Pre-workout can be a game changer for your weightlifting sessions. However, it is not uncommon for these supplements to go unused for months. We get busy, injuries happen, etc. But once you finally get back into the gym, you may be caught asking, “Does pre workout expire?”
The truth is that, just like any other dietary supplement, pre-workout can go bad or expire if not used by the date listed on the tub. That being said, most pre-workouts have relatively long shelf lives of 1-2 years if stored in the proper conditions.
In this guide, we will go over how you can tell if your pre-workout has gone bad or not. Also, we will break down how to properly store your pre-workout so that you can extend its shelf life as much as possible.
Does Pre Workout Expire? The Quick Answer
At the end of the day, pre-workout is a dietary supplement that is made up of ingredients that can go bad. You can easily check the date printed on your tub to determine whether or not your pre-workout is expired.
What Happens If You Drink Expired Pre-Workout?
That being said, unlike other foods that can become very dangerous if taken past their expiration date, taking a pre-workout that is expired will most likely be harmless. Unless you are dealing with an extreme case with visible mold, the harshest effects you will notice are limited energy benefits, poor taste, and possible stomach pain.
How To Tell If Pre Workout Is Expired
The date on the tub is the easiest way to determine whether or not your pre-workout has expired; however, this is assuming that you have stored your pre-workout in proper conditions. If you are unsure about your pre-workout, look out for these key signs that it may have gone bad:
Check The Date On The Label
This is by far the easiest way to check if your preworkout is still good to go. Most preworkouts will have the date listed on the top or bottom of the tub.
If you cannot find any date labels, try checking the manufacturer’s website for more information.
If your preworkout looks noticeably faded or discolored, this could be a sign that it may have gone bad.
If you are not getting the same performance kick that you got when you first started taking the pre-workout, some of the key ingredients may have expired and lost their potency.
The key thing to remember is that a degradation in effects is expected after taking pre-workout for an extended period of time consistently. Your body will simply get used to it. However, if you took months to notice the decline, your preworkout may have gone bad.
Even worse, if you can not feel your pre workout kick in at all, it is a sure sign that your pre-workout is past its prime.
If you notice that your pre-workout has clumped together and turned into almost a solid mass, it is a sure sign that you may have let it sit for too long.
Now, some clumping is to be expected with any pre-workout. However, clumps that do not easily break down after some shaking or with the addition of water are cause for concern.
In extreme cases where a pre-workout was stored and exposed to air and water for a long time, some mold may have developed along the surface of the powder.
Of course, you should immediately throw the product away in this case.
When you first get your pre-workout, you will notice that most have a clear fruity or candy smell, depending on the flavor and manufacturer.
When you open the tub, if you notice that the smell has faded or even picked up some funky tones, it is time to move on and get something new.
How To Prevent Pre Workout From Going Bad
Listen, the simple truth is that pre-workouts can be very expensive. Therefore, you should be sure that you are taking all the right steps to ensure that you are getting the most out of your product.
Be sure to follow these tips to prevent your pre-workout from going bad:
Do Not Open It Until You Are Ready To Use It
From the factory, pre-workouts ship with an airtight seal to maintain their freshness and potency. Be honest with yourself, and only open it up when you know that you have a dedicated gym routine and are going to make the most out of the product.
This also applies to cases where you bought multiple tubs at once thanks to a deal or discount. Only open one tub at a time.
Close With The Lid After Every Use
After every scoop, make sure that you are closing the tub with the lid properly. Not only are you avoiding a potential mess, but you are also ensuring that no moisture gets in the tub.
Store It In A Dry Place
Your pre-workout should be fine in most places, as long as it is dry. Most cabinets or pantries will work just fine. But also remember that humidity is also a concern.
If you live in a humid area, leaving your pre-workout in your car or garage may lead to it going bad sooner than it has to.
Leave The Packet In The Tub
Your pre-workout likely came with a silica/desiccant packet in the tub. The large “Do Not Eat” label makes it simple to recognize this across a variety of products.
It can be tempting to throw the packet out once you open the tub up so that you can more easily get your scoops. However, this packet actually serves a very important purpose.
It contains a compound that soaks up moisture to keep your pre-workout lasting longer. As such, make sure to leave it in.
Every time you use your pre-workout, go ahead and give the tub a nice shake. This will go a long way toward preventing any clumping from occurring.
Stick To Your Gym Routine And Use It!
While these tips are useful, pre-workouts are mostly designed to be consumed within 6 months of purchase. Of course, injuries occur, and time constraints are real.
But as long as your even somewhat consistent, you should run into no issues with any pre-workout going bad.
Why Does Pre Workout Go Bad?
While it may be a powder, pre-workout is made up of a number of ingredients that can potentially go bad in the same way that any other product meant to be consumed can.
These powders are usually quite durable and can last a long time if stored properly. But, if you leave the container open or allow water to get in. any pre workout can go bad fairly quickly.
How To Fix Clumpy Or Dried Pre Workout
While pre-workout clumps can be a sign of expiration, it is also true that pre-workouts often just clump together because of the way they are designed. Due to the large number and combination of ingredients, your pre workout may clump together if left to sit still for too long.
However, if it is not past the expiration date and you do not notice any other signs, you can likely still use the preworkout once you get rid of the clumps.
Shake The Tub
The easiest way to get rid of the clumps is to just pick up the tub and shake it back and forth. This should at least soften some of the larger chunks and break up some of the smaller clumps.
Use A Tool
If you shook your tub and are still dealing with some large clumps, the next thing you should try is using some kind of utensil to break up the clumps. Something like a wooden spoon or fork should do the job here.
If all else fails, you can just use brute force and blend your pre-workout in a blender. Be sure to use a funnel to avoid any messes, and simply blend until you are left with a fine powder again.
All in all, pre-workout has a fairly long shelf life if it is stored properly. So you should be fine in most cases using your pre-workout even if you have not touched it in a few months.
That being said, as long as you are using your pre-workout even somewhat consistently, you should not run into any issues. After all, these products usually only come in 20–40 servings at a time.