Pre-workout supplements are a great way to boost energy levels before working out. They also contain ingredients that can improve muscle growth and recovery and do so much more.
These supplements often come in powder form, which makes them very convenient. The problem is, it's hard to tell if a powder has gone bad or expired.
And that's why we're here. In this article, we'll help you tell if your pre-workout has gone bad or expired.
Yes, pre-workout supplements expire.
They usually have a "Use By Date" or "Expiration Date" and even the shelf life on their labels or packaging, so check those.
Many pre-workouts can still be used past their expiration date.
They should still be safe, but they will not be as effective anymore.
The pre-workout ingredients will lose their potency over time.
On the other hand, a pre-workout that has gone bad should not be taken anymore.
Pre-workouts can go bad, even when they're still in their original packaging.
It's likely to occur if the product has been improperly stored or the seal on its container has been broken.
Pre-workouts are also more likely to become spoiled if they contain certain ingredients that go rancid over time, like fatty acids or omega 3 oils or ingredients that absorb water like glycerin.
If the pre-workout has gone bad, you should not use it, as it is unlikely to be effective anymore and could potentially make you sick.
Like anything you consume, it's best to check the label on your pre-workout. You will most probably see the shelf life and the pre-workout supplement expiration date.
Also, check the packaging. Some pre-workout supplement manufacturers write the expiration dates on the tubs instead of the labels.
One of the best ways to tell whether or not your pre-workout is still fresh is to check its smell.
If there's an unusual or foul smell, it may be time to throw out the product.
A bad-smelling pre-workout means that the supplement has spoiled.
If you can't tell while in its powder form, you can prepare a small batch and smell that.
If any part of your pre-workout has visible mould, throw the whole thing out.
Evidence of mold is a key indicator that the product should not be used anymore.
Mould is dangerous because it contains bacteria, and if you ingest any of it, you could get sick, a nasty food poisoning, to be specific.
While checking for moulds, check the colour of the products as well.
If the powder looks any different, lighter or darker than usual, it's a sign that your pre-workout has gone bad.
If you notice discolouration, with or without mould, on your pre-workouts, throw them away.
Before using your pre-workout, check its consistency.
If you notice any clumps or lumps in the powder, then it may be time to throw out the product.
Bad, clumpy pre-workout signifies that the powder is not in its ideal condition.
Some small clumps are normal but larger clumps, or a single lump of powder will indicate that your pre-workout isn't fresh anymore.
Only try to taste the product if it passes the other tests.
This is not recommended as you risk stomach pain.
It's important to try out a small amount first in case it is indeed spoiled, and you didn't ingest enough to hurt you.
Aside from the condition of the powder, you can also know if the pre-workout has gone bad based on your condition after taking it.
Say, you did all the tests, and you couldn't tell if the powder had gone bad or you missed all the warning signs, and you took it.
Check your condition afterwards. Did it make you sick? Do you have an upset stomach?
If you feel anything weird, well, throw your product away and get some help if you feel like you need it.
You may also not get sick after, but if you feel like your performance didn't improve or that the pre-workout isn't effective anymore, it may have gone bad. Even if it didn't, it's not worth taking anymore, so you might as well toss it and get some fresh ones.
After buying the product, you may be tempted to see what your sealed pre-workout looks like but don't plan on using it yet - resist the temptation.
The earlier your open the tub, the earlier the day that the product goes bad will come.
Whether they are opened or sealed, it's crucial that you store your pre-workouts properly.
Pre-workouts should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Some people store them in the refrigerator while others put them in a closed cupboard.
A closed tub with moisture makes the ideal conditions for mold growth.
Moisture can cause mould and bacterial growth. Even if it doesn't, it will still cause your powder to clump.
If you're not storing it in an airtight container, then you'll also need to make sure that there aren't any leaks around the lid.
After using, make sure to close the lid tightly to prevent any moisture, air, and bacteria from getting in and ruining your product.
Desiccants are often added to products to help keep them fresh for a long time. They absorb moisture and prevent your product from becoming stale or spoiled. It also prevents clumping.
Make it a habit to mix, shake, or stir the powder to prevent them from clumping and keep its optimal condition.
If you weren't able to prevent clumping, don't worry, you can still do something about it.
If you have mild clumpy pre-workout powder, shaking the tub vigorously or breaking the clumps with a spatula or any dull item should do the trick.
If you're concerned that you may puncture the pre-workout container, you can fish out the clumps and break them in a sterilized container before putting them back or use the product directly after.
For larger and more stubborn clumps, blending is the best option.
Break the clumps into smaller clumps, so they fit your blender or food processor unit and blend away until you see that the pre-workout powder is fine again.
Make sure that the blender is clean and completely dry. Also, seal the lid tightly while blending and don't open it until the powders settle, so you don't create a powdery mess.
Supplements are an investment; they're not the cheapest.
To get the most out of their promised benefits and money's worth, you should ensure that they don't go bad.
You bought them to get the benefits, not get sick, so make sure to check if they're in their optimal condition before consuming them.
Thank you for reading, and see you in another article!