Have you ever been cleaning out your cabinets and found an old tub of Creatine and asked yourself, does Creatine expire?
This article will tell you how long the shelf life is for different types of Creatine and how to know if they have gone bad.
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Does Creatine expire
Yes, all supplements eventually expire.
Any product you buy will have a manufacturer’s date and a sell-by date.
The manufacturer’s date is when the product rolled off the assembly line and was packaged.
The sell-by date is when the manufacturer recommends the product stay on the store shelf.
These two dates are important because some stores may hold products longer than others, so six months may have passed since your Creatine was made before you buy it.
How Long Does It Take For Creatine To Expire
The shelf life for creatine monohydrate is 2 to 3 years after the manufacturing date, not the sell-by date.
Look for the manufactured date on the label or the bottom of the packaging.
However, studies have shown that a powdered form lasts much longer as long as you store it in a dry place at room temperature or colder.
When stored adequately, powdered supplements could last up to a year after expiration.
How Different Types Of Creatine Expire
Here is how to store each type of Creatine and what to look for if they have expired.
Creatine powder- Creatine in powder form is the easiest to take care of. All you have to do is make sure it is kept in a sealed container away from moisture, light, and high temperatures.
- A bad aroma
Liquid Creatine- This doesn’t have as long shelf life as a powder and should be kept in a refrigerator where the cooler temperature will make it last longer.
- Turns a yellowish color
- Becomes more viscous
- Has a different smell
Creatine pills should be kept in a dry place at room temperature and away from light.
- There aren’t any physical signs that you can see in a capsule or pill form; they will be much weaker than when you first bought them.
Should You Take Creatine Once It Has Expired
When Creatine starts to become older, it transforms into a substance called creatinine.
It is much weaker in this form, and you won’t receive as great of benefits from it as you would fresh Creatine.
There haven’t been any adverse side effects reported with using expired Creatine.
If your Creatine has expired, then buy another tub.
Creatine monohydrate is very cheap compared to other types of Creatine and supplements.
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Can Expired Creatine Make You Ill
I can’t tell you definitively that you won’t get sick, but I can tell you that different types of Creatine expire at different levels.
For example, powdered Creatine can last for a year or two after its expiration date and still be useful and not cause any adverse side effects.
However, Creatine in a liquid form or creatine ethyl ester will break down much quicker and will be less effective, and may cause gastrointestinal problems.
If your Creatine has become discolored, lumpy, or smells, it needs to be discarded right away. Do not use it.
How Can You Store Creatine To Make It Last Longer
Whether you buy a powder, liquid, ethyl ester, or HCL, it will already be in a container that can reseal or with a lid that screws on.
- Place it in a tight container, Pyrex, Tupperware, Freezer bag, the box it was sold in
- Keep in a dry place where no moisture can come into contact with it.
- Keep at room temperature or lower temp.
- Put it in the fridge for an even longer shelf life.
- In a dark place with no light, too much light can increase the temperature and allow bacteria to grow.
- Buy the product with the youngest manufacture’s date.
Is It Safe To Use Expired Supplements
Different supplements will have varying shelf lives. So while you should be leary about consuming any product after its sell-by date, the only negative effect is that the potency of the product diminishes.
It’s a good habit to buy new supplements once they expire to ensure you’re receiving all of the benefits.
If you’re finding supplements in your house that have gone bad, it’s most likely due to you not using them continuously.
If you’re not consistently working out, you shouldn’t use supplements, whether they’re fresh or expired.
What Does Expired Creatine Look Like
Depending on how it was stored, you will experience different scenarios.
- If it got wet, you’d see clumps- you need to throw this out. When creatine powder is mixed with any liquid, it becomes creatinine, which is less effective.
- It looks normal- If you stored your Creatine correctly, but it is just ancient, it can be expired yet look completely normal.
- Pinkish or red color- This is a sign that a bacteria has started to grow in it; this happens when the temperature your Creatine is subjected to was a little higher than room temperature. You want to discard of this right away.
- You smell a foul odor- Very old Creatine, predominantly liquid forms, can acquire a scent once they get too old.
What Does Creatine Do For You
This can get technical, so I will explain it as simply as possible.
When you perform any activity, you’re using energy.
Weight training squats or yelling at your favorite sports team. (the Phillies and eagles suck right now) your body needs to expend energy to keep up with these demands.
There is a currency for this energy, and it’s called adenosine triphosphate.
I’m going to call it ATP because I don’t feel like typing that anymore.
The problem is that your muscles can only store a minimal amount of ATP at one time; this makes it hard for your body to keep up with you when you want to do a 90-minute gym session.
Creatine supplementation increases the production of phosphocreatine in your body. ATP can’t be produced without this.
You’ll notice that you can do more reps, which will allow you to exhaust the muscle groups you’re targeting to break them down quicker.
Once they repair themselves, they’ll increase in muscle mass.
How Much Creatine Should You Take Every Day
During your first week of creatine supplementation, you’ll want to do a loading phase.
While you’re loading, you’ll take 5 grams four times a day.
- 5 grams at breakfast
- 5 grams at lunch
- 5 grams at dinner
- 5 grams at bedtime
After completing your week-long load, you’ll take 5 grams of Creatine once a day, even on rest days.
Is There Any Adverse Effects Associated With Creatine
There isn’t a single supplement on the market that comes even close to being studied as much as creatine monohydrate.
These studies have been going on for more than two decades, allowing the industry to see if any short or long-term effects come from creatine usage.
Up to this point, there are no side effects related to creatine usage by a healthy individual.
If you have a pre-existing kidney or liver issue, you shouldn’t take any supplement until speaking with your dr.
All of the side effects associated with Creatine usually come from the user not drinking enough water.
- Muscle cramps
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Muscle pulls
Do you notice a theme here?
All of these are caused by dehydration. When you take Creatine, it pulls water from your body into your muscles.
This allows your muscles to heal faster, but you need to drink more water to compensate for it—at least 3/4 of a gallon a day.
When Should You Take Creatine For The Best Results
I’m about to piss a lot of people off saying this.
It doesn’t matter when you take Creatine.
There, I said it.
Once you complete your loading phase, your creatine stores are filled up. After this, you are receiving the benefits of Creatine.
Taking it pre-workout, when you wake up, go to sleep, or the third Tuesday in February during a leap year won’t make a damn bit of difference.
As long as you take it every day to keep your muscles saturated, you will receive the benefits and results you’re looking for.
How Long Do The Effects From Creatine Last
After you stop taking Creatine, it will take around eight days for your body to use up its creatine stores.
This may vary depending on how much water you drink.
After you use the stores from creatine supplementation, your body will continue to produce ATP naturally, but it won’t make it as quickly as when you were using Creatine.
You have to use common sense when it comes to using Creatine or any supplement that is expired.
If you take Creatine every day while consistently working out, you won’t have to worry about it becoming expired.
Make sure to store it properly, and you won’t run into any problems. If you find yourself second-guessing yourself, buy a fresh bottle.