How long does protein powder last? (+7 types)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does protein powder last?”, and how to store protein powders?

How long does protein powder last?

The older the protein powder gets, the poor is its nutritional quality. It is because the added vitamins in the protein powders start to lose their potency once the product is past its Best-by date.The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of protein powder in the pantry.

In the pantry 
Protein powder (unopened)6-9 months past the Best-by date 
Protein powder (opened)3-6 months past the Best-by date 

After preparing the protein shake, consume it within 24 hours. The shelf-life of the prepared protein shake depends on what type of liquid you used to liquify the powder.

How to store protein powders?

Protein powder should be stored in a dark, dry and cool place in an air-tight container. If the original packaging of the protein powder is not resealable, transfer the protein powder to an air-tight container.

What are protein powders made up of?

Other than providing a whooping amount of protein, protein powder also support fat loss, blood sugar stabilization, blood pressure control, and bone health. Protein powders acn be extracted from milk, soy, collagen, pea, rice, and egg whites.

They also contain fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals in varying amounts. Addtitive slike flavoring agents, flavor protectors and enhancers plus thickeningg agents are commonly added.

Can expired protein powder make you sick?

With the exclusion of baby food or infant formula, expiry date only indicates the quality of the product and not the safety. Consuming old protein powder will not provide you the protein content that can be obtained form its fresh counterpart.

If you consume protein powders despite the presence of all the spoilage signs, it will definitely cause food poisoning.

Types of protein powders

Protein powders come from either plant or animal source and are usually available in three forms:

  1. Protein concentrates
  2. Protein isolates
  3. Protein hydrolysates 

Protein concentrates provide 60-80% protein, and isolates sprovide 90-95% proteins.

Whey protein

It is extracted from the leftover curd of the cheese. It is a rich source of protein and also retain some amount of lactose. Lactose content is the highest in the whey concentrates. Whey isolate has very little lactose left due to extensive processing.

Whey protein builds and maintains muscle mass, supports the athletes to recover from extensive exercise and increases the muscle strength in response when muscles are strength trained.

Casein protein

Casein also comes form milk source but the digestion rate is much lower as compared to whey protein.  It is because it converts into a gel as soon as it comes in contact with the stomach acid. Due to a thicker consistency, the gel reduces the gut motility and reduces the rate of gastric emptying. As compared to soy and wheat protein, casein protein does a better job at increasing MPS.

Egg protein 

Eggs have the highest Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). Egg proteincomes from the egg white. Egg protein is a source of allthe essential amino acids tat the body is unable to make. People who are allergic to dairy food but prefer animal-based supplements should consume egg protein.

Pea protein

For people who are dairy allergic, pea protein is a life saver. It is extracted from the yellow split pea, a high-fiber legume. Pea protein only lacks one essential amino acid. Pea protein is a rich source of BCCAs. The digestion rate of pea protein is lower tha whey and faster than casein.

Hemp protein

Hemp protein powder is another vegan-friendly protein powder. Hemp contains psychoactive component THC only in trace amounts. Hemp protein powders are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.howver, hemp protein is incomplete protein because it lacks lysine and leucine.

Brown rice protein 

Brown rice protien is an incomplete protein becaus eit lacks lysine. Therefore brown rice protein is considered inferior in nutrition as compared to the whey protein for building and maintianig muscles.

Mixed plant proteins

As the name indicates, mixed plant proteins combine the protein extracted from different plant sources to make a finished product with a complete protein souce; with all the essential amino acids. Brown rice, pea, hemp, alfalfa, chia seeds, flex sees, artichoke and quinoa seeds are usually used to make this powder.

Proteins from the plant source have a slow digestion rate as compared to those that are extracted from the animal source. This can limit the release of amino acids in blod which can be used immediately by the body after heavy exercise.


In this article, we answered the question “How long does protein powder last?”, and how to store protein powders?