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Can Protein Powder Go Bad?

Can protein powder go bad? Protein powder is a popular substance used by people who are training or losing weight, usually added to juice or smoothies, as a dietary supplement. Common ingredients in protein powder include soy, eggs, and other hardy ingredients for maximum effect, and these are all things that expire. While protein powder has a longer shelf life than these ingredients do separately, it can indeed expire. Here’s how to keep your powder good for the longest amount of time and how to tell if it’s time to throw your powder away.

How To Store Protein Powder

The best place to store protein powder is in the container it originally came in. A high quality protein powder will come in an airtight, moisture locked container to make it last as long as possible. Protein powder is extremely susceptible to moisture of any kind, since it is formulated to dissolve in drinks. Keep your container of protein powder in a dry place, and avoid exposure to heat whenever possible. Does protein powder go bad even in these conditions? Yes, but it will take much longer.

Green smoothie with protein powder - energy kick for the morning!
Image used under Creative Commons from trec_lit

Protein Powder’s Potency

Can you use protein powder after expiration date? While your protein powder can last a while – sometimes beyond the official expiration date – without going bad, it is important to keep in mind that the protein powder’s formula is less effective the longer it is stored and the more elements it is exposed to. In general, vitamins and dietary supplements lose potency naturally as they age, so it is best to buy them right before you plan to begin your supplement regimen, rather than storing the protein powder for long amounts of time.

How long does protein powder last?

Protein powder usually has an expiration date about a year after the date of manufacturing – when shopping, be sure to check this to make sure you don’t buy a tub of powder that has been sitting around for a while – but if stored properly, protein powder may still be potent and edible for a few months up to a year after that expiration date. To save money, test your protein powder to see if it is still good before throwing it away.

Does protein powder expire?

Eventually, however, protein powder that is unattended to will indeed expire. When it does, here’s how to tell if protein powder is bad:

If any moisture has gotten into the protein powder, which may be visible due to wet clumps in the container, it will need to be thrown away. As mentioned before, protein powder is extremely sensitive to water and will quickly go bad once in contact with it. Letting the powder get wet can even expire it before the date on the canister.

Does the protein powder have a strange odor? If it does, it’s time to throw it out. Smell is often the easiest way to tell if something is expired, especially products that include soy, eggs, or milk.

If there is no moisture and the powder doesn’t smell bad, but you’re still unsure if the protein powder is safe, you may want to put a tiny bit on your finger and taste it. A very small amount is unlikely to make you sick, and odd tasting powder is a sure sign to throw it away.

Can protein powder go bad? Sure it can, especially if it isn’t stored properly.