Pre-workouts are supplements used to enhance our training sessions. They can significantly boost the results and increase the intensity of a workout, while alleviating the feeling of fatigue. Yet, since they should only be taken before hitting the gym, many people need months to consume a whole package. This poses a question: can a pre-workout expire? We will aim to answer it here. So, if you are unsure if you can still take your pre-workout which you have opened months ago – read on.
Do pre-workouts expire?
We usually associate the term pre-workout timing with the time when we should take our supplements. Yet, there is another interpretation of this phrase in this context. Pre-workouts do expire, so their timing might actually mean the ticking clock – the time when they are still good to use.
It is not possible to tell the exact expiration date of a pre-workout. It will depend on whether it’s opened or closed, and the conditions in which it is stored. We will explain all the variables further in this article.
How long can I keep a pre-workout before it expires?
The answer to this question is the easiest with closed pre-workout tubes. These have an expiration date printed on them. The time for which you can keep an unopened pre-workout is usually from 1,5 to 2 years. Yet, when you open the tub or box, the situation changes completely.
An opened pre-workout will be good for no longer than the expiration date, but it can go bad even more quickly. It mostly depends on the conditions in which it is stored. There are several factors that may shorten this period, namely:
- high temperature,
Pre-workout storing good practices
Knowing that a pre-workout can expire more quickly in certain conditions allows you to take action. There are several good practices that will help you keep your supplement good as long as possible:
- Don’t open it before you use it – It might sound simple, but as long as the tub is sealed, the outside conditions will not affect the pre-workout. So, even if it’s tempting to open and try your supplement – don’t do it unless you are really planning to start using it.
- Ensure it’s properly closed – Pay attention to the lid when you close the tub and make sure that it’s closed tightly. It will prevent moisture from getting inside, thus extending the shelf life of your pre-workout.
- Store it in a cool, dry place – The fridge might be a good option. Temperature, sunlight and moisture will affect your pre-workout and make it go bad faster, so you should pay attention to where you put it. You may also try putting it into a closed cabinet – it’s also dry and unaffected by temperature.
- Keep the desiccant packet in – You probably know this little packet that is sometimes in your product boxes, do you? The one with “don’t eat” on it. But do you know what it is used for? We’ll tell you – it absorbs moisture. Thus, keeping it inside your tub will help you preserve your pre-workout for much longer.
How to check if the pre-workout is still good?
Knowing that pre-workouts do expire, you should also learn how to identify the state of your supplement. After all, you wouldn’t like to mix a bad pre-workout, would you? There are several steps that you should take if you believe that your supplement might have gone bad:
- Check the expiration date on the tub – If it’s after the expiration date, you shouldn’t consume your pre-workout. It might cause stomach trouble, plus it will probably be no longer effective.
- Look for mold – The most visible indicator is mold. If you find it, you know it’s time to throw your pre-workout away.
- Inspect the color – You can also verify whether your pre-workout is good to use by looking at its color. If it’s darker than it was, it probably means that it started deteriorating.
- Test the consistency – If your powder is difficult to mix, or sticks into larger chunks (small ones are natural), it might mean that it’s time to order a new pre-workout.
- Smell it – When you open your pre-workout for the first time, you should get used to its smell. Thus, you will be able to spot if it changes. A different scent might indicate that your supplement is no longer good-to-use.
- Taste it – If all the above are fine, you can try a slight amount of your pre-workout. Does it taste differently? Then it might have expired.
- See how you feel after taking it – Even if all the previous steps didn’t show that your supplement has expired, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is so. The final verification is how you feel after taking it – do you have stomach trouble? Maybe you aren’t as energized as you should be? These might be the signs that your pre-workout went bad.
Can a mixed pre-workout expire?
While we have already discussed the case with raw supplements, we still need to tackle one more question: does a mixed pre-workout expire? After all, if you know how often you should take pre-workouts, you probably realize that sometimes the only option is to prepare it earlier. But, should you actually do it?
The answer is: yes, but you need to pay close attention to time. A mixed pre-workout will be good for consumption for about 12 hours, but it’s best to take it 1–2 hours after mixing. So, getting it ready in the morning when you plan to hit the gym after work might not be a good idea, but mixing it during your lunch break is fine.
Pre-workouts do expire, thus it is crucial to store them properly and pay attention to their state before using them. However, their natural shelf life is quite long, reaching to almost 2 years, so if you follow storing good practices, such as keeping your supplement in the fridge, closing it tightly and leaving the desiccant packet inside, you will be able to make use of them for quite a long time. Remember that a mixed pre-workout is good to use only for a couple of hours – don’t prepare it too early!
You might also like: Can You Mix Creatine with Pre-workout?
Can a pre-workout expire?
Yes, pre-workouts can expire, especially once they are opened. The expiration date varies based on storage conditions, but unopened pre-workouts usually last 1.5 to 2 years.
What factors can shorten the shelf life of an opened pre-workout?
High temperature, moisture, and exposure to sunlight can accelerate the expiration of an opened pre-workout.
What are some good practices for storing pre-workout to extend its shelf life?
Keep the pre-workout tub sealed until you are ready to use it, ensure the lid is tightly closed, store it in a cool, dry place, and keep the desiccant packet inside the tub to absorb moisture.