Pre-workout supplements are quite popular among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and bodybuilders since they help to increase energy, endurance, and performance during workout sessions.
These supplements are designed to provide a quick burst of energy, enhance focus, and delay fatigue, allowing individuals to push themselves harder and longer during their training sessions.
However, like any other supplement, pre-workouts have an expiration date. If you’re someone who takes pre-workout regularly, it’s extremely important to know does pre-workout go bad, and what risks may be associated with consuming expired pre-workout.
In this article, we’ll explore the topic of expired pre-workout supplements in-depth, including how to tell if your pre-workout has gone bad, the potential risks of consuming expired pre-workout, how to prevent your pre-workout supplements from going bad sooner, and much more. So, buckle up and keep reading!
Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?
Pre-workout supplements can go bad due to exposure to moisture, sunlight, or extreme temperatures, which can reduce the effectiveness of active ingredients. The shelf life of pre-workout varies by specific product and brand but typically ranges from 1-2 years from the manufacturing date.
Pre-workout supplements, like most other supplements, have an expiration date. This indicates that the supplement’s efficacy and safety may be at risk over time.
The expiration date is typically printed on the packaging and indicates the last date the product should be consumed accordingly.
It is critical to remember that the expiry date relates to the date before which the product is deemed safe and effective, not the date after which the product is deemed necessarily dangerous.
Over time it is seen that pre-workout supplements can break down and lose their potency, which can affect their effectiveness. Evidence has shown that expired supplements may contain lower levels of active ingredients, making them less effective than when they were first produced.
In addition, expired pre-workout supplements may also pose health risks due to the breakdown of the active ingredients, and the potential for the growth of harmful bacteria or mold. They can result in some negative side effects, such as nausea, anxiety, diarrhea, and other issues. That is why it is always recommended to check the expiration date of your pre-workout supplement before consuming it.
Understanding Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplements are dietary supplements commonly taken before exercise to enhance athletic performance [1, 2]. They usually include a combination of substances, such as caffeine, amino acids, and creatine, which act synergistically to boost energy, attention, and endurance during exercises [3, 4].
The effectiveness of pre-workout supplements largely depends on the quality and quantity of the active ingredients. For example, caffeine is a common ingredient found in pre-workouts and has been shown to improve exercise performance and increase alertness [5, 6, 7].
The quantity of caffeine required to obtain these advantages, however, varies by individual, and ingesting too much can result in severe side effects including jitters, anxiety, crash (tiredness), sweating, and sleeplessness (insomnia) [7, 8, 9].
Beta-alanine, which can help delay fatigue and enhance muscular endurance [10, 11], and citrulline malate, which is known to promote blood flow and minimize muscle soreness , are two more prevalent substances included in pre-workout supplements.
When choosing a pre-workout supplement, it’s important to consider your individual needs and goals, as well as any potential sensitivities or allergies to specific ingredients. It’s suggested to purchase from a reputable brand and to read labels carefully so that you can ensure the supplement is safe and effective.
How Do You Know Pre-Workout Has Gone Bad?
Do you suspect that your pre-workout supplement has gone bad? If yes, then there are a few signs to look out for before consuming it. These can help you determine if it’s still safe to use and is effective or if you should throw it out. Here are some ways to tell if your pre-workout has gone bad.
One of the easiest ways to tell if pre-workout has gone bad is by examining its appearance. If you notice any discoloration, clumping, mold, or change in consistency, it may be a sign that your lovely pre-workout supplement has started to degrade.
Changes in texture
Another way you can determine if pre-workout has gone bad is by its texture. If it feels gritty or sticky, it may be a sign that the ingredients have started to break down and your pre-workout has started to go bad.
Smell and taste
If you notice a sour or unpleasant odor coming from the pre-workout, it may be a sign that your pre-workout supplement has gone bad. Similarly, if the taste is off, undesirable, or distasteful, it may be an indication that the product has started to or has degraded.
Experiencing side effects
If you have been taking the same pre-workout for a long time and haven’t made a significant change in your diet or lifestyle and suddenly you start experiencing any negative side effects, such as nausea, anxiety or stomach upset, or other side effects of pre-workout supplements, it may be a sign that the product has gone bad or expired.
If you notice a decrease in the effectiveness of the pre-workout, such as reduced energy or focus during workouts even after taking pre-workout supplements, it can be just another indication and sign that the supplement has gone bad or is no longer potent.
Ultimately, it’s important to note that not all expired pre-workout will display obvious signs. Even if your pre-workout looks and smells fine, it could still be expired and potentially harmful to consume.
That’s why, it’s best to always check the expiration date and properly store your pre-workout to ensure it remains fresh and effective.
How to Prevent Pre-Workout Supplements from Going Bad?
To ensure your pre-workout supplements remain effective and safe for consumption, it’s important to take proper measures to prevent them from going bad. Here are 5 tips to prevent pre-workout supplements from going bad.
1. Check Expiration Dates Before Purchasing
Before purchasing pre-workout supplements, you need to make sure to check the expiration date. Do not buy a product that is about to expire or has already expired. This is a very important and basic tip but still, in this hectic world, people forget to check for expiry dates in a hurry and then end up buying expired or close-to-expiring products.
2. Store Pre-Workout in a Cool, Dry Place
Pre-workout supplements should be kept in a cold and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. Excessive heat can accelerate the breakdown of active ingredients, which can cause the supplement to go bad.
3. Avoid Exposing Pre-Workout to Moisture
Exposure to moisture can cause pre-workout supplements to develop clumps and lose their effectiveness. It’s best and recommended to keep the pre-workout in its original container or transfer it to an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting in and ruining your pre-workout supplement.
4. Make Sure the Desiccant Packet is There in the Container
Do not remove the desiccant packet in the container of pre-workout supplements as it is crucial for preventing the supplement from going bad.
The packet helps to absorb any moisture that may enter the container, moisture is known to accelerate the breakdown of active ingredients and decrease the effectiveness of the supplement.
Therefore, ensuring the presence of a desiccant packet is an important step you need to keep in mind in order to preserve the shelf life of pre-workout.
5. Don’t Purchase More Pre-Workouts Than You Can Use Before it Expires
Some people prefer to workout three days per week, while others workout four-five days per week. So, the usage of pre-workout supplements will vary from individual to individual.
It’s important to only purchase the amount of pre-workout that you can use before it expires. This will help prevent waste and ensure that you’re not consuming expired pre-workout.
By following the tips given above, you can help assure that your pre-workout supplements remain effective and safe for consumption.
I know that it can be frustrating to spend money on an expensive supplement that has a chance of causing side effects and going bad due to the slightest of mistakes. Taking the time to properly store and maintain your pre-workout supplements can prevent this from happening and help you achieve your fitness goals without any setbacks.
What Happens if You Take Expired Pre-Workout?
Taking expired pre-workout can have negative consequences on your health and workout performance. The potency of the active ingredients in pre-workout supplements decreases over time, and their breakdown can lead to a decrease in the usefulness of pre-workout supplements.
In addition, expired pre-workout supplements may contain harmful bacteria that can cause infections and other health issues. Moreover, taking expired pre-workout can also lead to certain negative side effects.
The breakdown of active ingredients in pre-workout supplements can cause clumping or changes in texture, making them difficult to consume. Expired pre-workout supplements may also have a rancid smell or taste, making them identifiable.
In terms of workout performance, taking expired pre-workout may lead to decreased effectiveness and reduced benefits of the supplement. You may not experience the energy boost or improved focus that you expect after taking a pre-workout supplement, leading to a less efficacious workout and reduced gains.
Understanding how to properly store and use pre-workout supplements is crucial for maintaining their effectiveness and safety. In this article, we have discussed various aspects of pre-workout supplements, including expiration dates, common ingredients, and signs of spoilage.
We have also provided tips for preventing pre-workout from going bad, such as checking expiration dates, storing in a cool and dry place, and avoiding exposure to moisture and sunlight.
In summary, the key points to remember are:
- Pre-workout supplements can go bad and expire causing them to lose their effectiveness.
- Consuming expired pre-workout can lead to health risks and negative side effects.
- Signs of spoiled pre-workout include changes in texture, smell, and taste, as well as experiencing side effects and decreased performance.
- To prevent pre-workout from going bad, store in a cool and dry place, avoid exposure to moisture and sunlight, and use airtight containers for storage.
- Always check the expiration date before purchasing and don’t purchase more pre-workout than you can use before it expires.
In addition, it is not recommended to consume expired pre-workout as it can lead to potential health risks, plus it would not provide any benefits at all. Although it is not necessary that expired pre-workout supplements will cause you side effects it’s still important to not consume them as a safety measure.
With these tips and information, you can confidently use pre-workout supplements to enhance your workouts and achieve your fitness goals.
More Pre-Workout Supplements Guides
- Outlaw JJ, Wilborn CD, Smith-Ryan AE, Hayward SE, Urbina SL, Taylor LW, Foster CA. Acute effects of a commercially-available pre-workout supplement on markers of training: a double-blind study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Aug 15;11:40. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0040-0. PMID: 25302053; PMCID: PMC4190923.
- Martinez, N., Campbell, B., Franek, M. et al. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 13, 29 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7
- Jagim AR, Harty PS, Camic CL. Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 24;11(2):254. doi: 10.3390/nu11020254. PMID: 30678328; PMCID: PMC6413194.
- Harty, P.S., Zabriskie, H.A., Erickson, J.L. et al. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 41 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0247-6
- Martins GL, Guilherme JPLF, Ferreira LHB, de Souza-Junior TP, Lancha AH Jr. Caffeine and Exercise Performance: Possible Directions for Definitive Findings. Front Sports Act Living. 2020 Dec 11;2:574854. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2020.574854. PMID: 33345139; PMCID: PMC7739593.
- Smith AP, Brockman P, Flynn R, Maben A, Thomas M. Investigation of the effects of coffee on alertness and performance during the day and night. Neuropsychobiology. 1993;27(4):217-23. doi: 10.1159/000118984. PMID: 8232842.
- Cappelletti S, Piacentino D, Sani G, Aromatario M. Caffeine: cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug? Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015 Jan;13(1):71-88. doi: 10.2174/1570159X13666141210215655. Erratum in: Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015;13(4):554. Daria, Piacentino [corrected to Piacentino, Daria]. PMID: 26074744; PMCID: PMC4462044.
- Temple JL, Bernard C, Lipshultz SE, Czachor JD, Westphal JA, Mestre MA. The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review. Front Psychiatry. 2017 May 26;8:80. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00080. PMID: 28603504; PMCID: PMC5445139.
- Kim TW, Shin YO, Lee JB, Min YK, Yang HM. Caffeine increases sweating sensitivity via changes in sudomotor activity during physical loading. J Med Food. 2011 Nov;14(11):1448-55. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.1534. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21883004.
- Hoffman JR, Emerson NS, Stout JR. β-Alanine supplementation. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012 Jul-Aug;11(4):189-95. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3182604983. PMID: 22777329.
- Furst T, Massaro A, Miller C, Williams BT, LaMacchia ZM, Horvath PJ. β-Alanine supplementation increased physical performance and improved executive function following endurance exercise in middle aged individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jul 11;15(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0238-7. PMID: 29996843; PMCID: PMC6042354.
- Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0. PMID: 20386132.
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