Does Protein Powder Expire?

Kaelin Tuell Poulin, LadyBoss Co-Founder, Weight Loss Expert, Best Selling Author

Kaelin Tuell Poulin is an award-winning fitness professional, best selling author, and weight loss expert who personally lost 65 pounds in 7 months. The founder of The LadyBoss Movement, her LadyBoss Formula has helped tens of thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.

What Is The Shelf-Life Of Protein Powder?

If you’re just coming back to your health plan, you may often ask yourself, “how long does protein powder last?” Or you may be asking if protein is still good after its expiration date. After all, you don’t want to waste the protein you already bought.

These are common questions, along with questions like “Does protein powder last past its expiration?”, “Does protein powder go bad?”, or “Is there an expiration date on protein powder?” As with most dry goods, a lot of questions arise regarding expired protein.

Here are some of those questions, along with answers that might help ease your mind.

The first question is, “Does whey protein really expire?” 

The answer may seem simple. After all, it’s a consumable product. It has to expire, right?

Well, here’s the scoop:

Supplement companies aren’t legally bound to put an expiration date on protein powder. However, most of them voluntarily add an expiration date, because while it takes a while for a protein powder to become dangerous to consume, it might not be as effective after long periods on the shelf.

The next question often asked is, “Can you drink protein powder past its expiration date?”

Answer: physically, yes, you can. However, I don’t recommend anyone eat or drink anything past its expiration date. The main reason is that if a company has added an expiration date, it has had the product tested for preservation, and that was the recommended amount of time the product would still be good. 

The third question that I hear quite a bit is, “How do I know if expired whey protein has gone bad?”

Honestly, go by the expiration date. While you might not have an adverse reaction to an expired product, it may not have as much of the nutrients the package claims after the expiration date. Old protein powder can lose potency. This often happens if the protein powder expires.

Here’s another common question: “Is expired open whey protein safe to consume?”

Again, while you may not have an adverse reaction to it, you may be wasting your calorie intake by consuming expired protein powder. This is because it loses its potency. 

You may also ask, “Is expired protein powder still effective?”

The answer to this one is simple: probably not. Some protein powders have a shelf life of around a year, maybe a little more. Most protein expires within two years. 

It’s going to lose its potency. Additionally, it’s also possible for a protein powder to go bad if you’ve opened it, and cross-contamination has occurred. This can be something as simple as water getting into your container, causing mold to grow.

And the final question that I hear most often is, “How are you able to tell if protein powder has gone bad?”

There are a few things to look for in old or expired protein powder. If you really want to know how to tell if whey protein is bad, just listen to your senses. If it is discolored or has an odd smell, I recommend discarding it immediately. If your protein powder has an expired date, smell or look at it. 

An odd smell indicates the protein powder has spoiled; typically, your protein powder will have this kind of smell if cross-contamination has occurred.

If you’re still unsure about the shelf life of protein powder that has been in your cabinet for a while, check if your protein powder has expired. If you don’t have a date or the package, consider when you purchased it. It may take a while for whey protein to go bad, but it still can go bad.

Now, if you don’t trust that your protein powder is still good, don’t be afraid to discard it and buy a new one. And of course, if you’re looking for a delicious whey protein supplement, check out LadyBoss LEAN.

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