Can Protein Powder Go Bad?

Protein powder is a popular supplement used by many people.

But how long does protein powder last, and how can you tell if it’s bad? This article will explain how to tell if protein powder is bad, how long protein powder lasts, and more.

Can Protein Powder Go Bad

Can protein powder go bad? Since most protein powders are premixed and shelf-stable, they generally don’t spoil.

However, it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date on your powder and discard any powder that’s past its expiration date.

What Does Protein Powder Contain?

It can be slightly different for different types of protein powder brands. For most of them, they contain the same sort of ingredients such as: 

  • Egg wgite 
  • Collagen 
  • Pea 
  • Rice 
  • Soy 

Many brands now offer a vegan option for many people as well which shows how much protein powder is engaged in their customers needs.

This will be either packed with different types of proteins or just one base protein and some include additives which some do try and avoid. 

Expiration Date?

Yes, there is an expiration date which you always need to check because they will last for quite a while but not forever. People think that because it is a powder it will last forever, but this is not the case. 

Expiration dates aren’t always completely accurate and you can see when something is going bad by using your senses.

You also need to think about where you are storing it and what the average temperature is in that room. The average protein powder can last between 9-19 months.  

You also need to check because it is different for every brand. It depends whether they have added additives or other ingredients which can make supplements last longer. 

How Can You Tell It Is Expiring?

How Can You Tell It Is Expiring

You can have a range of different expiration dates depending on the brand and where it is stored but here are a few ways to recognize if your powder is going off. 

  • You will always be using your senses and the first one is your sense of smell. You might start to smell a difference. It will be noticeable but not as bad as something like gone off milk. However, it will have a funky smell. 
  • You might even be able to see some differences to the powder where there have been some new colors appearing. There might be some mold or some green parts appearing in the powder which is a sign you need to throw it away immediately. 
  • If you can’t see or smell anything wrong with the powder but it is past the expiry date you can always give it a little taste to determine whether it is ok for you. 


Yes, it is really important to know that depending on where you leave your powder and if you keep the lid off for a while, it might start growing bacteria inside.

If you start to see lumps in the powder then this is your sign to throw it away because you have opened the powder up to bacterial growth. 

You should try and keep your powder in a cooler area where less moisture is able to get to it because otherwise it is more likely to expire faster because bacteria might start growing inside. 

Which Types Of Protein Powders Last The Longest?

Lucky for anyone who is vegan, these options are the best for shelf life because they do not include any diary. The protein powder that includes dairy won’t be able to last as long because of the elements and the moisture.

These different types of vegan options contain pea, hemp or rice. 

How Ill Could An Expired Shake Make Me?

There is a very low chance that you will get seriously ill unless you have a high allergic reaction. However, it can still give you an upset tummy which is something you want to avoid as it could put you in bed for a day or two. 

The bacterial growth is the most dangerous part if you are not keeping an eye on your protein and looking out for these signs of lumps and different colors forming.

When it is not long past the expiration date, it should be ok. However, if you follow these signs you should be fine! 


Overall, you do need to be careful when it comes to checking your protein powder but it will not be life threatening if you were to consume some out of date powder.

Everyone will try and make their powder last as long as possible to get their money’s worth, which is why you should think of leaving it in a cool area and make sure the lid is put back on every time it is used. 

Hopefully this guide has helped you understand that protein powder does have an expiry date but it is not always completely accurate.

There are several ways to test whether your powder is good to use by using your senses. This is always a good way because it should be quite obvious visually or by smelling but if not, tasting is your last option. 

Not all products have the same shelf life because of the different ingredients they use.

As mentioned previously, vegan products last much longer than dairy protein because of the dairy factor. Therefore, if you want one that lasts longer, this could be for you! Use the guide. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It OK To Use Expired Protein Powder?

So, is it safe to whip up a protein shake using expired powder?In short, yes it is.

But if the protein product, whether it’s whey or vegan, smells or tastes off, or it’s been a few months since its use-by date, treat yourself to a fresh pack and follow the storage instructions to the letter, to ensure its longevity.

Jenna Priestly