How long can a protein shake last in the fridge | In room temperature | Shelf life of freshly mixed protein shake | Signs of spoilage | Can you drink spoiled protein shake | Tips for keeping protein shakes fresh | Shelf life of protein powders
Whether you are into muscle building or simply seeking to incorporate more protein into your diet, protein shakes can be a valuable addition.
However, it’s important to understand the proper storage and shelf life of these beverages to ensure their freshness and safety. So, how long can a protein shake last in the fridge?
How long can a protein shake last in the fridge?
When properly stored in the refrigerator, a protein shake lasts for around three days (72 hours).
Whether you want to drink a protein shake on a rest day or drink it as a pre or post-workout drink, it is always a good idea to store it in a refrigerator to maximize its shelf life.
However, it’s important to note that this time frame can vary depending on the specific ingredients used in the shake and the hygiene practices followed during preparation.
Extended refrigeration beyond 72 hours could affect the taste, texture, and protein quality of the protein shake.
How long will a protein shake stay good at room temperature?
Leaving a protein shake at room temperature for an extended period can significantly reduce its shelf life. It is generally advisable not to keep a protein shake unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
Bacteria can quickly multiply in a warm environment, increasing the risk of spoilage and potential foodborne illnesses.
In addition, if you mix protein powder with any type of dairy product like milk or a milk substitute, like almond milk, you should drink it within 30 minutes.
Keeping it for a longer duration can degrade the protein quality and make it unsuitable for consumption. Drinking spoiled protein shake may further lead to food poisoning and severe gastrointestinal discomfort.
How long does a protein shake last once mixed?
Once mixed, a protein shake typically lasts for about an hour at room temperature and up to a day when refrigerated. However, this timeframe may vary depending on factors such as the specific ingredients, storage conditions, and any added perishable components like fruits or dairy.
It’s best to consume the shake promptly or refrigerate it to maintain its quality and prevent bacterial growth.
Do protein shakes go bad? – Signs to watch out
Yes, protein shakes, even made with the best protein powder, can go bad over time. Here are some signs that indicate a protein shake may have gone bad:
- Foul odor: If your protein shake has a strong, unpleasant odor that is noticeably different from its usual smell, it could be a sign of spoilage.
- Discoloration: Check the color of your protein shake. If it has significantly changed from its original color or appears darker or cloudy, it may indicate bacterial growth or degradation.
- Chunky or clumpy texture: Protein shakes should have a smooth and consistent texture. If you notice any lumps, clumps, or a grainy texture, it could be a sign that the shake has started to spoil.
- Expiration date: Always check the expiration date on the protein shake container. If it has passed the indicated date, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
- Unusual taste: If the flavor of your protein shake is significantly different from what you’re accustomed to or if it tastes sour, bitter, or off, it could be an indication of spoilage.
- Fungal Growth: Look for visible signs such as small white patches of mold or discoloration, unusual textures or clumps, and a foul or off-putting odor that may appear in the protein shake if it has spoiled. Refrain from drinking such protein shakes to prevent adverse health effects.
Can you drink protein shake if it has gone bad?
No, it is not recommended to consume a protein shake that has gone bad. Consuming spoiled or expired protein shakes can lead to food poisoning or gastrointestinal issues.
Protein shakes typically contain various ingredients, such as proteins (whey, casein, soy, etc.), carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and sometimes added flavorings. These ingredients can degrade over time, especially if the product is not stored properly or has exceeded its expiration date.
Ways to store protein shakes to make them last longer
Storing protein shakes in the right way can help extend their shelf life. Follow the below-mentioned guidelines:
1. Read the label
Start by checking the instructions or recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Some protein shakes may have specific storage instructions.
If you want to store the protein shake overnight or want to drink it at a gap of more than 2 hours, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator. Protein shakes are typically more stable when stored in the refrigerator.
Cold temperatures help slow down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can spoil the shake. Ensure your refrigerator is set at a temperature below 40°F (4°C) U.S. Department of Agriculture: Refrigeration & Food Safety.
3. Use fresh and airtight containers
To keep your protein shake fresh and last longer, transfer your protein shake from its original packaging to a fresh and clean airtight container instead of a used and smelly protein shake bottle. This helps prevent exposure to air, which can cause oxidation and degrade the quality of the shake.
4. Keep away from light
Protect the protein shake from direct sunlight or excessive light exposure, as this can also contribute to oxidation and degradation of nutrients. Store the container in a dark location, such as a cabinet or pantry.
5. Avoid temperature fluctuations
Try to maintain a consistent temperature for your protein shake. Avoid exposing it to frequent temperature changes, such as taking it out of the refrigerator and leaving it at room temperature for extended periods. This can accelerate spoilage.
6. Check for signs of spoilage
Regularly inspect the protein shake for any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell, unusual texture, or visible mold. If you notice any of these signs, discard the shake immediately.
7. Follow expiration dates
Pay attention to the expiration date or use-by date/best-by date provided on the packaging. While storing the protein shake properly can help prolong its shelf life, it’s important to consume it before the expiration date to ensure its quality and safety.
How long is protein powder good for?
Protein powders like whey protein typically have a shelf life of one to two years when unopened and stored properly. In sealed packages, protein powders have been observed to last anywhere between nine to nineteen months PubMed: Physical and chemical changes in whey protein concentrate stored at elevated temperature and humidity.
Proper storage includes keeping it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, heat, and humidity. If the powder shows signs of spoilage, such as a rancid smell or unusual texture, it should be discarded for safety reasons.
A refrigerated protein shake can last around 2 to 3 days, assuming it has been stored properly in a sealed container. Always prioritize hygiene and pay attention to any changes in texture, smell, or taste.
If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and discard the shake. Remember, when it comes to your health, freshness, and safety should always be the top priority.
|U.S. Department of Agriculture: Refrigeration & Food Safety
|PubMed: Physical and chemical changes in whey protein concentrate stored at elevated temperature and humidity