Is It Bad To Drink Expired Liquid Protein Shake?

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Sowmya Sankaran

With a degree in psychotherapy, I’ve always prioritised mental fitness and believe in crafting well-researched, credible content that’s ready to apply in your real life.


Hitting the gym often comes with advice to consume protein shakes for energy and muscle growth. Most of us tend to buy these in bulk, leaving them in the fridge, only to discover some have expired. Does this sound familiar? Wondering if you can safely consume an expired protein shake? Hold on to that thought.

While it’s typically safe to consume an expired protein shake, it’s not advised if it shows signs of mold, changes in texture, or smells off. Consumption of such shakes could lead to health issues like diarrhea, food poisoning, and stomach cramps.

No one wants to get sick while working out, right? It’s equally challenging to toss out those expired shakes. So, let’s delve into the details of dealing with expired protein shakes in this article.

Can You Drink an Expired Liquid Protein Shake?

In general, an expired liquid protein shake is safe to drink if it’s properly sealed, only a few days after the expiration date, and doesn’t show any signs of spoilage. 

Retailers are tricky! Yes, honestly! Liquid protein shakes are usually sold in jumbo containers, and it’s not uncommon to have a lot of leftovers after the actual expiry date. 

If it’s an entirely unsealed one and you don’t find anything odd, it’s advisable to drink only a small portion of it. If you’re physically fine, you can consume the rest sooner. However, if you find a repulsive smell, mold, or change in taste or texture, the only option is to TRASH it. 

Here’s a video to help you better:

How Long Do Protein Shakes Last After Expiration?

Most protein shakes have a shelf life of 2 years. However, it also depends on your storage approach, frequency of use, and size of the container. 

If you’re a regular user, a jumbo container isn’t bad for you. Contrarily, if you’re using it occasionally, it’s better to go with smaller packs that can be consumed upon purchase.

What Happens If You Drink A Protein Shake That Is Expired?

In this fast-paced life, we gulp liquid protein shakes on the go without noticing their expiry dates. Ultimately, these land you in trouble if they’re found expired.

An expired protein shake with a change in color, texture, smell, and the development of mold can certainly make you sick. It can cause stomach cramps, allergies, diarrhea, and nausea.

While these are immediate signs, you should also know about other issues that can happen in the long run.

  • An expired protein shake undergoes a chemical reaction where sugar and protein combine, thereby reducing the effectiveness and level of protein in it. This is also called the Maillard browning approach
  • It doesn’t work as expected. It can lower your energy levels and make you feel exhausted. 
  • Consuming an expired shake is directly linked to an increased risk of illness, exposure of nutrient deficiencies, and reduced recovery rates. When your body becomes susceptible to illnesses, it can hamper internally and affect the body’s function. 
  • Weight gain is another obvious outcome, as the protein in shakes fails to break down carbs and fats. Muscles also suffer atrophy over time. 

You want to take advantage of an opportunity to grow muscles. Hence, when you grab a protein shake next time, check the expiry date first!

How To Prevent Liquid Protein Shake From Getting Bad?

Consuming an expired protein shake is a beginner’s mistake. Over the years of using expired shakes, I’ve always followed a few critical procedures to preserve the condition of liquid protein shakes.

Here’s a list of secrets that I’d like to reveal to you:

  1. The first and foremost step is to make a note of the expiration date. Set a reminder on your phone one week before the expiry date to ensure that it’s consumed immediately. 
  2. Another vital step is to purchase only what’s necessary. Due to the widespread availability of liquid protein shakes, it’s recommended to purchase minimally. 
  3. Maintain proper storage approaches. Keeping it away from sunlight is crucial. Further, always seal it after consumption. If the present container isn’t sealing properly, you can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it. 

Note: Check out the storage instruction on the container.

Are Expiration Dates The Only Factor To Consider?

From a safety perspective, the expiration date is the primary factor in determining the quality and consumability of a liquid protein shake. It provides an indication of the expected texture, color, and taste of the shake.

Liquid protein shakes often contain added ingredients to improve taste and nutritional value. While these additives provide benefits, it’s essential not to overlook the “best before” or “expires on” date. This label is key to ensuring the shake is consumed within its optimal period for safety and flavor.


Can I Freeze My Protein Shake?

You can refrigerate a protein shake, but freezing it is recommended only for short periods as it can affect the reaction of various elements in the protein shake. If you’ve frozen it for long by mistake, take it out of the refrigerator, allow it to cool down, and shake it well before using it.

Does Protein Powder Expire?

Protein powders generally have a shelf life of 2 years, after which the quality of ingredients, purity, and moisture level can significantly vary. Plant-based protein powder lasts up to 3 years on average, while a typical whey protein powder lasts up to 2 years.


We often consume a protein shake to promote faster muscle gain, weight loss, and break down fats in the body. Nevertheless, the mistake lies in underestimating the power of the expiration date, as it can affect the shake’s purpose and cause a wide range of health complications.

Buy what’s required, check the expiry date, and then consume it quickly!

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Chief Editor
Tonya McIntosh

Hello there! My name is Tonya McIntosh, and I’m the Founder and Chief Editor of TGFFitness. I’m also a NASM-certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. With eight years of experience under my belt, I’ve found that one of the most common issues my clients struggle with is remaining consistent.

Finding your main motivator to keep going is easier said than done for Keep Reading.

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