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Can Pre-Workout Go Bad

Can Pre-Workout Go Bad – And Can You Still Take It?

Unlike most supplements, pre-workout is taken so that you can feel a very specific effect. Ingredients used will determine whether you want your pre-workout to improve mentally clarity and focus in the gym or whether you need it to get amped up for a training session. 

As you need to feel the effects of a pre-workout, ensuring it stays potent is something most people don’t consider until it’s too late! Therefore, people need to consider; can pre-workout go bad or expire, whether or not it can lose potency, and if you can still take it after a certain date…

Pre-Workout Overview

Pre-workouts are a great way to increase energy and focus before a workout. They’ve been proven to improve performance by significantly increasing training volume, as well as speeding up the loss of body fat.

Pre-workouts come in different forms such as tablets, powders or drinks and the effect can last 3-6 hours (depending on the product). While different pre-workout products contain different ingredients most will include caffeine, beta alanine, amino acids and creatine.

Many of us use pre-workouts before a session to improve performance. So knowing if and when these products go off and whether they can still be used effectively is important!

Check out this video on how to use pre-workout supplements to boost performance:

Does Pre-workout Expire

All pre-workout products have a shelf life and will expire. The expiration date will vary depending on the ingredients used and storage container but on average, most pre-workouts will expire after 1-2 years.

How Long Does Pre-Workout Last?

The expiration date for pre-workout can be found on the tub and it’s important to note that while each pre-workout will have an expiration date, many pre-workouts will expire much sooner if left in direct sunlight or in a moist environment when mold and hardening can occur.

A pre-workout can be expected to last for 1-2 years, especially if stored in an airtight, sealable tub. However, this will depend on the ingredients used as flavoring and organic compounds will expire much quicker.

Can Pre-Workout Go Bad?

Pre-workout products can go bad, even before the product’s expiration date. Signs that the pre-workout has gone bad include mold, a bad smell, clumping, or poor mixing. It’s likely to happen if a product has been improperly stored or if the seal on the product has been broken. 

Pre-workout products are also more likely to go bad if they contain certain ingredients, like fatty acids or fish oil which go off over time, or ingredients that absorb moisture like Glycerol. If the pre-workout product has gone bad you shouldn’t use it, as it’s unlikely to be effective anymore and can make you sick.

Can You Take Pre-workout After the Expiration Date?

Expiration dates on pre-workout supplements are an indicator of how long the ingredients within the product are most potent, as guaranteed by the manufacturer. 

In general then many pre-workouts can be taken after their expiration date, as they shouldn’t cause any problems. However, they may be less effective after their expiration date as some ingredients like many vitamins lose potency over time.

Although many products can be used after their expiration date, pre-workouts containing certain ingredients, like fatty acids, shouldn’t be used after their expiration date as these ingredients do go off. Significantly out of date pre-workouts should also be avoided.

To stop pre-workouts from going bad – before and after their expiration date – it’s best to store the product in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. There are also signs that the product has gone off that you should look out for which I will talk about next.

Can Pre-Workout Get Moldy?

Mold can develop in pre-workout products, especially powder forms. Mold is likely to develop in products that have been improperly stored, such as in direct sunlight. It can also develop if the product seal is broken and moisture gets into it. Mold is a clear sign that the product has gone off. 

Note – If any mold is present it’s important to throw the product away as it can make you sick.

Some liquid forms of pre-workout will go bad more quickly, especially those containing fat-based ingredients like fatty acids. These products should not be used after their expiration date or if they have been improperly stored such as in areas with direct sunlight. Taking these products after they have expired is a bad idea as they can make you sick.

How to Tell if Pre-workout Is Expired

As well as mold, other ways to tell if your pre-workout mix has gone bad are:

  • Bad smell – When you first open a pre-workout product it will have a usual smell (possibly of the flavouring if it’s a flavoured mix). Over time this smell will change slightly. If the product suddenly starts to smell different or badly then it can be a sign that the pre-workout has gone bad.
  • Clumpiness – If the seal of the product is broken then pre-workout can start to interact with the air and moisture. This can make powder forms of pre-workouts look clumpy, which can be a sign that it has gone off.. Some products are prone to clumpiness (even before their expiration date). This is especially the case if the pre-workout contains ingredients like Glycerol which attract water.
  • Not mixing – Like clumpiness if you find that your pre-workout supplement is no longer mixing properly then it can be a sign it has gone bad.

If your pre-workout product has any of these signs it is best not to use it as using pre-workout that has gone off is likely to be less effective and could make you sick.

Does Pre-workout Lose Potency Over Time?

If you’re using a pre-workout product it’s important to know if it’s going to be effective. The effectiveness of a product depends on the potency of its ingredients. 

Pre-workouts usually lose potency over time. While not all ingredients lose potency, after the expiration date ingredients like vitamins and amino acids start to breakdown which decreases their potency and will make them less effective to use. This usually happens over a 6-month period. 

The bottom line is that ingredients are most potent when they’re within the expiration date. So even if the product hasn’t gone bad after the expiration date it may not be worth using as it won’t necessarily be as effective anymore. 

How Long Is Pre-workout Good for After Mixing

Another common problem is how long pre-workout will last if it’s a mixed product. Ideally, these types of pre-workouts are consumed shortly after mixing. But pre-workout products can be used within 12 hours of mixing. This is good news if you want to prep your pre-workout mix ahead of time. 

Pre-workout mixes done in advance will still be effective and boost performance. But if you do mix your pre-workout hours ahead of time make sure you store it properly somewhere cool to stop it from going off.

In Summary

Pre-workout is, fortunately, one of the supplements that come with a good shelf life. If stored and used properly, it’s unlikely to go bad and will still remain potent up until its expiration date. Providing the pre-workout blend you choose doesn’t contain any perishable ingredients like fish oil, a pre-workout is unlikely to go bad or lose potency. 

To ensure your pre-workout doesn’t go bad, ensure the product is always sealed tightly to prevent air and moisture from getting in. This would lead to the pre-workout going clumpy and could also result in mold. Also ensure you store it in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight (generic advice but it will extend the shelf life of your pre-workout).

What Next

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