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Does Protein Powder Expire? – Protein Perishment

Time Spoils The Fun

When we think of expiration dates, we tend to think of foods like milk, cheese, chicken. Unless additives are added to preserve the food, they tend to go bad quickly. Once they are past their time, we instantly throw them out since they aren’t “edible” anymore. We base it off the date written on the packaging claiming when or when not the food is safe to eat. What about supplements? Particularly, protein shakes. Does protein powder expire? On the containers, the “expiration” or “best used by” date is written. But is it true? Does that automatically mean that the supplementation is entirely out of the question for eating? I will answer this very relevant question since supplements tend to last quite long. Stay tuned!

How Do Foods Expire?

When the term, food has “expired” is brought up, it means explicitly one thing. That the food is no longer edible, meaning it cannot be eaten without running the risk of getting sick. Once a meal is not edible, it is spoiled and suitable to be thrown out. Some foods expire faster than others, organic foods in particular, due to the lack of the preservatives injected in them.

Now let’s say, you’re munching on your favorite bag of chips, Lays. (my favorite!) You’re enjoying them, you flip the bag around and observe the “expiration” date.

The bag of chips expired a week ago!

You’re thrown into a frenzy, you’re already counting the days you have left to live before you perish from food poisoning. You’re in utter disbelief that you failed to realize that those chips have been sitting in your pantry for a long time now. In this state of shock, you wonder why the chips tasted very similar to a new bag of chips, instead of stale, bland potato chips.

Here is where I clear things up!

Label Game

On your packaged foods, the label of expiration says either, one, or two, of these three labels somewhere on the packaging. (If it doesn’t, that product cannot be sold without confirmation from the FDA)

Best if Used By/Before:

Anytime before the date listed is when the food is freshest and is at its best quality or flavor. This is when your bag of chips tastes the best, where the Lays will taste their crispiest and tastiest. After the date listed, they may start to taste a bit stale, but by no means is your safety at risk. The chips are still very much edible.

Sell By:

This date is meant for retailers to inform them when the product should be taken off the shelf. This is the best quality of the product and must be taken off the shelf in or around this date. Your milk should be taken out of the refrigerators once the time comes.

Use By:

This last date is the final guarantee date for the freshness of the product, the peak of its quality. This date still does not mean when the product becomes spoiled, it’s still available to be eaten without any hazards.

Can Protein Powder Spoil?

We have now arrived at the answer to our original question, can our favorite supplement go bad, and how long does it last? The answer is,

Yes, after an eternity!

Although they do go bad eventually, the date is most likely not coming soon. Let’s have a look at my favorite protein powder, Bodybuidling.com’s Signature Whey Protein. This is hands down my go-to protein powder for many reasons, including tastes, ingredients, and tons of other reasons. I have a full review of BB.com’s prized possession, link down below.

Bodybuilding.com Whey Protein – Powerhouse of a Protein

But on to the actual package itself. Take a look at the date below from the bottom of the container.

Does Protein Powder Expire? - Protein Perishment
The date of expiration is April 27, 2021. Today is January 15, 2020, that’s more than a year from now like I said, it lasts an eternity. But why is that? How come its one of the longest-lasting products on the market? That is mainly due to the product being a powder, it’s a dry substance. This makes it nearly impossible for microbes and bacterias to spoil the protein.

How To Preserve Your Precious Protein?

Although your protein can last a very long time in its life span, there are still ways to preserve it longer or make it spoil faster. Yes, your protein powder can expire quicker than the passing date, depending on how you treat it. Let’s discuss those briefly.

How Protein Expires Faster

Protein powder, when not being used, must be kept in the container and sealed tight to prevent oxygen from coming inside, causing microbes to grow on the powder. Heat may also lead to spoilage of protein powder, which is why you should be keeping your protein inside your cabinets. These cupboards are dark and cold, preventing heat from ever reaching your supplement.

Does Protein Powder Expire? - Protein Perishment
Moisture is another thing to look out for, this can also be a protein killer. Protein powder absorbs moisture and water, much like how the powder mixes well with the solvent you use. If a decent amount of water gets into your protein powder container, I’m sorry to say, but, it’s game over for that protein.

How To Tell The Protein Is Gone

You can tell if the protein powder is not fine to eat once a specific smell starts entering into your nostrils once you open the container. The scent is rotten, and the powder begins to look clumpy for the moisture. This may occur if you put your protein through harsh conditions, and it expires faster. The more careful you treat your powder, the longer it’ll last.

Conclusion

In conclusion, your current protein powder will, unfortunately, expire and move on to the supplement afterlife. However, that day may not come for a long time, depending on how you treat your sacred powder. Even after the listed date, your protein powder can still be good for a couple of months. This is good to know if you buy your supplements in bulk, buy on!

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments!

 

Glossary

Edible: fit to be eaten without risk of sickness.

Preservatives: substance/chemical used in foods to prevent decomposition from bacterial growth.

FDA: Federal Drug Administration, responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety of drugs and biological products.

Microbes: microorganism that specifically causes fermentation and diseases.

Solvent: liquid able to dissolve other substances

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