Can Whey Protein Go Bad?

Often used by bodybuilders to gain muscle mass, whey protein is a great source of lean protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. Most bodybuilders prefer whey protein from all sources of lean protein because it can increase mass and reduce age-related muscular decline. In addition, whey protein improves performance. Can whey protein go bad?

Usually, whey protein is sold in massive tubs. As long as the product is kept away from heat and moisture, it should take a while before it goes bad. Now if say, you have several whey protein tubs, how do you extend the products’ shelf life? Continue reading below to find out!

Image used under Creative Commons from Tomos

Can Whey Protein Go Bad?

Yes, even if the product comes in powdered form, it will go bad at some point. Improper storage along with exposure to heat, humidity or direct sunlight could shorten the shelf life of this product. Whey protein tends to absorb moisture quickly. When it is exposed to humid environments, there is an increased risk of mold growth. Too much heat could degrade the product, causing the milk proteins to go rancid.

Essentially, you have to keep the container sealed after every use to maintain the product’s freshness. It always helps to check the expiration date of the product. This way, you’ll know if the product is still safe to consume. Whey protein has a long shelf life. This means you plenty of time to consume a single tub. As long as you consume the product regularly, there is no reason why you won’t be able to maximize the product.

Signs that Whey Protein has Gone Bad

Though rare, whey protein will go bad if the storage conditions aren’t ideal. The best way to tell if the product has gone bad is by smell. If the product emits an off-aroma, discard it. Whey protein has a distinct aroma but it should not reek. Now check the product, if it starts clumping like mush or there are significant changes in its color, the whey protein is no longer safe to eat. Check for the presence of mold. If the product emits a moldy, funky aroma or you are seeing greenish-blue specks all over the powder, discard the product.

Image used under Creative Commons from David van der Mark

How to Store Whey Protein?

The best way to store whey protein is to keep the product in the pantry at room temperature. You can store the product in the fridge but it is not the recommended storage method for this product or any powdered product for that matter. You see, powdered products tend to absorb moisture and fridge flavors, altering the taste and texture of whey protein. The only time that it is fine to refrigerate whey protein is if you’re trying to extend its shelf life.

To store the product, just keep the lid tightly sealed. Place the product in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Do not place the whey protein near sources of heat and moisture. Always keep the lid tightly sealed after every use to extend the freshness.

Whey protein will keep in the pantry 6 to 18 months past the expiry date. In fact, the product will keep for years as long as the storage conditions are ideal. However, some experts say that you shouldn’t consume whey protein that’s been stored for 2 years or longer. This goes even if there’s no sign of spoilage.

Can You Freeze Whey Protein?

You can freeze any type of food including whey protein but this product does not require freezing at all. Again, the freezing temperature could alter the texture of the product. It could turn to mush or develop a weird aftertaste if it’s been frozen for a while.


Whey protein is an expensive product so discarding a tub because it’s been stored improperly is a waste of money! Just keep these storage tips in mind to maximize your supply and get more bang for your buck.

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