If you’re using your protein everyday you’ll probably never have to ask yourself does protein powder expire?
Once in a while though we may find a great deal and buy too many only to later find a forgotten tub in the back of the pantry.
This article will answer all the questions you will have as you turn this hidden, forgotten bottle of protein around in your hands.
Does Protein Powder Expire
All supplements expire, including protein powder.
If your protein powder tastes different, has clumps in it, or is discolored, you need to throw it away and buy another tub.
If you don’t notice anything different, but you think it’s expired, check the label or bottom of the tub for a sell-by date, best used by date, or a manufactured date.
- Sell-by date – This is the date the manufacturer recommends the store should sell its product.
- Best used by date – This is when the manufacturer wants you to use the protein powder by.
- Manufacturer’s date – This is when your protein powder was made in the factory and packaged for delivery.
What Does Expired Protein Powder Look Like
How it looks will depend on how it was stored. These are a couple of examples.
Lumps or wet clumps – If you see chunks in the powder, this means moisture was able to get into your container. If this is the case, do not use it. Once water gets in, it could increase the growth of bacteria and mold. That’s not the type of protein you want.
Discolored – If your powder was stored above room temperature, bacteria would start to grow, and this can change the color of your protein powder, do not use if you experience this.
Looks Normal – If you store your protein powder correctly, it may look the same as it did the day you bought it. When this is the case, the only way to tell is to taste it, or do what I do and buy another one.
Smells weird – It’spossible for your protein powder to have bacteria or mold without seeing physical changes, but it will give itself away by smelling bad.
Is It Unsafe To Drink Expired Protein? Can it Make You Sick?
If you’re sure that bacteria and mold haven’t been able to grow in your protein, then it is probably safe to use.
The bigger problem is a process called Maillard browning.
When protein powder is manufactured, there is a small amount of sugar left over after the whey was separated from the milk.
When the sugar starts to react with the powder, this is what Maillard browning is, this causes the breakdown of the amino acid Lysine, which will severely decrease how the whey protein will affect protein synthesis in your body.
At its point, you can use it, but the effectiveness is going to hinder it.
The Best Ways To Store Your Protein Powder to Keep It Fresh Longer
There are a few ways you can store your protein powder to keep it fresh for as long as you’re going to need it.
Keep it in the container it was sold in – When you buy protein powder, it’s going to either come in a tub with a screw-on top or it’s going to go in a bag with a reusable zip lock.
Both of these methods are perfect at keeping your powder fresh, as long as you make sure to close it properly and keep it in a dry place that is room temperature.
Put it in the fridge – If you want to keep it fresher longer and decrease the chances of bacteria growing, you can put it in the refrigerator.
I don’t see any point in this unless you’re going to have it for a long time, but if you’re using it every day like you should be doing, you’ll be buying a new tub about once a month.
I think most people do this more for peace of mind than actual results.
Put it into a different container – Again, I think this is done more to make someone feel more comfortable than for any difference in freshness.
I only say this because the containers he protein powder comes in keep the product dry, in a dark place, and at the correct temperature unless the user doesn’t close it or puts it in an unsuitable environment.
If you have Tupperware, pyrex, or a sealable bag that you prefer to use over the original packaging, you can change it, make sure to place it in all of the right conditions to keep it fresh.
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How Long Is It Good For After You Open It
Protein is good for up to 2 years when it’s first bought.
The only time this would have a significant change is if the store you bought it in wasn’t selling its product, forcing it to hold onto its inventory longer.
This will also depend if you are resealing it tightly, keeping it at room temperature, and in a place with little to no light.
How Long Does An Unopened Tub Of Protein Last
Since the FDA doesn’t govern supplements, they don’t have to include an expiration date, but most companies do anyway.
If a company does include an expiration date, they come up with this date by administering an accelerated shelf-life test.
This test is based around putting the product under unfavorable conditions like high heat or humidity.
The baseline test is done at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered perfect conditions. (At these conditions, it has a shelf life up to 19 months)
When the temperature was increased to 95 degrees, the shelf life dropped to 9 months.
You can expect the shelf life to be up to a year when it’s in ideal conditions and much less when it’s not.
Is It Okay To Make A Shake Ahead Of Time And Drink It Later In The Day
As long as the protein you’re making it with is still adequate, there is no reason why you can’t mix up a protein shake in the morning and take it to work with you and drink it at lunchtime or later.
This is assuming that you’re mixing it with water.
If you’re using milk or almond milk, then you’re going to have to have the ability to put it in the fridge or cooler.
If you’re asking yourself if your protein powder is expired the answer is probably yes.
In the long run, unless you’re strapped for cash and can’t spare a dime then you should probably just buy another tub to make sure there is no chance of anything being wrong.