How to Tell if Protein Powder is Bad?

When you’re buying a protein powder, you want to ensure it’s not expired. Although the “best before” date is essential, the expiration date is not the best way to tell if the protein powder is harmful. A product will start to smell funky once it has passed the “best before” date, so you should always estimate the quantity you’ll need to use up before the date expires.

protein powder

Protein Powder Basics

Protein powders are a practical and reasonably priced option to boost your protein intake. Though much of the focus is on the benefits of protein for muscle building, research is still uncovering other benefits of greater protein intake, such as fat loss, blood sugar stabilization, blood pressure control, and bone health.

Protein powders come from a variety of sources, including:

Protein comes from a single source in most products, although it can come from many sources to save money or change the absorption rate. Some protein powders, for example, may contain both fast- and slow-digesting whey protein. Protein powders also contain various lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They usually include natural and artificial flavors, flavor protectors and enhancers, and thickening agents to give them a creamier consistency and mouthfeel.

How to Tell if Protein Powder is Bad?

bad protein powder

Here are some clear signs of lousy protein powder:

  • When purchasing protein powder, keep an eye out for mold on the box. This is a clear indication that the goods have spoiled. If the powder includes strange clumping, it’s likely to contain moisture, which encourages the growth of germs and bacteria.
  • Mold is another symptom that your protein powder has gone wrong. The best-by date indicates when the food is safe to eat, but you should avoid it if you buy an old bag.
  • Furthermore, it’s most likely spoilt if it’s moldy or rotten. If this occurs, you should discard it and replace it with a new one.
  • It would help if you also inspected your protein powder for mold. The presence of mold indicates that the product is defective. On the other hand, Moldy protein powder could include germs and other hazardous microbes.
  • Another way to detect if your protein powder is old is to look at the expiration date. Before purchasing protein powder, make sure to verify the expiration date.
  • If it’s over its expiration date, you don’t have much time to consume it before it goes bad. You should toss it out if the date is too far away.
  • If you see mold on your protein powder, it’s probably the wrong product, and if the protein powder is yellow or brown, it isn’t good.

What is the Shelf Life of Protein Powder?

The term “shelf life” relates to how long food retains its best quality after being manufactured. Manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to include an expiration date on their products. On the other hand, many companies willingly include an expiration or “best by” stamp beside the production date. In these circumstances, it is up to the manufacturer to back up the expiration date of their products with facts to show that it is not misleading.

According to one study, whey protein powder has a shelf life of more than 12 months — even up to 19 months under conventional storage settings of 70°F (21°C) and 35 percent humidity. An accelerated shelf-life test is a way of determining a product’s stability by storing it under stressful conditions like high temperature and humidity. According to another study, whey protein has a 9-month shelf life when stored at 95°F (35°C) but at least 18 months when stored at room temperature, or 70°F (21°C) with 45–65 percent humidity (7Trusted Source).

Can Expired Protein Powder Make you Sick?

Protein powders are low-moisture foods, making them less likely to harbor bacteria. While it is likely safe to use protein powder after it has passed its expiration date if it has been appropriately stored. Protein powders can lose protein content over time. According to one study, when stored at 70°F (21°C) with 45–65 percent humidity. The amino acid lysine in whey protein fell from 5.5 percent to 4.2 percent in 12 months. The protein powder utilized in this study did not contain any of the chemicals that many products on the market employ to lengthen shelf life.

It’s also possible for the protein powder to spoil before the expiration date, especially if it’s not kept in an excellent, dry environment. One study found that when whey protein was held at 113°F (45°C) for 15 weeks, there was a considerable rise in oxidation, which created different chemicals that caused unpleasant flavor alterations. Consuming protein powder with one or more indications, regardless of the expiration date, can make you unwell. It’s recommended to toss your protein powder if you discover any signs that it’s gone wrong.

How to Store Protein Powder?

Protein powder is expensive; therefore, it should be used rather than thrown away. Protein offers amino acids necessary for the repair of muscle, connective tissue, skin, and organs and the production of hormones and other biochemicals. Keep your protein powder in a cool, dry place with a temperature as close to 70°F as possible. Usually, kitchen pantries are a safe bet. If you store your protein powder in a generally warmer setting than 70°F, it may deteriorate or have its shelf life reduced. Also, stay away from any area with a lot of humidity or wetness. Keep your protein powder in an excellent, dry location.


In addition to the appearance, you should also check for moisture. If the powder is moldy, it’s a sure sign that it’s not pure. It’s also essential to check for the color and smell of the powder. If it’s yellow or brown, the product is likely contaminated with bacteria. However, it’s essential to make sure your protein powder is a good one. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of money.