How Long Do Protein Shakes Last After Mixing?

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How Long Will My Protein Shake Last?

Protein shakes go rancid quickly after mixing and should be consumed within approximately 2 hours at room temperature. Or within 24 hours of refrigeration. 

Otherwise, you could experience a protein shake with a weird, lumpy, separated consistency, foul taste, and nasty smell.

If your protein shake has been sitting at room temperature or in the fridge for too long, you might just find yourself in an unpleasant situation. That post workout protein shake is exactly what your growing muscles have been looking forward to.

Unfortunately, you’ve found that your protein shake has gotten funky. It doesn’t look, smell, or taste right. And as a result, you toss it and your muscles go hungry. I cover everything you need to know to keep this from happening.

What Makes Protein Powder Go Bad After Mixing?

Dry protein powder lasts for a long time. But once mixed, the clock is ticking against you. If left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, bacteria can begin to grow. 

Will I Get Sick From Drinking A Protein Shake That Has Sat For Too Long?

You can, but it’s unlikely that you will experience serious illness. However, some do report experiencing digestive discomfort and diarrhea.

How Can I Tell If My Protein Shake Is Bad?

The most obvious way is the smell. If it smells weird, I would get rid of it and make a fresh one. But, on the other hand, if it tastes different than you expect, it could also be bad. 

In either case, I always make another.

Other signs hint at whether your shake has gone sour is that the texture changes to clumpy or even slimy. There could also be a separation of protein powder and liquid.

How Long Will a Protein Shake Last in the Refrigerator?

A protein shake can stay fresh for up to 24 hours (some say 72 hours) after mixing if stored in a refrigerator. Of course, you might see separation within that time, but shaking it up again will fix that. 

Depending on the protein quality, the flavor and taste might be ok. But in my experience, the shake doesn’t taste fresh after extended refrigeration.

How Long Will A Protein Shake Stay Good At Room Temperature?

You can expect your shake to be no good if it is not drunk within approximately two hours after mixing. 

Does Mixing A Protein Shake With Water Make It Last Long Than If Mixed With Milk?

Mixing your shake with milk, almond milk, or water has a negligible effect on how long it stays good. Although animal products, milk of any sort, is prone to growing bacteria. Whey is milk based, so it is “possible” that it could get nasty before plant-based drinks.

Can The Protein Powder Go Bad Before Mixing?

Dry protein powder has a long shelf life and can last up to 2 years after opening the container. But once you mix it, the clock is ticking against you.

My article about expired protein powder goes into all the details about this topic. But, in any case, there isn’t a good reason to use expired protein.

Will A Protein Shake Last Longer If Mixed With Hot Or Cold Liquid?

I have not come across anything that says definitively whether or not hot or cold water is detrimental to the nutritional value of protein powder. 

It will still spoil within the same 2-hour period if made fresh or 24 hours if refrigerated.

However, mixing protein powder in hot water can cause it to clump more than in cold water. I generally find protein powder hard to mix unless I blend it anyway. That helps with clumping.

Can You Prepare A Protein Shake Ahead Of Your Workout?

You can prepare a protein shake before your workout, but it is a good idea to consume it within 2 hours to avoid nasty tastes and texture. 

What Can I Do To Keep My Protein Shake Fresh?

The best way to keep your protein shake fresh after mixing is to drink it as soon as possible after your workout. 

But if you have to make it before your workout, then the best thing you can do is mix it right before you head to the gym. 

If mixing after your workout isn’t an option, and you need at least 2 hours before you can drink it, try using an insulated container like a Yeti or something similar. It will stay cool and fresh for several hours.

Do Protein Powder Containers Specify When To Consume After Mixing?

I pulled three different protein powders out of my pantry to see what guidance product nutrition labels told us about this topic. 

None of the three, NutraOne MassOne (whey), Jocko MOLK (whey), or Vega Sport (plant), had any information about when to consume after mixing.

The only thing mentioned anywhere on the containers is to store the protein powder in a cool, dry, and dark space.

How Do I Clean My Protein Shake Bottle After Drinking?

It’s always a good idea to clean your shaker or protein bottle after drinking. The leftover protein shake mix will continue to break down and get nasty.

If left too long, it will smell and stick to the insides. And depending on the quality of your shaker, it can penetrate the material making the smell hard to remove.

If this happens often, you might find that an unpleasant aroma lasts even after you clean it. It might be faint, but I swear I can smell it in older containers, and I trash those.

The best thing to do is wash your shaker right away using cold water. I avoid dish detergent because that can also break down the material over time and permeate it, leaving a funky taste or smell.

There’s nothing like dish soap and chocolate protein powder taste. Am I right?

You might not be able to clean it thoroughly if you’ve just finished a workout at the gym. But there should be water nearby, though. So please give it a rinse and be sure to clean it out as well as you can. 

Then put it in the dishwasher when you get home. That’ll do the job for sure.

My Final Take On How Fast Protein Powder Goes Bad Once It’s mixed

Drinking a protein shake that has sat at room temperature for more than 2 hours isn’t likely to make you super sick. But, the taste and texture will most definitely be unpleasant. So it’s best to consume it as quickly as you can.

If it is me, I’m tossing it out and making another. There’s nothing worse than drinking a clumpy, foul-tasting protein shake as a post-workout reward. Besides, that giant tub of powder indeed has one more scoop.

So do yourself a favor, and make another.

You might also be interested in:

How Long Does It Take For Protein Powder To Expire?

Jeff Carpenter

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