At the rate that I drink protein powder, I haven’t had to ask myself this question recently. But is it ok to drink expired protein powder? In short, it can be, but in this article, we will discuss some warning signs that you should look out for.
Protein powder is something that has only taken the fitness industry by storm in recent years. The concept is simple. You have a powder that you mix with a liquid, and it provides a great calorie ratio with a ton of protein.
It’s a win win if you are trying to put on muscle or just stay in shape.
But we cannot use protein powder as a crutch. We must use it to supplement what we already have going on. This is really important because I have made some mistakes in the past that cost me my gains.
For example, when I was a skinny guy, I thought that protein powder would make me jacked. It turns out, that is not what builds muscle. Eating at a caloric surplus and weightlifting is what builds muscle.
Before we get into our question, I want to encourage you to download our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). Our FREE workout plans will help you build muscle alongside your protein shakes.
Why are expiration dates put there in the first place?
According to the USDA itself, expiration dates are pretty much just suggestions. If you handle your protein powder correctly, it should extend well beyond its expiration date.
Expiration dates themselves are put there as a guideline, assuming the worst conditions for the product.
That is why if you freeze chicken before it expires, you can extend its expiration day for many months.
When it comes to protein powders, these can be a little bit different. Because they are in powder form, and theoretically don’t have any moisture in the containers, protein powders can last for a long time.
Expiration dates are put in place to give you a guaranteed date in which the product will be good until. These dates are determined by the most extreme conditions. Meaning that if you have a nice place to store the protein powder (like your house), you won’t have any issues going past the expiration date.
We also have to use common sense here. You wouldn’t eat expired beef. We know that beef is perishable. Now that you know about expiration dates, what do you think about our question? Is it ok to drink expired protein powder?
Let’s move on to the next section to see if we can.
Look for the signs of expired protein powder
We can certainly draw a line in the sand if we don’t want to drink expired protein powder. That is fine. But, what if we are ok with drinking protein powder past it’s expiration? Now we can look for signs of expired protein powder.
The first sign of protein powder that is actually expired would be the smell. Let’s be honest, most protein powders don’t smell incredible to begin with. But, if the smell is offensive, then it is probably a safe bet to toss it and move on.
The next sign would be clumps or other forms of impurities. I remember one time I had an expired protein powder in my house of college guys. This house was a mess to begin with. I knew that it was time to throw out the protein powder when I found small oval pieces of who knows what in there.
One of my roommates later told me that he thinks it was mouse or rat droppings. It makes me very happy with my decision to throw that away.
Another thing that I would recommend is not drinking your expired protein powder over a year past the expiration date.
Sure, a few months should be fine. But after a year, things are going to start getting questionable. You don’t want to have some weird digestive tract issue because of your decision to drink expired protein powder.
Main Point: Is it ok to drink expired protein powder?
So now you have everything you need in your arsenal to determine whether or not it is ok to drink expired protein powder. I have done it, and it has been fine for me. Just be sure to check for all the signs of protein powder gone bad.
Protein powder is something that I have been drinking for so many years, I have lost count. And while on occasion, I have drank expired protein powder, It’s not something I actively seek out.
Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do.
So, is it ok to drink expired protein powder? That depends on a multitude of factors, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if it is the right decision for you.
The main thing to do is just use common sense. If it smells bad or has weird chunks in it, the best decision is to avoid it at all costs. That is really the simplicity of this decision.
Again, I don’t recommend drinking protein powder that expires after a year. Although it might still be ok, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I luckily have never had any issues, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t.