How Long Can a Protein Shake Last in the Fridge?

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Tonya McIntosh

Tonya McIntosh—The main person behind TGFFitness as its Founder and Chief Editor. Get to know more about Tonya


woman adding protein powder to blender with banana

Protein shakes are a great way to get essential nutrients and muscle-building protein in your system before, during, or after a workout. If you need to save your shake for later, here’s how long you can feasibly store it.

Unsurprisingly, protein shakes can only be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The rest of this article will give you everything you need to know about storing protein shakes, what makes them go bad, and the best method you can use to store your workout mixes.

How Long Will My Protein Shake Last?

A protein shake is safe to drink shortly after it’s mixed. In an ideal world, you should drink your shake right after you make it, but if you’re pressed for time, you can safely leave it for a little while without impacting your health.

How Long Will a Protein Shake Last in the Refrigerator?

Your fridge is a good place to store your protein shake, but it’s important to understand that the active ingredients in the shake will only last for a while. You can generally store your protein shake in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

Of course, the sooner you drink it, the better it will taste, and you might start to notice a loss of flavor after 24 hours stored in the fridge.

How Long Does a Protein Shake Last at Room Temperature?

A protein shake lasts about 2 hours at room temperature after mixing. Once this window elapses, the drink will become noticeably more unpleasant and may be harmful to you.

What Makes Protein Powder Go Bad after Mixing?

Protein powder lacks the one important element bacteria need to grow: water. As such, the moment you introduce fluid to the mix, you’re on a ticking time clock.

The same is also true of fresh ingredients that don’t have any preservatives. When exposed to water or air, these start accumulating bacteria that, in larger quantities, are harmful to the human body.

Putting your shake in the fridge slows the bacterial growth rate, keeping it safer for longer.

If Mixed with Milk, Does It Go Bad Sooner?

Yes, a protein shake will go bad sooner when mixed with milk (soy or almond milk). 

The reason is that when stored at temperatures that aren’t low enough (higher than 45 F), bacteria multiply and, through a chain of bacterial breeding, produce some unpleasant things, as well as forming mold. 

Take the advice of your nose: if it smells bad, throw it out.

How Long Does It Take for a Protein Shake Mixed with Water to Go Bad?

The rules are the same when adding water: 72 hours in the fridge and 2 hours at room temperature. 

Remember, water is the catalyst that allows bacteria to grow and breed into the unpleasant stuff you don’t want in your body over time.

Keeping your shake airtight is especially important if you use fresh fruit or vegetables because oxidation can cause them to go bad and ruin the taste of your shake. 

It’s important to keep your container airtight because fresh components like strawberries can go bad in as little as a few hours.

What Happens when Protein Shakes Go Bad?

When protein shakes go bad, the bacteria have bred to such a degree that it becomes harmful to your body.

Again, your nose is the best indicator that something is wrong, but you might also notice some telltale clumping of the powder to let you know the mix has been sat for a while.

How Long Can You Keep a Protein Shake Unrefrigerated?

You can keep an unrefrigerated protein shake for 2 hours. Any more than that is tempting fate.

Does Protein Powder Itself Have a Shelf Life?

Everything has a shelf life, and protein powder is no different. Because there’s very little moisture, protein powder is generally safe to use for a long time.

Check the best-by date to ensure your powder is still safe to consume.

Can You Prepare a Protein Shake Overnight?

If you store it in the fridge, you indeed can, but you risk losing the flavor.

You’ll also need to thoroughly stir the mix again to eliminate the clumps that form due to the discrepancies between densities.

Is There a Best Time to Consume a Protein Shake?

According to the Health Cleveland Clinic, the best time to consume a protein shake is after your workout. Doing so gives your muscles ample resources to recover and grow stronger.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Protein Shake?

A spoiled protein shake will indicate the following:

  • Rotten smell
  • Bitter taste
  • Slimy texture
  • Change in color

Any sign of mold growth is an indicator to throw it away immediately.

How Long After Making a Protein Shake Should I Drink It?

Ideally, drink it right away. That’s when it tastes its best and is best mixed to provide your body with the protein and nutrients it needs.

How Should You Clean a Smelly Protein Shake Bottle?

Presoak your bottle in a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, then place all pieces of your bottle in a basin with soapy, hot, and not cold water.

Rinse thoroughly when you’re done.

What Happens If You Drink a Protein Shake that Has Gone Bad?

If you drink a protein shake that’s gone bad, hopefully, your body can fight off whatever contaminants are in the mix. In some cases, expired protein shakes can cause the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions


Overall, drink with prudence. Any strange smells could be a sign of spoiling, so be alert.

Protein shakes can be consumed safely at room temperature within two hours of mixing and in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

However, consuming your shake immediately after making it for the best taste and nutritional advantages would be best.

Now that you know this, making a refrigerated protein shake should be a breeze!

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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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