Popular among health-conscious customers, protein powders are widely consumed supplements in a fitness regime.
So, you stocked up protein powder in bulk in the big sale, but now you’re left wondering: does protein powder go bad?
Here’s the simple answer: Protein powder definitely does go bad. The key culprit here is moisture. So the best way to keep your protein powder good is by only exposing it to liquid when preparing your shake.
How To Tell If Your Protein Powder Has Gone Bad
You can quickly test your protein powder for usability by considering the following key indicators:
- Unusual Smell: You should start with checking your protein powder for any funny, sour, or off odor. If the smell is typical, then you should keep using it. Otherwise, word to the wise, you should chuck it away.
- Look for mold and wet clumps: If you observe any signs of moist clumps and mold due to moisture, you’re best off dumping your powder. Now, it’s normal to get a few tiny clumps in your protein powder, which you can easily break down with a fork – but lots of tough clumps are a sign moisture has got into your tub!
- Change in Taste: If there’s nothing visibly wrong with your powder, and it doesn’t smell funky, feel free to make a small shake to see what the powder tastes like. If it tastes normal, you’re good to go!
How To Store Your Protein Powder For A Longer Shelf Life
It’s best to keep your protein powder in a sealed container. Tightly resealing the container is the essential storage rule for any protein powder.
You might be wondering: Is the powder package re-sealable?
Yes! Most protein powders come with easy to open and seal plastic jars. If your protein powder has a re-sealable package, then you can keep the powder in it after opening.
However, suppose the package is not re-sealable. In that case, transferring the protein powder to a new container after opening works better.
In terms of storage location, pick somewhere cool and, critically, dry. You should also keep your protein powder away from light and heat sources (so not the kitchen cabinet near the oven!) as these can cause condensation.
How Long Is Protein Powder’s Shelf Life?
Here’s the deal: there are many varieties of protein powder in the market. The popular options include whey protein, egg white, and casein.
You will find the best-by date on the packaging. Although there’s variation in preservatives used and type of protein, the best-by date is generally a year from the date of production.
You can easily find stories on the internet where people had a good experience using a powder that’s 2-3 years past the best by date. But we wouldn’t exactly recommend that.
It’s safe to assume that you can use the protein powder 2-3 months after the best-before date.
But here is the kicker: Some protein powders come with vitamins to make your shakes healthy. Over time, few of these vitamins may lose their potency. So, fresh protein powder will ensure better nourishment, when compared to an old powder.
As for a shake that you’ve already made, you should store this sealed in the refrigerator and consume it within 24 hours.
You should store your protein shake in a refrigerator and use it within 24 hours after preparation. Remember, you’ll be better off discarding protein powder in case of any sour odor or terrible taste.
Researchers have found whey protein powder to have a shelf life of 12 months. Using the accelerated shelf-life test, they were able to conclude a 19 months usage under proper storage conditions. So, you can safely use the protein powder within a few months after the best-by date on the packaging.