Is It Bad To Drink Expired Liquid Protein Shake?

Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 05:19 pm

Nearly every fitness and workout enthusiast knows you cannot overstate the importance of protein for muscle growth.

Protein helps rebuild muscles worn out during workouts and exercise routines. Therefore, a steady supply of protein is needed if you want your workout regimen to bear fruits.

However, everyone will agree that finishing most store-bought protein shakes takes quite a while.

You might have stashed yours away for some time and discovered it has expired. You might then wonder whether it is safe to drink an expired protein shake.

Drinking an expired protein shake is not harmful if consumed within a few months of its BB date. Protein Shakes are generally packed and sealed in airtight containers, significantly extending their shelf-life. As long as there’s no mold growing and it doesn’t taste or smell bad, it should be safe to consume.

Can you Drink Liquid Protein Shake After the Expiration Date?

Is it Bad to Drink Expired Liquid Protein Shake

Most retailers like selling jumbo box-sized amounts of protein shakes, which can be challenging to finish.

That is especially true for those with no regular workout timetable. For example, you might be halfway through chugging a protein shake bottle only to discover it expired two weeks ago.

Your first instinct might be to throw up and rush to a doctor for a checkup, but gladly, such measures are not needed.

The “Best Before” tag in Protein powder is a measure of quality and not product safety.

Protein powder Shakes are usually processed to very high standards and sealed from external contamination.

This process allows protein powder to remain edible longer than its theoretical lifespan. 

Expired Protein Shakes can be consumed safely within a few months of their Best before date. You have to inspect it for signs that it is unsafe for consumption.

Here are several characteristics that your expired protein shake is terrible for consumption;

#1. Repulsive Smell

Edible protein shake powder usually has a sweet smell. If your protein shake powder has a foul odor, it is not advisable to consume it.

An expired Protein powder that is bad and not fit for consumption commonly sports a repulsive and stinky smell. 

#2. Moldy Growths

Molds are a type of fungi that grows on putrid and rotting food. Molds are known to be identified by black or whitish hair-like growth on the surface of the food.

Moldy growth is a clear sign that your protein shake powder is inedible.

#3. Cardboard Taste

Most mainstream protein shakes are very nutritious and taste very good. However, it would be best to immediately throw away expired protein shakes that taste bland.

#4. Discoloration

Pure protein shake powder has plain and uniform colors. If your expired protein shake powder starts having spots with different colors, it is not fit for consumption.

What Happens if you Drink Expired Protein Shakes?

Drinking expired protein shakes might not have any short-term repercussions, but there could be problems in the long run.

With issues ranging from allergies to muscle loss, here are examples of what happens if you consume an expired protein shake.

#1. Poor Nutrition

There is a chemical reaction called the Maillard browning process, where the sugar in the whey combines with the protein.

This reaction reduces the percentage of protein in the protein shake. This reaction stops you from getting the required protein you are supposed to get when consuming the shake.

#2. Gain Weight

Working out while consuming expired protein shakes can cause you to gain weight.

After working out, protein is supposed to break down the fat and carbohydrates in your body.

However, expired protein shakes will not allow you to receive the proper amount of protein, causing you to gain weight.

#3. Allergic Reaction

Expired protein shakes usually have molds growing on them. Some people are sensitive to molds and can suffer from severe allergic reactions if they ingest protein shake with mold.

Avoid taking any protein shake powder that is already showing signs of molding.

#4. Muscle Atrophy

Working out without a steady intake of protein supplements will cause your muscles to suffer atrophy.

Expired protein shakes do not provide the body with enough protein after a workout. The lack of protein causes your muscle mass to shrink and weaken you. 

#5. Waste of Precious Body Building Time

One cannot ignore the fact that bodybuilding takes a lot of time. Expired protein causes you to waste lots of bodybuilding time and can make you lose entire months of progress. 

You need lots of protein and nutrients if you want your workout to pay off.

However, using expired protein shakes as a protein supplement with your exercise will cause you to experience diminishing returns.

Can you Drink Pre-made Protein Shakes After the Expiration Date?

Pre-made protein shakes are protein supplements made and bottled from the factory.

They can come in different flavors and sizes. Some companies also buff theirs with nutrients that are vital to bodybuilding. 

They are perfect for those that do not like the hassle of preparing a protein shake from home.

Sadly pre-made protein shakes have a shorter shelf life than their powdered counterparts.

Pre-made Protein Shakes are not safe to consume, whether days or months after their expiry dates.

Even though a pre-made protein shake might not smell as bad as expired milk, it will have a rancid smell and sourness.

It indicates it has spoiled and should be thrown away or returned if it was store-bought.

There are two mainstream protein powders: animal-based (whey) and plant-based (vegan).

Here is a chart to compare them.

Comparison BasisWhey Protein PowderPlant-Based Protein Powder
OriginAnimal produce, e.g., milkThe plant produces, e.g., pea, soy
Vegan friendlyNoYes 
Protein contentWPI’s up to 90% proteinRefined concentrates up to 70% protein
Shelf life Two years+Three years+
Possible AllergiesLactose intolerancePeanut related allergies

Side Effects of Consuming Expired Liquid Protein Shake

No matter how normal it looks and tastes, a protein shake that has expired for six months is a possible health risk.

Even though expired protein shake powder is not as dangerous as expired drugs, it is not advisable to consume expired shakes.

Consumption of expired liquid protein shakes can cause many reactions and illnesses.

#1. Diarrhea

Consuming a protein shake way past its expiry date is dangerous and causes diarrhea.

Your bowel might reject the expired protein and its preservatives, triggering severe diarrhea and congestion. 

#2. Vomiting

You can get severe food poisoning from drinking expired protein shakes.

The growing bacteria and fungi in the protein shakes can lead to indigestion and food poisoning, triggering fits of vomiting.

#3. Allergic Reaction

Molds are notorious for triggering allergic reactions in people sensitive to them. Molds can trigger life-threatening allergies, and victims need to see a doctor.

Damp expired protein shakes are a good breeding ground for molds, and molds reproduce quickly. 


Drinking recently expired protein shakes is not as harmful as you think. Protein Shakes do not spoil immediately after their expiry date, but you have to inspect them for signs of spoiling.

Don’t consume protein powder that has expired for more than six months, no matter how good it looks.

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