FitnessHomeHQ Logo 2

Does Pre Workout Go Bad? How Long Before It Does?

Published by Kieran
Last Updated on April 30, 2022

Is It Possible For Pre-Workout To Go Off? - Our Ultimate Guide

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!

Can Pre Workout Expire?

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. 

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last?

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.

Common Signs Your Pre-Workout Has Gone Bad 

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. 

There Is Presence Of Mold

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. 

It Smells Off 

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.

Unusual Clumping

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.

It's Not Mixing 

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.

Can I Make Pre-Workout In Advance?

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. 

Storage Tips For Pre Workout

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. 

Consider The Size 

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.

Keep The Seal Tight 

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.

No Direct Sunlight 

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.

Avoid Moisture 

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.

Tips To Use Pre Workout 

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. 

  • Lower your expectations - Although pre-workout is great for boosting focus during a workout, it cannot make you lift heavier or run faster, think of this supplement as an aid.
  • Use the right one - Consider your goals and choose the right pre-workout according to what you want, for example, some blends can help with energy while others help with muscle pump.
  • Check your timing - Make sure you are having your pre-workout close enough to your exercise, otherwise, the effects can start to wear off before you even make it to the gym.
  • Consider the caffeine - Pre-workout can have a huge amount of caffeine, if you get negative side effects from caffeine easily consider this before using the product.

Alternatives To Expired Pre Workout

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. 

  • Oats - Oats are best for slow-releasing energy, whether you have porridge or oats in smoothies they are a great pre-workout substitute.
  • Coffee - Coffee is found in most pre-workouts, so why not have it without, caffeine can increase your mental and physical focus. 
  • Smoothies - Smoothies are a natural alternative to protein shakes and can give you a boost, plus they are full of vitamins from the fruits!
  • Yoghurt - Greek yoghurt is high in protein making it great for muscle recovery during and after workouts.
  • Peanut butter - Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats and carbs and can boost your performance during a workout, simply mix in oats or a smoothie!

Frequently Asked Questions About Pre-Workout Going Bad 

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.

Final Words 

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.

About the author
Published by Kieran
A star athlete during his school days, Kieran quickly excelled at sports and in particular; football. Kieran's true passion lies in home exercise equipment, and so was was built as a source for all of Kieran's thoughts to be put down on a medium. Here he guides you through various nuances of working out at home, tips, guides, reviews and more.The only other thing Kieran enjoys more than working out, is writing about it.
View All Posts
You may also like
Fitness Home HQ is an independent website. We provide reviews about fitness macines, workouts, and supplements to help you reach your fitness goals. Fitness Home HQ does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2022 by FitnessHomeHQ.
chevron-rightchevron-right-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram