Most people don’t pay attention to the shelf life or expiration date that appears on their pre-workout supplement bottles. However, several factors could cause them to spoil before that date.
An out-of-date supplement may not give the desired effects. But it’s also possible that they can have side effects or make you ill.
After having this happen to me once, I thought it would be useful for others to know.
So if you are considering drinking your potentially hazardous old pre-workout before your next training session, take a look at this guide.
Does Pre-Workout Expire?
Yes, pre-workout supplements can go bad. This includes powders that go moldy, are clumped together, or are past their recommended shelf lives.
Pre-exercise nutrition products, including protein powders and vitamins, usually come with an expiration date printed on the packaging. If your product expires before its due, then yes, it’s past its prime. However, if you decide to take the risk and continue using it, there’s no harm done.
Some ingredients such as caffeine anhydrous will degrade in effectiveness and potency over time. Amino acids such as beta-alanine will slowly break down after 2 years.
There are instances where you shouldn’t consume a past-due supplement. For example, if you’re facing moldy supplements, throw them out right away! You might experience some side effects like flatulence or nausea from taking a past-due product.
Pre-workouts don’t need to expire before they’re no longer useful. If stored properly, supplements can remain effective until their expiration date. But if they are stored improperly, they will likely go bad much sooner.
It’s important to know whether or not a pre-workout supplement is safe for you before taking it. So, I’ll show you how to figure out if it’s safe.
How Can You See That Your Pre-Workout Has Expired
1 – Appearance
Mold is an obvious indicator that something isn’t right and occurs when your product isn’t properly stored. Don’t let mold grow on your powder because you could get sick from it.
When inspecting the pre-workout supplement, look for signs of fading or darkening. If it appears faded or darker than usual, that may indicate that it has passed its use-by date.
2 – Smell
You should be aware of the typical smells of your pre-workouts before you start using them. If it smells bad or has a stale smell, then that might mean that it has expired. A foul smell is a particularly good warning sign to not take it.
3 – Consistency
A clumpy supplement is a problem that my pre-workout users have. If the vacuum seal is broken, moisture may enter the container. This could cause the normally fine powders to become lumpy and shorten their shelf life.
4 – Mixability
If your pre-workout supplement doesn’t mix well any longer, then it might no longer be good. If you find that your supplement stays unmixed, even after attempting to mix it in a shaker for a while, then it may be a good time to stop using it.
Is It Safe To Take An Expired Pre-Workout?
No, consuming an out-of-date pre-workout is not safe.
You might think that drinking pre-workout after the expiration date is fine because it won’t affect the effectiveness of the product. However, there are some potential problems that you might face.
Some people say that the taste of pre-workout drinks can become bitter and harsh over time. This is because certain chemicals break down over time and start losing their taste and potency.
If you don’t consume pre-workout supplements within six months of opening the container, you could experience a bad smell or some pretty unpleasant symptoms, including an upset stomach, severe gas, or cramps. Your out-of-date pre-workout could also give you diarrhea.
Most dietary supplement companies will also have clearly written instructions on the label that warns against consuming products beyond the recommended shelf life.
For example, many manufacturers recommend that customers throw out their pre-workout supplements once they expire, especially those containing caffeine.
Will Pre-Workout Go Bad If Mixed?
You should ideally only mix your pre-exercise drink right before exercising. If you prepare them ahead of time, however, there won’t be any problems. However, creatine may start degrading so you can supplement with additional creatine capsules if you are concerned about its reduced effects.
Is Using A Clumpy Pre-Workout Safe?
If the pre-workout contains no obvious signs of contamination, such as mold, bacterial growth, or water damage, it is usually safe to consume in a dried-up state. However, some pre-workouts contain ingredients that tend to clump together, making it difficult to measure how much product you actually end up consuming.
Drinking a pre-workout supplement that has been left to dry out could also affect the effectiveness of the product. You could end up getting less of the beneficial effects of the product than you expected.
How Does Pre-Workout Become Clumpy?
Some pre-workout ingredients are hydrophilic, meaning that they attract moisture. When exposed to the environment, they tend to form lumps, especially if they’re exposed to humid air. This happens because the molecules within the compound start to react with each other, forming larger clusters.
To prevent this from happening, store your pre-workout powder in a dark, dry container. Avoid storing it in plastic bags, as these are porous, and keep the container airtight and sealed as well as possible. You can also use desiccant packets, which absorb moisture and keeps your supplements dry.
If you notice that your pre-workout is starting to become lumpy, take some precautions before opening it up. First off, don’t shake the bottle vigorously. Shake slowly and gently, and make sure to keep the cap tightly sealed while shaking.
Also, try to avoid exposing it to heat sources such as microwaves and ovens. Heat breaks down the molecular bonds within the substance, causing the particles to bind together even more.
How To Help Prevent Your Pre-Workout From Going Bad
1 – Keep It Sealed Securely
It’s possible that you don’t close the tub container fully before putting it in your cupboard. Make sure the lid has been securely closed to create an air-tight seal! This can allow moisture and air to get in. Also, bacteria can also enter the container and make you ill.
2 – Don’t Take the Silica Gel Packet From the Container
If your pre-workout supplement contains a silica packet, this may be due to its tendency to clump or become a chalky texture. You should keep this in the tub so that it absorbs moisture that enters to maintain the integrity and quality of the pre-workout powder.
3 – Store The Supplement Container In the Recommended Environment
Pre-workouts should be stored in a place with a cool temperature and away from direct sunlight. This should be in a closed cupboard or drawer, or even in the refrigerator where it is dark and cold. Storing in a fridge is a good choice if you live in an area with a warm climate or at times of the year when the temperature is high.
4 – Keep Water Out Of The Container
If you’re in a hurry to mix your supplement, then you may be a little careless when getting the contents into your shaker. It’s important to not allow water molecules inside the container or powder.
Any water may result in premature clumping of the product or a lumpy texture. Even though this may not spoil the product, it might be hard to scoop.
5 – Shake Up The Tub Regularly
Shake the container well before taking a scoop to get it back to powder form. Don’t let it sit for a long period of time without mixing it up.
Consuming a moldy or bad-smelling pre-workout is a big no no. But if it is not out-of-date and a little clumpy with no signs of mold, then it is probably safe to drink.