Does Protein Powder Expire?

Does Protein Powder Expire
Does Protein Powder Expire

It is probably because of chemicals that prolong their shelf life that many manufacturers of protein powders declare an expiration date of two years after creation. If there are no indications that food has gone bad, having it soon after its expiration date is probably safe.

Supplements containing protein powders are quite well-liked by those who are health-conscious.

However, you could be unsure about the safety or continued efficacy of that protein powder container depending on how long it has been stored in your kitchen cupboard.

The question of whether protein powder expires and if it's still safe to eat after that date is covered in this article.

Protein powder basics

One easy and reasonably priced approach to up your protein consumption is with protein powders.

While the benefits of protein for muscle growth receive a lot of attention, studies are still finding benefits for increased protein intake in areas such as fat loss, blood pressure control, blood sugar stabilisation, and bone health.

Protein powders can be obtained from numerous sources, such as:
  • milk — in the form of whey or casein
  • soy
  • egg white
  • collagen
  • pea
  • rice
Products normally contain one source of protein but may also provide protein from numerous sources to minimise cost or change the absorption rate.

For instance, some protein powders could include both casein and whey, two types of protein that digest slowly.

Other nutrients including lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are also present in different amounts in protein powders.

In addition, they typically contain thickening agents to give a creamier consistency and mouthfeel, as well as natural and artificial flavours, flavour enhancers, and protection.

There are numerous plant- and animal-based sources of protein powders. To enhance and maintain their flavour and texture, they frequently include additives.

What is the shelf life of protein powder?

In general, shelf life describes how long food remains at its best quality after being produced.

Manufacturers of supplements are not required to mark the expiration date on their goods.

Nonetheless, a lot of businesses voluntarily include a produced date and an expiration or "best by" stamp.

In these situations, it is the manufacturer's responsibility to provide evidence to show that the product's expiration date is accurate.

In one study, using an accelerated shelf-life test, researchers discovered that whey protein powder can last up to 19 months when stored normally, which is defined as 70°F (21°C) and 35% humidity.

A product's stability can be measured and estimated using an accelerated shelf-life test, which involves storing the product in stressful environments such as high humidity and temperature.

In a different study, scientists found that whey protein may be kept for up to 18 months at room temperature, or 70°F (21°C) with 45–65% humidity, but only for 9 months at 95°F (35°C).

Although it is unknown if additional protein sources have a similar shelf life to whey protein, it is most likely the case if they are stored in the same circumstances.

Either way, the majority of protein powders on the market have shelf-extending ingredients like lecithin, maltodextrin, and salt, which give them a two-year shelf life.

According to the research that is currently accessible, whey protein powder can be stored under normal conditions for a period of 9 to 19 months. Additives enhance the shelf life of most protein powders by up to two years.

Can expired protein powder make you sick?

Dates of expiration or use-by indicate quality rather than safety, except for baby formula.

Protein powders are foods with minimal moisture content, which makes bacteria less likely to grow on them.

Protein powders can lose protein content with age, but if they have been stored correctly, it should be safe to consume them soon after their expiration date.

According to one study, lysine, an amino acid, in whey protein dropped from 5.5% to 4.2% in a year when it was kept at 70°F (21°C) with 45–65% humidity.

Nevertheless, none of the chemicals that many products on the market have to lengthen their shelf life were present in the protein powder utilised in this investigation.

Additionally, protein powder may spoil before the specified expiration date, particularly if it is not kept in a dry, cool place.

For instance, a study found that whey protein significantly increased in oxidation after being stored for 15 weeks at 113°F (45°C). This resulted in the creation of many chemicals that alter the taste of the protein in an undesired way.

Over time, oxidation—the result of lipids reacting with oxygen—increases and degrades the quality of protein powders. High temperatures are conducive to oxidation, with data suggesting that oxidation rises by 10-fold for every 50°F (10°C) increase.

Clumps, a changed colour, an unpleasant taste, or a rancid smell are all indicators that protein powder has gone bad.

Consuming protein powder that exhibits one or more of these symptoms, regardless of the expiration date, may cause illness, much like consuming spoilt food.

It's recommended to discard your protein powder if you see any indications that it's gone bad.

If there are no indications that the protein powder has gone bad, it should be safe to eat soon after its expiration date. However, as people age, their protein content may decrease.


How do I know if my protein powder is expired?

The "best before" or expiration date on the container is the easiest method to tell if your protein powder has gone bad. Consider it expired if it has passed this date because its quality may have been affected. Check for Odd Scents: Try sniffing your protein powder.

Is it safe to have expired protein powder?

On the other hand, using protein powder soon after it expires may result in the supplement losing some of its nutritious value and gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, and upset stomach. Check your protein powder for odd smells, discolouration, clumping, and off taste if it has expired.

How long is protein powder good for after the expiration date?

This means that, although the food may still be acceptable to eat after this date, its protein level may have decreased as a result of product deterioration. According to Henigan, the majority of research suggests that protein powders should be safe to eat for up to two years if they are maintained correctly (no excessive heat or humidity).

The bottom line

Popular supplements and protein powders are derived from both plant and animal sources.

Many protein powder makers specify an expiration date of 2 years after production, even though research indicates that whey protein has a shelf life of 9–19 months. This is probably because they use chemicals that lengthen shelf life.

If the protein does not exhibit any of the telltale symptoms of spoilage, such as a rotten odour, bitter taste, colour changes, or clumping, then consuming it soon after its expiration date is probably safe.

It is advisable to replace your tub with a new one if any of these symptoms are present.

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