Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

(And How to Know If It’s Still Good)

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: February 24, 2022

It’s time to hit the gym and you realize you’re out of pre-workout – NOOO! You’re dragging and need the energy boost but there’s no time to go to the store or order more online.

Then you spot an old tub of pre-workout in the back of the cabinet. You might be saved. But is it still good?

I’m here to answer your question, “does pre-workout go bad?” Plus, I’ll show you 8 ways to tell if it’s safe to take. And how to keep pre-workout fresher, longer.

Does Pre Workout Go Bad Or Expire

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad? (Quick Answer)

Yes, pre-workout can go bad. And this could refer to powder that is moldy, clumped up, or past its recommended shelf life.

However, pre-workout doesn’t have to go past the expiration date to be bad. If not stored correctly, supplements can become useless and even not safe to consume.

Also, it’s not always easy to tell if it’s safe to take. That’s why I will teach you how to tell if your pre-workout is bad.

How To Tell If Your Pre-Workout Is Bad

There are several ways to determine if your pre-workout has passed on to a better place. Here are some of the easiest.

1. Date On the Label

Most supplements provide an expiration date on the label. Like the food you buy at the grocery store, it’s considered best to use the product before this date.

Look at the container to see if your pre-workout has an expiration date. Sometimes the date of manufacture and the expiration date is on the bottom of the tub.

If your pre-workout is past the expiration date, it’s best to proceed cautiously and follow the steps listed below.

Does Pre Workout Expire

Here you can see two dates on the bottom of the container. “MFG ON:” represents the date of manufacture. While “EXP ON:” is the expiration date.

2. Visible Mold

Another big red flag is mold. When in doubt, inspect the powder granules very closely for any sign of fuzzy fungi.

Of course, you should never consume anything if you find mold. So cut your losses and toss it!

3. Color

While performing your visual inspection, take note of the color of the pre-workout powder. If it looks faded or darker than usual, that could be a sign that it’s past its prime.

4. Consistency

The consistency of the powder can be another clue to the freshness of your pre-workout. For example, it could be bad if you see large clumps or if the powder doesn’t mix easily.

Some small clumps in your pre-workout are typical (as shown below). But larger chunks or one solid mass is a problem.

Does Pre Workout Powder Go Bad

Here is an example of typical pre-workout consistency. Some small clumps are starting to form, but they should easily break up when shaken.

5. Smell

Next, put your pre-workout through the smell test. Take a whiff and see if you notice any strange odor. Funky smells could indicate spoilage.

6. Taste

You can move on to a taste test if your pre-workout passes the first five steps. Mix up a small amount to sample, and if it tastes nasty, don’t continue to use it.

7. Upset Stomach

Now let’s assume you took a whole serving of your questionable pre-workout supplement. Pay attention to how you feel afterward.

Don’t use it again if you experience an upset stomach or excess gas. This side effect could be a sign that your pre-workout is no good.

8. Performance Decrease

Lastly, you may not feel the same effect from an old pre-workout compared to fresh. In that case, it’s not worth taking anymore.

If you got through all eight steps with no issues, you should be in the clear. But pay attention as you finish this tub, especially if you let it sit for a while again.

Does Pre Workout Go Bad

How To Prevent Your Pre-Workout from Going Bad

Ok, you just spent $40 on a new pre-workout. So how do you keep it fresh to ensure you don’t waste your money?

Here are seven tips to keep your pre-workout from going bad.

1. Don’t Unseal It Until You’re Ready To Use It

Pre-workout containers have an air-tight seal to lock in freshness. So it’s a good idea to keep this seal on the container as long as possible.

At that point, be ready for a struggle. Those little tabs fool you into thinking you can easily peel it off. But instead, you rip through several thin layers before stabbing it repeatedly with the handle of a spoon.

Anyways, don’t stab open your container until you’re for sure ready to use it.

Does Pre Workout Go Bad Freshness Seal

The pre-workout container’s seal is designed to keep freshness in and keep you out.

2. Close The Lid Tight

Once you remove the seal, make sure you put the lid back on nice and tight. It may not keep out all the air, but it should prevent any excess moisture from getting in.

3. Store In a Cool Place

Another vital factor is storing your pre-workout in a cool place. It’s not so much the heat but the change in temperature that causes problems like condensation.

To illustrate, think about how the inside of your car’s windshield gets dewy when the temperature goes from hot to cold. The same thing can happen inside the pre-workout container.

Therefore, try to store pre-workout where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate. So definitely not your car!

4. Keep Away from Moisture

As I just explained, moisture is the main factor that can make your pre-workout go bad. That means you should store it in a cool place that isn’t exposed to moisture or excess humidity.

For example, don’t keep your pre-workout on the counter above the dishwasher.

5. Leave the Desiccant Packet in The Tub

One more irritating thing about supplement packaging is the large desiccant included inside. You know, the packet that says, “DO NOT EAT.”

However, this minor annoyance serves a purpose. That is, it contains a compound that soaks up moisture and keeps your pre-workout fresher longer.

So even though it makes it a pain to get a good scoop, avoid the temptation to throw it away on day one.

Does Pre Workout Go Bad Desiccant

Some pre-workouts come with desiccants bigger than the scoop.

6. Mix Up the Contents

Another trick to keeping your pre-workout in usable condition is to give it a shake if you haven’t used it in a while. This movement helps prevent the particles from fusing together into solid chunks.

7. Work Out and Use It!

Lastly, the easiest way to avoid the pain of expired pre-workout is to get going and use it! There’s no way it can expire before you use it all if you work out at least 3 days a week.

What To Do If Your Pre-Workout Clumps Together

Sometimes plans change and supplements sit on the shelf for a while. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of letting open supplements sit for a few months without use.

When this happens, you may open the lid to find a tub full of chunks instead of powder. Worse yet, the whole container might be one solid brick.

Luckily, you can usually save your pre-workout and use it again (if it’s not expired). Here’s how.

Clumpy Pre Workout

Step 1: Shake It

For pre-workout in the early stages of clumping, a vigorous shake should be all it takes to break up the chunks. Make sure the lid is on tight and shake it until you feel the hard chunks soften.

If you still have clumps after shaking, proceed to the second step.

Step 2: Break It

For large or stubborn clumps, you may need to break them up with a dull instrument like a spoon or butter knife. Just don’t get too carried away so you don’t puncture the container or hurt yourself.

At the very least, this should get the clumps small enough to try the third step.

Step 3: Blend It

In some cases, the clumps are just too hard to break up by hand. That’s when you might need to bring out the big guns.

For those concrete clumps, throw the contents of the tub in a (dry) blender. Then put the lid on and blend until you see fine particles again.

bodybuilding meal plan

Custom Meal Plan

Get a personalized meal plan designed specifically for your body and lifestyle. Including custom recipes formulated to fit your macros and calories – no counting required!

All this for just $17.99/mo! Click here to choose your plan.

Pre-Workout Expiration Q&A

Alright, I’ve answered a lot of questions already. But I know a few of you still have some pre-workout ponderings that haven’t been addressed.

So here are a handful of other frequently asked questions.

How Long Before Pre-Workout Expires?

Most pre-workout supplements have an expiration date of two years after the date of manufacture. Keep in mind that you purchased the supplement sometime after the manufacture date.

Therefore, the actual usable shelf life could be significantly less than two years.

Can You Take Pre-Workout After the Expiration Date?

The short answer is yes, you can take pre-workout after the expiration date. But it’s a little more complicated than that, so let me explain.

The expiration date on the container indicates how long the manufacturer expects the supplement to last before it no longer delivers the intended effects1. After that date, the supplement’s effectiveness may decrease.

However, the supplement does not immediately go rancid right at the expiration date. Also, remember that the expiration date is the shelf life when the pre-workout is unopened and stored in ideal conditions.

What this means is that the expiration date is not a definitive endpoint. So, for example, pre-workout could go south before the expiration date if opened. But it could still be good if stored properly.

Can You Keep Pre-Workout in The Fridge?

Yes, you can put your pre-workout powder in the fridge. After all, the refrigerator is one of the most controlled environments in your house. It’s cool, and it should be dry as well.

For this reason, the fridge is a great place to store your pre-workout to prevent it from going bad, especially if you live in a place that gets hot and humid.

Does Pre Workout Go Bad In The Fridge

To prevent clumping and mold, consider storing your pre-workout in the fridge.

Does Pre-Workout Lose Potency Over Time?

Yes, certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements lose potency over time. For example, some amino acids, like beta-alanine, break down after about two years.

Again, the expiration date is not necessarily when you can’t use the pre-workout. But it’s the time at which the supplement begins to lose potency.

Related: Max Potency DMHA Pre-Workout

Can Pre-Workout Get Moldy?

Yes, pre-workout powders can harbor mold like any other food or surface. However, you can prevent this by keeping your pre-workout in a cool, dry place.

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad After You Mix It?

Yes, pre-workout can go bad after mixing because some ingredients aren’t stable in water. For example, creatine breaks down into an unusable form called creatinine.

However, the degradation takes a few days. So you should be fine as long as you use your pre-workout within a day of mixing it.

Does Pre-Workout Make You Poop?

Yes, a pre-workout supplement can cause a sudden bowel movement. However, not everyone will experience this effect because it depends on several factors.

Click here to learn 7 Ways Pre-Workout Can Make You Poop.

Does Pre Workout Make You Poop

How To Make Your Own Pre-Workout

Now you know how to prevent your pre-workout from going bad so you don’t waste money. But did you know you can save even more money by making your own pre-workout supplement?

It’s true, a homemade pre-workout could save you as much as 70% compared to name-brand supplements. On top of that, you get almost double the active ingredients.

Click here for my top 5 Homemade Pre-Workout Recipes.

In this article, you learned how to keep it fresh along with answers to many other pre-workout questions. For more in-depth articles that answer your fitness-related questions, check out my other great content below!

Share with your community and get the conversation started!

By |February 24, 2022|Supplements|0 Comments
Go to Top