Protein Powders

How Long Protein Powder Lasts? + How To Store It?

how long protein powder lasts

Whether you’re taking your old protein powder after a long time or wondering how long the new jumbo box will last, it’s better to know about the shelf-life and expiration date of the protein powder. For the question, “How long protein powder lasts?”; the simple answer is 9 to 24 months. However, some manufacturers also state the expiration date to be 2 years. The exact time of expiry will depend on the ingredients and additives.

Let’s unveil more facts about how long protein powder lasts and tips on how to store it safely. 

How long does protein powder last?

The shelf-life of most protein powders is different. 

In general, whey protein can last for 9 to 24 months. However, it also applies to storing the protein powder in normal conditions, which means 70°F (21°C) and 35% humidity.

While this is general for organic protein powders, the addition of additives and other ingredients is likely to extend the shelf-life of the protein powder.

If your protein powder contains additives (which you can confirm by checking the ingredients list on the package), you can expect a shelf-life of 2 years. 

The thing is, whey protein has a shorter shelf-life compared to the other types of protein powders. This is typically due to the addition of milk or milk ingredients, making it prone to bacterial invasion quite quickly.

On the other hand, vegan proteins and plant proteins, which include hemp, soy, and pea protein, do not contain milk ingredients. Thus, they have a longer shelf life, extending up to 2 years.

As different manufacturers state different expiration dates, it’s better to check the package to know when your protein powder is likely to expire.

How long will the protein powder last after opening?

As mentioned earlier, the typical shelf life of protein powders is 9 to 24 months. Wondering why this range is so large?

Well, how long your protein powder lasts depends on how you store it. In order to extend the shelf life of your protein powder, you need to store it in optimal conditions.

Most people suggest that it’s better to use the protein powder within 3 months of opening it. That’s because once opened, the quality of protein will start to decline. You need to store it in a cool, dry place. Otherwise, your protein powder won’t last long.

How to know if the protein powder has expired?

It’s best to consume the protein powder before its expiration date. If you still take the protein powder after it expires, it’s not necessary to get an immediate health problem. However, we still recommend avoiding it if the protein powder has gone bad.

The extreme conditions that indicate you shouldn’t consume protein powder at all include:

  • The powder doesn’t dissolve in milk.
  • It forms lumps upon adding to the liquid base.
  • The color or texture of the protein powder has changed.
  • It gives a rancid smell or bitter taste.

Apart from these signs, if your protein powder has grown mold or bacteria, it’s time to throw it away. Consuming moldy protein powder will result in health issues.

To check if your protein powder has gone bad, you can do a test by tasting a small amount of the protein (although not recommended due to the health issues it can pose).

However, it’s also true that the expiration dates indicate that the quality of the protein won’t be good enough. Even if you consume protein powder shortly after its expiration date, you won’t get any benefits out of it.

How do I safely store my protein powder?

In order to extend the shelf-life of your protein powder, you need to store it in the right conditions. After all, the huge box of the powder shouldn’t go to waste!

Here’s our guide on how to store protein powder so that it doesn’t go bad.

  • Protein powders contain less moisture. This means that they are less prone to bacterial growth. Still, you need to store your protein powder in a cool and dry place.
  • You should keep it away from direct sunlight. 
  • The ideal temperature for storing protein powder is 70°F and 35% humidity. If you change these conditions, you will notice physical and chemical changes in the powder.
  • After opening, it’s better to keep the protein powder in an airtight container. If the protein powder comes in a bag that cannot be sealed completely, you can transfer this package into another zip-lock bag. 
  • Another idea is to keep the opened protein powder in the refrigerator to extend its life.

All of these storage tips are likely to extend the shelf-life of your protein powder.

Take-away message

Although some people think protein powders are safe to consume after expiration, we recommend not doing so because it can pose health issues. If your protein powder has crossed its expiration date, you can check for any bad smell or taste.

Still, it’s better to throw away expired and bad protein powder because it won’t give you any benefits. As the protein quality degrades, consuming protein powder won’t bring any good to you.

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