If you have opened your pre-workout supplement to find lumps or your pre-workout product has surpassed its shelf life, you might be wondering whether or not pre-workout can go 'bad'.
Just like other perishable products such as protein powder, your pre-workout supplement does eventually go bad. This means it could have negative health side effects and lacks performance the way it used to.
In our guide below, we will discuss whether or not it's safe to drink expired pre-workout, some signs that your pre-workout product may have gone bad as well as how to make your pre-workout product last for longer and use it.
Let's get into it!
Many people assume that pre-workout is fine to consume after its shelf life expiration date, but typically, your pre-workout blend should be discarded as soon as it reaches the expiration date.
Even if your pre-workout does not look visibly mouldy it can still have negative side effects such as abdominal cramps and diarrhoea if consumed after it has gone bad, it's best to chuck it rather than risk this.
The shelf life of pre-work can be anything from 1-3 years after manufactured, but this use-by date will become shorter once the product seal has been opened since it will be exposed to air for months.
In terms of how long pre-workout works for working out, this could be between 1-4 hours depending on the pre-workout ingredients, some stay in your system all day after consuming.
Do not get the expiry date and best used by date confused on your pre-workout, the best by date is more of a suggestion that the powder is no longer at its optimal quality rather than an indication that your pre-workout is no longer safe, the expiry date is an indication that your pre-workout is no longer safe.
If the expiry date has faded on the silica packet of your pre-workout mixes or you wondering whether or not your blend still has plenty of shelf life, we've listed out some common signs to look for in your pre-workout which will show whether or not the food products have expired.
One of the first and most important signs that your pre - workout has gone bad is if there is mold. Never try and separate the part of the pre - workout that has mold from the rest as the whole powder will likely be contaminated and is dangerous to consume.
Pre - workout can start to smell different when it's gone bad, don't confuse this for your powder losing potency over time as they can become stale and lose some of their rich smell in comparison to when they are first unsealed.
Clumpy pre-workout is not always a sure sign that your pre-workout powder has gone off but it tends to happen when the powder has excessive moisture inside of the container. If before your expiration date, we wouldn't worry too much about clumping, but if your notice it after, we would not risk using the supplement.
If your pre-workout is not mixing the way it used to then this could also show the product has gone bad as it's lost its potency and mixing capabilities over time.
You might be wondering if your pre-workout can also go bad after you've already made it up in advance before training sessions or work.
Well, pre-workout can indeed be mixed up in advance for drinking at a later time but it will start to lose its effects after around 12 hours. If your all-in-one pre-workout supplement has creatine in it too, this can start to lose its effects after around 1-2 hours.
If your find that your pre-workout keeps going bad quickly or you want to keep your pre-workout good for longer, you can maximise the lifespan of your product with some storage tips.
One of the best ways to stop your pre-workout from going bad so quickly is by buying the right-sized tub! Buying a tub too large and not being able to consume it all before the end date will waste your pre-workout, instead, monitor how much you are consuming and get a size that you can consume quickly.
Screw the lid on your pre-workout tightly after each use, this stops air and moisture from getting in the powder which can cause it to go bad quickly, it also stops flavoured pre-workout from losing its potency over time.
Fluctuating temperatures and direct sunlight can make all perishable items including pre-workout go bad. Ensure you are storing your pre-workout in a cool and shaded place, even the fridge could work as long as the tub is moisture sealed.
The risk of moisture in pre-workouts can make them clumpy and cause them to go bad quickly, avoid moisture in your pre-workout by placing silica gel inside, this will help to absorb any moisture and avoid clumping.
If your pre-workout is not boosting you the way you expected, you might not have a 'bad' pre-workout, instead, you could just not be using your supplement properly.
We've listed our best tips for increasing the effectiveness of your pre-workout below.
If you are not keen on the side effects of pre-workout or yours keeps going bad too quickly, there are some more natural alternatives to consider.
We've listed a few alternatives for some inspiration below.
Can I drink gone off pre-workout?
No, we would suggest not drinking any pre-workout past the expiry date due to the risk of adverse side effects such as sickness.
How many minutes before gym time should I have pre-workout?
We suggest having your pre-work an hour to 30 minutes before you work out for the best effect.
What are the benefits of pre-workout?
Some benefits of pre-workout are better energy, performance and mental focus.
Does DIY pre-workout go bad fast?
Yes, DIY pre-workout can go bad faster than store brought pre-workout as it is more natural and has fewer stabilisers to make it last for longer. DIY pre-workout will last 6 months maximum but it can be shorter or longer depending on the ingredients used.
What ingredients make pre-workout lumpy?
Some pre-workouts contain ingredients such as glycerol, citrulline, creatine nitrate, these all attract moisture compounds from the air which can make pre-workout lumpy, this still means the pre-workout is safe to drink, however.
What are the best pre-workout alternatives?
The best pre-workout alternatives are coffee, oats, peanut butter or yoghurt, these all help to give you the best energy boost and aid in muscle repair.
Why does pre-workout lose potency?
Pre-workout loses its potency over time when it is exposed to air, this doesn't mean the effects of pre-workout will be weaker but it can alter the smell and taste overtime to become weaker, your body might also have built a tolerance to the caffeine inside of the pre-workout which is why they can often feel weaker.
What are the biggest warning signs your pre-workout has gone bad?
The biggest signs to show that your pre-workout has gone bad is smell, texture, signs of mold and lumpy parts, you should also check the expiry date.
To conclude our article, pre-workout does go bad due to it being a perishable item, this will normally be written as an expiry date on the product but it can also be seen as mold or lumpiness in the powders, some might also start to smell bad.
We never recommend using a pre-workout past its expiry date as it could have negative side effects, always check the dates on your supplements and make sure you are using them properly for their maximum effectiveness.