Does Pre Workout Go Bad? How To Tell If It's Expired?

Does Pre Workout Go Bad? How to Tell if it’s Expired?

Last Updated on October, 2023

Does Pre-workout go bad? 

Well yes, it does! Just like every supplement and other food, your pre-workout can go bad too. 

Now, if you are a new user who doesn’t know much about pre-workout, you won’t understand whether the supplement is still effective or not.

But in this article, you will learn everything about how to figure out if your pre-workout gone bad and how you can prevent it.

So, let’s get started! 

What is a Pre-Workout Supplement?

pre workout supplement powder in a spoon9

Pre-workout is a type of supplement that helps to prevent fatigue and helps you to do better while exercising. Pre-workout supplements are mostly used for increasing energy and focus during workouts. 

Pre workout supplements are available many form and these are common in almost every bodybuilder’s meal plan. 

Most bodybuilders use it because it provides a lot of energy that even high-energy foods (like espresso shot, banana or banana) can’t give you. 

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?

Well, all food spoils. No food stays fresh for years (even can foods too). So, expecting your Pre-workout supplement won’t go bad is just the wrong move. 

Let me explain to you why. 

Every supplement is made with a different type of minerals, vitamins, protein, etc. Every ingredient of the Pre-workout has a different lifetime and a few cautions. For example, a whey protein powder has a shelf life of up to 19 months. (1)

However, it’s just shelf-life. Once you open a container of Pre-workout supplements, it can perform best for up to 3 months. 

It is because the Pre-workouts ingredients like vitamins and minerals can perform best for years, but the essential ingredients like amino acids start breaking down faster than other ingredients. 

And, if you don’t close the lid properly and keep it in high moisture or hot weather, the supplement will go bad faster. 

Does it Expire? 

Yes, Pre-workout expires. 

However, it depends on the label. You can find two types of expiry details in the packet of your supplement label. (2)

Which are: 

  • Best by/ Use by date
  • Expiration Date 

If your supplements have the ‘best by’ tag, it means the supplement can perform best within this much time. You can get optimal performance with the supplement for a long time. 

And, if your Pre-workout has an ‘expiration date,’ that means your Pre-workout is expired by date. However, many people use these expired supplements and think nothing will happen.

In fact, I have seen people removing molds and funguses and then having the supplement (yak).

Let me tell you one thing, if your supplements are moldy, don’t mix up properly, or have a nasty smell, having it won’t do better. Instead, you’ll be sick. 

How Long Will Pre-Workout Typically Last?

Usually, Pre-workout supplements have a shelf life of 2 years. But keep in mind that it’s from the manufactured date not from the day you purchase the supplement.

Then again, the shelf life policy only applies until you have opened it and kept it in a cold place away from moist and direct sunlight. 

Once you open a container, it’ll give you the best result for the next 8-12 weeks (finishing within eight weeks is recommended).

However, it completely depends on how you store Pre-workout. The expiration date also varies depending on how you have stored it.

For example: if you are keeping it in an air-tight container (or properly closed container), it can work great for up to 4 months (16 weeks).

After that, the ingredient of the supplement starts breaking down. 

Is it Safe to Drink Expired Pre-Workout Supplements?

A man drinking pre workout

No, it’s not! As is said earlier, having expired Pre-workout supplements only can do worse than good. Also, there are health risks involved. 

The supplement’s ingredients lose potency after the expiry date, and it starts getting infected by fungus and bacteria. Having it may cause you some health issues in the long run. 

What Will Happen if You Have an Expired Pre-Workout Supplement? 

Having expired Pre-workouts is not good for health. In fact, every manufacturer and nutritionist strictly warns not to have expired Pre-workout supplements. 

Many peer-reviewed studies show that it can harm your health and cause organ damage. Within the short period, if you drink expired Pre-workout, you may face: 

  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

So, if you have opened a new supplement tub, try to finish it within three months. And close the lid properly (or keep it in an air-tight container) if you want to save your supplement from going bad. 

How Long Can the Supplement Be Used if Mixed?

pre workout supplement mixing with water

Within the perfect temperature, you can use it within 12 hours. After that, the protein structure starts breaking, and it may cause lower energy levels and other health effects like:

  • Headache 
  • Dehydration 
  • Insomnia 
  • Tingling sensation 
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure

Also, try to have your supplement 30 minutes before the workout. It is because, within 30–60 minutes, the supplement starts working. It stays in the human body system for the next 4-6 hours

How to Find Out if Your Pre-Workout Supplement Has Actually Gone Bad or Not? 

pre workout powder inside a plastic spoon

Let’s be honest; no one wants to throw a big bucket of Pre-workout. It’s because it’s expensive, and many cannot afford to waste it.

So, how can you determine if it’s really time to throw out your supplement or not? Well, here are several factors to consider. 

Crossed Expiration Date 

The basic one is to check whether your Pre-workout’s expiry date is over or not. If it’s over but looks normal and doesn’t smell bad, then check other considerations below. 

Visible Mold in Pre-Workouts 

A Pre-workout expire faster when they catch molds. Suppose your Pre-workout has molds or anything fungal in it. There is no way you can use it. 

I have seen people remove the molds and funguses and have it. And, when it doesn’t work or reacts, they complain! But the truth is, it won’t make you perform better, instead it’ll make you sick. 

Get rid of it and buy a new tub. 

Abnormal Color 

The color of Pre-workout powder says a lot. When you open the vacuum seal container, you see the brighter color of the powder.

If it’s expired, it’ll get darker or look faded, and it’s a sign that the powder is losing its prime. It’s considered a warning sign.


The clump is a confusing situation. It is because, once you the vacuum-sealed box, water can get into it or get attacked by moisture; as a result, clumps, and lumps occur in the powder. 

Is Clumpy Pre-Workout Bad? 

We think small clumps are quite normal, and it isn’t a big deal. 

But when you see clumps and lumps in your powder, it means at least 1% of its efficiency has been sacrificed. Also, bigger clumps and lumps can be a big problem too. 

Strange Odor

If you have seen a few changes in the color of the powder, it’s time to go through an odor taste. Take a scoop of the protein powders and smell them. If it has a bad smell, then it has started spoiling. 

Nasty Taste 

Taste plays a big role. If you feel something fishy, make a small sample drink with the Pre-workout powder. If it tastes weird or nasty, don’t take it again. 

Throw it off! 

It Doesn’t Mix Properly

So, there are two situations here to consider. 

  1. If it doesn’t mix easily and if the powder keeps floating over the liquid then it means that it’s gone bad, and if you use it you will see little to no result. 
  2. Even after trying for a long time, the powder doesn’t mix properly and there will be particles and bubbles floating over the drink. It means your fine powder has started going bad.

Upset Stomach

After having the supplement you were doubting, observe what’s happening. If you are not feeling well and facing health issues like stomach ache or gas-forming, then don’t have it again. 

It’s not good anymore. Consuming it again will make you sick.

Performance Decrease 

I highly recommend that everyone keep a record of exercising once they have started taking pre-workout supplements. It’ll help you to understand if you are doing better or not. 

A record will help you determine whether your performance is decreasing. If it’s declining, then it’s time to accept that the quality of your Pre-workouts is declining.

No Result 

If your Pre-workout goes bad, the first symptom is that it won’t work anymore. Even after having it, you won’t see any improvement in your performance during the workout. Instead, it’s harmful for your health. 

How to Prevent Pre-Workout From Going Bad? 

pre workout powder spreading from a spoon

I hope you have already understood that if you want to get the best result from your Pre-workout supplements, you have to be attentive (unless you’ve to spend again and again).

So, here I have a few hacks that can help you to prevent your pre workout from going bad. So, check it out! 

Use it More Often 

If you have opened it, then use it! There is no other better option. Push yourself to exercise 3-4 days a week and have pre-workout before your workout. There is no better option for you! 

Shake it Up

If the pre-workout hasn’t been consumed, shortly before opening the container, shake it up! This way, all the clumps will vanish (especially those small clumps). 

So, next time, before opening your Pre-workout, don’t forget to shake it up! 

Don’t Unseal (If it’s Not Necessary)

See, I have seen people opening new packets and not using them for months. And, later on, they keep whining, why does the Pre-workout go bad? 

It because the container of the pre workout is vacuum-sealed and it means the life expiration (shelf-life) date doesn’t matter if you open it. It’s no longer air-tight and not going to stay fresh for years. That’s why they use multi-layers of protection. 

Once you open it, you can get the best supplement for the next 12 weeks. So, unless you will use it, don’t open it! 

Avoid Water

Sometimes, when we are in a rush while making the Pre-workout shake, we keep the lid open, and a few drops of water get into the tub. 

Now, we don’t focus on it. But a few drops of water can cause clumps which may impact its efficiency.

So, once you get a scoop, close the lid PROPERLY.

Store in a Cool Place 

The one key secret to keeping your Pre-workout safe is to keep it in the perfect place. Don’t keep it somewhere the temperature fluctuates- it’s where all the molds get a chance to start growing.

If you live in warm humid environment, consider keeping it in the fridge, and if you are living somewhere where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate a lot, you can keep it in your kitchen cupboards too. (3)

However, I prefer to keep it in the refrigerator, safe and cool.

Keep it Away From Moisture 

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad With Moisture? 

The quick answer is, yes, it does! 

Moisture is the biggest enemy of Pre-workout and other dietary supplements. So, keep it in a dry place and away from direct sunlight.

Close the Lid Tightly

The most common mistake I’ve seen people making is not closing the lid tightly. Many people throw their unclosed containers in the gym bag and leave home in a rush. 

As a result, the Pre-workout comes in contact with air, moisture, water, and sometimes harmful bacteria and funguses. 

So, if you were thinking, does Pre-workout go bad if you don’t close the lid tightly?

The short answer is, yes, it does! 

Most supplements companies warn about it in their packaging too. So, next time, check whether the lid is closed properly or not! 

Don’t Remove the Silica Packet From the Container

The small silica packet (which most of us remove right after opening the content) is actually a life-saver. Most supplement manufacturers know that the Pre-workout is vulnerable to moisture. That’s why they provide it inside the packaging. 

Even in the silica packet, it’s written to remove it but don’t do it if you want to save your pre workouts from moisture

Generally speaking, if you are removing the silica packet, it will expire faster (in fact, before the expiration dates). 

Get Just the Amount You’ll Need

Whenever I used to see mega deals on Pre-workouts, I could not resist and order them. I believe it happened to you too. 

And that’s the reason behind why we have to dump at least half of the powder. It’s not just a waste but demotivating too. 

Every famous health and fitness writer, nutritionist, and many health journals warn us of this scheme, but still, we fall into the trap. So, buy the right size, save money and stop wasting! 

How to Get Rid of Clumpy Pre-Workout? 

Clumpy Pre-Workout powder

Sometimes, there is a situation between fresh, expired, and clumpy. Is Pre-workout good as clumpy? 

Mostly yes! There are several things you can do to get it back in form. If you open it after a few days, you may find many small clumps, and after a few months, you can see some big chunks or a whole brick of powder too. 

In that case, these are some ways out you can try! 


As I said earlier, shake it up! It’ll transform all the small clumps into powder again. So, before opening the container, ensure it’s air-tight and shake it for a while. 

By doing this, all the small clumps should have vanished. 


If the powder has formed into chunks, use a butter knife or a spoon, break them into powder or small clumps, and shake them again! 


If the powder becomes a solid mass, take it out of the packaging, place it in a blender, and keep blending until it’s fine powder again! 

However, do these only if the powder hasn’t passed the expiration date. 


We all have certain fitness goals (weight loss or getting some muscles on). For healthy living, a regular workout is essential. And, for the extra energy to do well in your training session, you need Pre-workout supplements. 

I hope now you have learned how to rely on other details instead of relying on the ‘use by date’ and how to prevent your supplement from going bad as well. 




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Linda Walter
I’m a fitness trainer and a health coach. My GOAL is to empower everyone to live a healthier life even after passing their prime. You can find more about me here.

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