Pre-Workout Expiration: Can Pre-Workouts Go Bad?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 13, 2023

You've probably heard about pre-workouts and how they can boost your workout performance.

You rely on your pre-workout supplements to give you the energy and focus needed to power through your workouts.

But can pre-workouts can go bad? And if so, how can you tell?

In this article, we'll dive into the topic of pre-workout expiry and provide useful tips on how to store and use your supplements safely.

We’ll explain how to know if your pre-workout has expired, and the proper ways to store your supplements.

So, let's dive in!

Can Pre-Workouts Go Bad?

Yes, pre-workout supplements can go bad or expire, especially if not stored properly or used past their expiration date.

The effectiveness of the ingredients can decrease over time, and they may not be safe to consume.

(Read: Safest FDA Approved Pre-Workouts)

Understanding Pre-Workout Expiry

Understanding the expiry of your pre-workout supplement is crucial for its effectiveness and your health.

Consuming expired pre-workout can lead to gastric distress, reduced potency of the ingredients, and in some cases, even mold development.

Pre workouts generally help with motivation and focus, as it’s supposed to feel like that.

To avoid these issues, always check the expiry date and store your pre-workout properly.

The Shelf Life of Pre-Workouts

Like all supplements, pre-workouts have a shelf-life.

Typically, they expire after 1-2 years, depending on the ingredients and storage conditions.

However, exposure to direct sunlight or a mold-friendly environment can hasten this process.

Unopened Pre-Workout Expiry

For unopened pre-workout supplements, the expiry date is usually around two years from the date of manufacture.

This is the period during which the supplement is expected to deliver its intended effects at maximum potency.

However, it's essential to note that the actual usable shelf life could be less than two years since you purchased the supplement sometime after the manufacture date.

Opened Pre-Workout Expiry

Once opened, a pre-workout supplement typically lasts for 1-2 years.

It is essential to monitor the condition of your opened pre-workout, as it can go bad earlier if exposed to unfavorable conditions.

Signs that your pre-workout may have expired include mold, a strange smell, clumping, or not mixing well.

Signs That Your Pre-Workout Has Expired

1. Smell

An initial sign that your pre-workout might have expired is a change in smell.

If the product suddenly starts to smell strange or different from when you first opened it, this could indicate that the pre-workout has gone bad.

2. Clumping

If your pre-workout starts to clump, it can be a warning sign that the supplement is past its prime.

Clumping occurs when the seal of the product is broken, allowing the pre-workout to interact with air and moisture.

This interaction can cause the powder to become clumpy and indicate that the pre-workout has gone off.

3. Mixing Issues

Another sign that your pre-workout supplement has expired is if it no longer mixes as well as it used to.

If you notice a change in the texture or consistency when you mix your pre-workout, this could be a tell-tale sign that the product has gone bad.

4. Mold

Visible mold growth is a definite indication that your pre-workout has expired and should not be consumed.

Mold can pose serious health risks, so if you see any mold in your pre-workout supplement, discard it immediately.

Pre-Workout Mixed with Water

Once mixed with water, it is best to consume your pre-workout within 12 hours.

Avoid exposing the mixed pre-workout to temperature fluctuations and sunlight.

Ideally, consume the pre-workout 30 minutes before starting your workout at the gym.

Mixing your pre-workout the night before is not recommended, as it could lead to a breakdown in the protein structure, resulting in lower energy levels and overall performance.

Clumpy Pre-Workout: Is It Safe to Use?

If your pre-workout is clumpy but within its expiration date and shows no signs of mold, it is safe to consume.

Clumping is a natural occurrence due to the presence of hygroscopic ingredients, such as glycerol, which attract moisture.

Minor clumping does not affect the safety, quality, or potency of your supplement.

How to Store Your Pre-Workout Properly

To prolong the quality of your pre-workout supplement, ensure that it is stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Always keep the container tightly sealed to prevent air and moisture from entering, which can lead to mold and clumping.

Some people even opt to store their pre-workout in the refrigerator, where it is cold and dark, to maintain its quality.

How To Prevent Pre-Workout from Going Bad

1. Proper Storage is Key

The first step in preventing your pre-workout from going bad is proper storage.

Here's how:

2. Keep it Cool and Dry

Heat and moisture are the enemies of pre-workout supplements.

They can cause the ingredients to break down and the powder to clump together.

To avoid this, store your pre-workout in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

3. Seal the Container Tightly

Air exposure can also degrade your pre-workout.

Always ensure that the container is sealed tightly after each use.

This prevents air and moisture from getting in and keeps your pre-workout fresh.

4. Mind the Expiry Date

Pre-workout supplements come with an expiry date, usually printed on the container.

While some supplements may last beyond this date if unopened and properly stored, it's best to use them before the expiry date to ensure maximum effectiveness.

5. Don't Mix Pre-Workout with Water in Advance

Pre-workout supplements are meant to be mixed with water just before consumption.

If you mix your pre-workout with water and leave it for too long, it can go bad.

So, mix your pre-workout only when you're ready to consume it.

Related: Can you take pre-workout twice a day?

6. Use a Desiccant

Consider using a desiccant, a substance that absorbs moisture, to keep your pre-workout dry.

Many pre-workout supplements come with a small desiccant packet in the container.

If yours doesn't, you can buy them separately.

What To Do if Pre-Workout Is Clumped Up

So, you've opened your pre-workout container and found it clumpy.

What now?

Here's what you can do:

1. Use a Spoon or Fork

The simplest way to deal with clumpy pre-workout is to break it down manually.

Use a clean, dry spoon or fork to break up the clumps.

Be sure to do this gently to avoid sending powder flying everywhere!

2. Shake the Container

If the clumps aren't too hard, you can also try shaking the container vigorously.

The movement can help break up the clumps and redistribute the powder.

Popular Pre-Workout Brands and Expiration

C4 Pre-Workout

Like all pre-workout supplements, C4 Pre-Workout has an expiration date printed on the container.

To ensure the effectiveness and safety of the product, always consume it within the specified period.

Alani Nu Pre-Workout

Alani Nu Pre-Workout also comes with an expiration date on the packaging.

Adhere to the expiry date to maximize the supplement's potency and avoid any potential health risks.


Does pre-workout expire if unopened?

Does pre-workout expire if unopened?

Yes, unopened pre-workout supplements have an expiration date, typically two years from the date of manufacture.

But it can last past its expiration date if stored properly.

What happens if you take an expired pre-workout?

Consuming expired pre-workout can lead to reduced potency of the ingredients, gastric distress, and even mold development in some cases.

Does pre-workout go bad in water?

Yes, pre-workout can go bad in water if left for over 12 hours or exposed to direct sunlight.

Pre-workout mixed with water should be consumed within 12 hours.

Exposure to sunlight or temperature fluctuations can cause the pre-workout to go bad in water.

Can I still use clumpy pre-workout?

It is safe to use as long as your clumpy pre-workout is within its expiration date and shows no signs of mold.

What is the expiration date of C4 pre-workout?

Like all pre-workouts, C4 has an expiration date printed on its container.

How long does pre-workout last?

Opened pre-workout supplements usually last for 1-2 years, while unopened pre-workout supplements have an expiration date of around two years from the date of manufacture.

How will I know when my pre-workout will expire?

Your pre-workout supplement's expiration date can be printed on the container.

Always adhere to this date to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the product.

Do popular pre-workout brands like C4 and Alani Nu expire?

Yes, all pre-workout brands have an expiration date printed on their packaging.

Consuming the supplement within the specified period is essential to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

Bottom Line:

Pre-workouts can indeed go bad, and consuming expired ones can lead to unpleasant side effects.

This could mean encountering a moldy substance, lumpy powder, or a product that has exceeded its suggested use-by date.

Always check the expiry date and store your supplements properly to ensure they stay fresh and effective.

Nonetheless, a pre-workout doesn't necessarily need to surpass its expiration date to be considered unfit for consumption.

If improperly stored, these supplements can lose their effectiveness and may even pose a risk to your health.

For long-term storage, we recommend storing your pre-workouts in the freezer for the best results.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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