order to answer this question properly, it’s important that you understand one key fact about all packaged foods: expiration dates are an estimate.
Actually, that estimated date isn’t even based on when the product is likely to spoil. Instead, it’s based on how long it takes for the flavor and texture of the food to change.
So, right away one conclusion becomes clear. The expiration date doesn’t automatically mean that your protein powder is bad or unsafe to use. In fact, since protein powder is so dry, the chances of it going rancid or growing bacteria are small – unless you are storing it in a steamy or humid place. Still, there are other things to consider.
Although the term is generally used in the singular, the reality is that there are lots of different types of protein out there, characterized by their amino acid profiles. When a protein contains all of the essential amino acids that your body cannot create on its own, it’s described as “complete.”
These complete proteins provide your body with absolutely everything it needs to recover from your workouts properly. Whey and casein – the two most popular protein powders out there – are both complete proteins.
But, as these milk-based proteins sit, a process called Maillard browning kicks in. Put simply, the sugar in the powder reacts with the protein and causes one amino acid – lysine – found in your protein powder to breakdown. Once that happens, your protein is no longer complete.
And this matters because lysine is a very powerful muscle builder. Losing lysine from the protein powder can take away the very reason that you’re taking it to begin with. A side note about our protein powders is that they are not loaded up with added sugars (our unflavored grass-fed whey shown below contains just 2g of sugar per serving) and therefore may be more resilient compared to other brands. As our protein powders are so natural, they have less sugar and are less likely to go bad.
When Does Protein Powder Go Bad?
If you can’t trust the expiration date, though, how do you know when your protein powder is too old?
Trust your senses. If it tastes or smells off, ditch the powder and get a fresh canister. For the purists, though, you might want to get rid of that batch when the flavor starts to diminish. This is because that’s a good sign that the Maillard browning has started and the powder is beginning to lose potency.
As a general rule, it’s safe to throw the powder away after it’s about a year past it’s sell-by-date.
Image credit: iprogressman
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What can I do with expired protein powder?
You can use it as a learning experience.
Protein powder is expensive, so if you decide to buy it, you should make sure that you don’t buy more than you can use before it expires.
Other than that here are a few tips:
- Check the packaging to see if the date on it is actually an expiration date and not a best before date. A best before date indicates when a product might reduce in quality, but that does not mean it will be dangerous to consume. An expiration date does, but does are determined with a safety margin, so they don’t spoil the moment they hit the date either.
- Examine the powder. Look at it, taste it. If it is discolored or tastes off, throw it out.
- Moisture. If the protein powder contains clumps, it means water has come in, and where there’s water, there is the risk of multiplying bacteria. Throw it out.
- Storage. Was the powder stored cool and dry as the package said and was the packages sealed for all that time, then you can probably still use it for a while until one of the other warning signs kick in.
Let me re-emphasize: if you find it wasteful to throw food or supplements out when they hit their expiration date, make sure that date is never reached. We can easily do it chocolate, so it shouldn’t be too hard with other things.
Two very common and similar questions are asked about whey protein. Is expired whey protein still good and is expired whey protein safe to take? Before I answer the questions, I want to point out something about the second question: You do not take whey protein, you consume it. It is a protein. You can treat it as a source of protein. It is not medicine. It is not pharmaceutically active. While whey protein has many benefits that go beyond its value as a complete protein, such as fast absorption and sheer conveniences, just because it is marketed as a supplement does not mean you should treat it as if it is a vitamin or herbal.
So, to revise the question: Is it safe to consume expired whey protein? Is it still good?
While whey protein does have a finite shelf life, that shelf life is actually quite long. Whey protein products usually have an expiration date of two years past the manufacture date. For instance, my recently purchased jug of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein bears an expiration date of 11/20. There is still plenty of time left. But, lets say I save it until December, 2020 and then use it. What would happen? Nothing. It would still be fine. It would not be dangerous. It may have lost a bit of its flavor or taste a bit different. But it would not be dangerous.
Now, let’s say I wait until December of 2021. Well, by this time I’d probably be able to smell some rancidity. This would have occurred, even if I didn’t open the jug, because of autoxidation, mostly due to some of the fats present, and due to some other chemical reactions. Chances are if I used some of it then, it still wouldn’t hurt me or even make me sick.
Would I Still Get Protein From It?
Many people wonder if old whey protein would be safe but others wonder if they would actually get any protein from it. The answer is, yes, you would still get plenty of protein from it. However, one way that whey proteins change during storage is through Mailliard browning caused by the milk sugars which are still in the whey. This reaction tends to break down the amino acid lysine. While this loss of lysine means that the whey protein is no longer a complete protein, it still is a source of protein. The protein it contains would still be useable by the body.
The more concentrated the whey protein product, the longer it will last. A pure whey protein isolate will maintain good quality longer than a whey protein blend, containing concentrate and isolate, and a blend will last longer than a concentrate alone. Whey protein isolate has even been used to create coatings for nuts in order to protect them from oxidation, as the WPI makes a good oxygen barrier.
How To Tell if Your Whey is Bad
To tell if your whey protein has really gone bad, take a sniff. If it smells fishy or like wet cardboard, it’s definitely gone rancid. If it doesn’t smell, but tastes like wet cardboard or just weird in general, don’t use it. If it looks very clumpy it may have gotten water into it. This would cause it to go rancid much more quickly. But, if it generally passes all these tests then go by the date.
How Long Can You Keep Whey Past the Expiration Date?
I can’t give you any absolute rules as to how long you can keep whey protein past the expiration date, but if it seems generally OK and its only been around six months past the expiration date, then there its probably OK to use although it won’t be nearly as good as a fresh product. Anything past six months and chances are, it’s still fine to use but it’s not going to taste very good. However, despite what some whey companies say, drinking a whey protein shake that has ‘gone off’ is not the same as drinking sour milk. Remember, they want you to buy a new jug of whey not use the same jug for 3 years.
Don’t worry though. Even if that whey doesn’t taste good for a shake, you can use it in cooking to make homemade protein bars or any muscle-building recipe that calls for whey protein powder.
Storing Whey Protein
As usual, I’m not here to tell you what you should do, but I will tell you that the idea that you should always toss out your whey as soon as it reaches its expiration date is absolutely without merit. It’s going to last a lot longer than this. How long exactly is hard to say because how you store it matters. Make sure you store your whey in a dry place. Don’t store it in a basement or attic or any place that is very humid. Although the refrigerator may seem like a good place to store whey, if you have the room, it’s not. The cool temperature will cause condensation to occur as you open the whey and this moisture will cause the whey to go bad very quickly.
Extending the Shelf-Life of Whey Protein
If you have a hard time using up a big jug of whey before it expires, to make sure it lasts as long as possible, you could try tossing in packets of silica gel desiccant that you save from other supplement products. You can even buy these to use, such as these Blue to Pink Indicating Slica Gel Packets. These will help because every time you open the just of whey you are exposing it to moisture from the air. Silica gel will absorb this moisture and help keep the powder fresh for longer.
Buy Whey From Good Suppliers
Although that giant jug of whey on eBay may seem like a great deal, chances are its already expired. Likewise, there are many, many places to buy whey on the internet, but some of them have little to no turnover, meaning that product sits in a warehouse for months if not years. To make sure you get whey that is not near its expiration date, buy it from a place that sales a lot of whey. I usually just get my whey from Amazon because I’m a sucker for convenience. But even on Amazo,n there are third-party sellers that may be selling whey they got from purchasing big lots or on closeout.
Believe it or not, forgetting you have a container of protein powder in the back of a cabinet is pretty common.
When you finally pull it out, the question is:
“Can I still use it?”
The answer is maybe.
Does vegan protein powder expire? Yes, absolutely.
But that doesn’t mean that the powder is unusable at the exact date listed on the container.
While most set an expiration date of about 2 years from manufacturing, it’s still often possible to use it after that date, under certain conditions.
Is it safe to use expired vegan protein powder?
No one will tell you to consume an expired product, since it’s a liability issue.
But if you’re fine taking the risk of feeling a bit unwell, that’s up to you.
Businesses are required to set an expiration date on all food products, so they estimate a point where they’re sure that all products will still be in ideal condition by.
There’s 3 things on the side arguing that it’s okay to consume vegan protein powder, even a while after the expiration date:
- The expiration date is an estimate, not an exact calculation.
- We’re not dealing with milk or meat – We can eliminate a significant chunk of bacterial concerns just from this.
- Protein powders are typically kept in dry environments (i.e. the container) – Without moisture, it’s very difficult for microbes of any kind to grow.
What happens when vegan protein powder goes bad?
The biggest issue, besides getting sick, is that the quality of the protein degrades.
Two amino acids in particular, arginine and lysine, are susceptible to a reaction called Maillard browning, which causes them to breakdown.
The higher the temperature you’ve stored the protein at, the more likely this reaction has started to occur. If your protein has been sitting in a cold pantry, you should be pretty optimistic.
The reaction is a simple one that occurs as sugars react with the components of proteins. Although keep in mind that not all protein powders even have sugars (a good thing in this context!).
How can you tell if vegan protein powder has gone bad?
Without expensive lab equipment, the best way to tell if your vegan protein has expired is by using your smell and taste.
If it smells significantly off what you remember and expect, toss it.
If it smells fine, taste a bit of it before mixing. Again, if it tastes really bad, it’s likely expired, so toss it.
I understand that protein powder is expensive, but it’s not expensive enough to make it worth getting sick over. If the cost is truly an issue, sort by cost in our table of the top vegan protein powders to find a cheap replacement.
But, if it smells and tastes normal, you’re probably fine to keep using it, just accept that you’re taking a bit of a risk.
August 23, 2018 Gemma Peakman January 15, 2020
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.