How Long Does It Take For Protein Powder To Expire?

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How Long Does Protein Powder Last After You Open The Container?

As fitness enthusiasts, we’re always looking for ways to optimize our workout routine. 

One way to do that is by supplementing protein powder into our diet. A protein shake is a great low-calorie way to inject healthy protein into our starving muscles to help them grow.

But how long does protein powder last once it’s been opened? And what’s the best way to keep it fresh? Will eating expired protein powder make you sick?

Read on to find out just how long it takes for a protein powder to expire.

How Long Does Protein Powder Last After Opening?

Protein powder has a typical shelf life of two years. After that, it starts to lose its potency. So, if you have a tub of protein powder sitting in your pantry or under your desk for a few years, it’s probably time to ditch it.

What Can Make Protein Powder Go Bad After Opening It?

It can take weeks or months for protein to go bad after opening it, but to extend its life, you should always store it in a cool, dry place.

If protein powder is exposed to humidity, bacteria can grow and potentially make you sick. 

So always make sure the lid is tightly sealed. Store it somewhere dry if you live in a hot or humid climate. If you are hard-pressed, the fridge might be your last resort. Refrigerator storage can be humid, but maybe less humid than your other immediate storage options

These simple tips will keep your protein powder from losing its muscle-building potency even after it’s expired.

  1. Keep it stored in the container you bought it in
  2. Keep the lid tight at all times
  3. Keep the powder dry
  4. Keep the scoop dry
  5. Do not store in a humid environment
  6. Use it BEFORE it expires

What Temperature And Humidity Levels Are Good For Storing Protein Powder?

There is some science behind this. But, just use this rule: Protein powder should be stored in a cool, dry place. You won’t be likely to have problems if it is. 

Ideal Protein Powder Storage Temperatures are 70°F and 35% humidity.

  • Inside the pantry
  • Inside a cabinet
  • In a drawer
  • On a wall shelf that does not get direct sunlight 
  • In a closet

How Can You Tell If Protein Powder Has Gone Bad?

Protein powder is generally pretty stable, but it can go bad. The most significant risk is that it will lose its potency and effectiveness over time. And there is some risk that bacteria could grow inside and some digestive issues for a short time.

If you’re unsure how long your protein powder has been open, it’s probably best to be cautious and get rid of it.

But there are a few telltale signs that your protein powder is no Bueno.

A Maillard browning chemical reaction can happen if protein powder is exposed to heat. The reaction produces many different weird flavor compounds, making the powder smell and taste funky.

Humidity can cause bacteria to grow, turning the powder into clumps.

So, if your protein powder has changed color or texture, or if it smells rancid, or is clumpy, don’t give it a second thought.

Toss it out. It’s bad.

Does Plant (Pea) Protein Powder Expire Faster Than Whey?

The answer to this question is a little complicated. Pea protein powder does not necessarily expire faster than whey protein powder but is more perishable. This is because pea protein powder is made from peas, a natural protein source.

Whey protein powder, on the other hand, is made from milk. Milk is a processed food, and as such, it has a longer shelf life. So, pea protein powder may not technically expire faster than whey protein powder. However, it will likely go bad sooner because it is not processed food.

Can You Get Sick From Drinking Expired Protein Powder?

You are unlikely to get sick the way you would from eating other spoiled foods like meat or eggs. So if you down some expired whey, pea protein, or any other, you won’t find yourself looming over the toilet waiting for something to come up.

The only thing that might come back to haunt you is if the fat, and there is some, in the protein has become rancid. That could lead to some digestive issues, as mentioned before.

Does Expired Protein Powder Lose Its Effectiveness?

Yes, it does. The amino acids in the protein powder (whey or plant) will break down over time. This means that the older the protein is, the less effective it will be in repairing (building muscles) and recovery. 

In summary, the protein powder’s muscle-building power decreases as its lysine levels deplete. And so does the effectiveness of other compounds.

How much potency a protein powder loses after it has been opened, or expired, comes down to a couple of things. The quality of the product and how it’s been stored the entire time. 

It’s hard to give a specific value of how much potency it will lose because there are many variables. 

But it will lose over time, and I think that’s also worth tossing the can. Using supplements that arent up to snuff won’t do you any good.

So, Does Protein Powder Expire?

With a shelf life of about 2 years, protein powder is generally a very stable product. However, it can go bad over time, especially if not stored properly.

If you’re unsure if your protein powder is still good, it’s best to err on caution and throw it out. To extend your protein powder’s shelf life, store it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. 

Have you experienced issues after drinking expired protein powder? If so, comment below to join the discussion.

You might also be interested in:

How long does it take for pre-workout to expire?

How long does protein last after mixing?

Jeff Carpenter

2 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take For Protein Powder To Expire?”

  1. I’m using protein powder that expired about a month ago. It has been stored properly and has not caked up. I feel it still good to take, Ben’s it’s only a month past best by date. What do you think?

    • Hey there James.

      I have a tub of Jocko Molk that is about 2 weeks past the due date and I’ve had some this week. I havent had any trouble with it. But I do have to admit, I am one of those people who gets a little dodgy about things even getting close to expired lol.

      I didn’t feel like going to get another tub of it and felt a little bit of guilt from letting it go to waste. But so far so good. I’d still say: when in doubt, toss it out.



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