How Long Does Protein Powder Last?

Do you still have that tub of protein powder in your cupboard that you bought long ago and forgot about? Or that box of protein bars hidden at the back of your shelf. If you do, you’re not alone. And you are probably now wondering if protein powder or bars expire. Should you risk eating that protein that is a few months or even a year out of the expiration date? Would it be detrimental to your health to consume that protein powder? These are the questions we’re going to answer in this article, so keep reading.

How Long Does Protein Powder Last?

The question of whether protein powder expires or not or how long it takes to expire is one that has not fully been answered of yet. What we do know, is that there is usually an expiration date that can be found on the protein powder tub and this is the date that the company recommends you to throw away the protein powder. However, because it is a dry environment, the powder does not spoil, it is important to check that there is not moisture in the tub or else microbes could have grown and therefore the powder will have spoiled.

Therefore, it is possible to use the powder without consequence after the expiration date, unfortunately studies have shown that the muscle building properties of protein powder do deteriorate after the expiration date. This occurs because the amino acids are broken down over down as a result of reacting with the sugars in the powder. In conclusion, the protein powder can be consumed after the expiration date however don’t expect the benefits that would come from a scoop of non-expired protein.

out of date protein powder

Do Different Types Of Protein Powder Expire At Different Times?

This is another question that needs answering, this is because there are a number of different types of protein powder such as plant based, isolate and whey protein. For example, whey protein is the most popular form of protein used in shakes as it contains a lot of essential amino acids and it is easy for the body to absorb, making it a very efficient means of getting the body to absorb the proteins and enhance recovery and build muscle. Similarly, with the increase in vegetarianism and veganism in recent times, the use of plant-based protein powders are becoming very popular.

All of these types of protein contain different ingredients and different forms of protein so the question of whether they all expire along the same timeline is a prominent one. The answer is this; there is not a specific timeline for any of these powders and the difference in ingredients and protein source does not impact the date of expiration and therefore one type of protein powder does not expire significantly quicker.


The reason behind this is that because they are all dry powders, the ingredients don’t make difference in terms of the expiration date. The only factors that impact the amount of time that it takes spoil are the conditions that it is stored in, for example, if you keep your protein powder in a moist, warm space, then it is much more likely to spoil compared to if they are stored in a cool, dry space. The way to tell if your protein powder has spoiled is simple, if there is a bad aroma coming form the tub, it is safe to say it is out of date, also, if there are clumps of powder in the tub then you can assume that some moisture has gotten in and therefore it is best to play it safe and throw it away.

Do Protein Bars Expire?

Protein bars are another popular way for fitness enthusiasts to hit their protein intake goals on a daily basis, they come in huge varieties with huge amounts of protein packed into them. But do they expire? The answer to this is the same as the answer to the question in the paragraph above as it is very much the circumstances that negate whether a protein bar can last longer than it is initially stated on the packaging. For example, if it’s been left in a warm place such as a window sill or in other direct sunlight, either in the store or in your house then its probably not safe to eat. However, if it has been stored in a dry, cool place then it can be safe to eat up to a year over its expiration date.

If you are unsure, you should try and sense any bad odors coming from the protein bar and if also you can try and also if it tastes questionable, I would also toss it despite the fact that it will not be harmful to eat it as the flavour will be effected long before the products go bad and become dangerous to consume. Just to be safe however, if it is a over a year out of date, I would toss it just to be safe.

Final Words

So, in conclusion, it is safe to say that protein powder and protein bars do both eventually expire but they can last over a year past the expiration date that has been listed on the packaging until they do eventually degenerate and become harmful to consume. It is important to note that they can only last this long if the conditions in which the protein items are stored is suitable and does not allow moisture or heat to reach the products. That being said, it is up to you to take the initiative and if the product smells or tastes suspicious, it would be recommended to throw it away. If you consider all the steps that have been recommended above and make sure storage conditions are cool and dry, you will be sure to enjoy your protein powder or bar with no risk to your health.

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