Can Protein Powder Go Bad

does protein powder go bad

Protein powder is a popular bodybuilding supplement used for becoming more muscular and fit by giving the body the protein it needs in order to become stronger physically. It can also be used as a dietary supplement before or after physical workouts. Protein powder is often mixed with milk, juice, water, and even can be added to candy bars. There are different kinds of protein that can be bought and used in powder form such as whey protein, casein protein, soy protein, and rice protein. Most proteins come filled with various types of amino acids and glutamine. While bodybuilders often use protein powder, regular consumers may find it useful to add the product to their diet in case they are not getting enough protein from their daily meals and intake. Protein powder is available in popular gyms but can also be found in the health / nutrition section at your local supermarket. If you’re at your local supermarket and you see a big sale on containers of protein powder, what should you do? Would it be worth it for both the savings in time and money to buy a few of the containers in bulk? Will it be possible to store the product for the long-term without it spoiling on you? The ultimate question remains; does protein powder go bad?

Does Protein Powder Go Bad Or Expire?

Unfortunately, the answer to this important question is a yes. Protein powder can go bad on you eventually. However, because it’s a powder and because of its’ ingredients, it still can have a very long shelf life if the proper steps and procedures are adhered to. Because of its’ varied uses from weight loss to muscle gain and the fact that it is endorsed by nutritionists as a way to supplement your diet with more protein, it is wise to consider storing it for the long-term. If your protein powder is sealed and stored in a cool and dry place, you can still use it after “use by” date.

Generally, your unopened protein powder should be fine for 6-18 months after the “use by” or “best before” date and opened powder could last 6 moths after “expiration date”. Depending on if the protein powder is pure (whey, casein, egg) or it has added carbohydrates and fats (meal replacement powder or weight gainer). If your powder has added fats then it can go rancid after the recommended “use by” date and it’s not advisable to use it past few months. Moreover, keeping it too long after the recommended dateline, the protein powder starts to lose its effectiveness. Please read on to find out more about the storage process, the average shelf life, and the signs to look for to tell whether or not your protein powder has gone bad or not.

Storing The Protein Powder

In order to make sure that the protein powder lasts as long as possible, you’ll want to make sure that it is stored properly and safely. Unless it is being used, the protein powder container or bag should always be tightly sealed and never kept open for too long. The worst thing that could happen to your protein powder is for the product to be exposed to outside elements for a long period of time unnecessarily. Examples of these outside elements include oxygen, sunlight, heat, and especially moisture, which would negatively affect the powder content. Protein powder tends to absorb both heat and water so its’ best to keep the product away from both if possible. When it comes to actual storage places, you’ll want to focus on those areas that are dark, dry, and cool. Protein powder does best in that kind of environment. In that case, I would recommend storing the product in a kitchen cabinet, a desk drawer, or even a bedroom closet. All of these places are cool, dark, and dry, which will prevent the protein powder from being exposed to heat, water, sunlight, etc.

Shelf Life of Protein Powder

Whether you decide to buy the product at the gym or in the supermarket, every container of protein powder comes with a “Use by” or “Best before” date. This “Use by” date usually comes a year or more after the date of production but it should not be confused with the expiration date. The protein powder will still be usable after this “Use by” date passes and it won’t actually expire on that date. However, it is likely that the quality and flavor of the protein powder will begin to decline inevitably after this “Best before” date comes. The good news is that the protein powder will still last and be usable for a couple of months or up to a year after this “expiration date” and even up to two years of overall usability after the date of production. Depending on the type of protein powder you have, how it has been stored, and if it has been opened or unopened.

Another thing to consider with the shelf life of protein powder is that it made up of different healthy nutrients and ingredients. Whether its’ for losing weight or gaining muscles, many consumers rely on the quality of these nutrients in the protein powder after they purchase the product in stores. However, it is important to note that the longer you wait to use the protein powder after the date of purchase, the lesser overall quality these healthy nutrients will have as time goes by. The longer the protein powder is stored, the less quality and sustenance it will offer to you. The potency and texture of the protein powder will inevitably decline as well as the nutrients will start to break down chemically due to various processes. Even though you may want to consume the product still after the “Use by” date, you should be aware that the protein powder won’t be as fresh and energizing the longer you wait. When it comes to this product, fresh is the best and the sooner the better for consumption.

This video explains more about protein powder:

Signs of Bad Protein Powder

Protein powder is a great product to store for a couple of years and while it does go bad, there are some easy signs to look for to be aware of its’ overall quality and appeal. The first step you can take is to check its’ appearance. If there is any water or moisture on the surface or the interior of the powder, it may be best to throw it out. The second step to examine is its’ smell which is usually pretty distinct. If there’s an unappealing, off, or particularly pungent odor, chances are good that the product has gone bad and should end up in the trash. If you’re still not convinced of the status of your protein powder, you should do a final taste test with a small spoon. Having a little bit of the protein powder won’t make you sick and it’s the best way to ensure that you know whether it’s still good or not based on the flavor and taste it gives off.


Remember that the sooner you consume the protein powder, the better because the quality will inevitably decline as time goes by. Good luck and use the powder properly!



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