Can you drink expired Premier protein drink?

Premier protein drinks are a popular protein supplement, often used as a meal replacement or post-workout recovery drink. They contain whey protein and are flavored like milkshakes, providing extra protein and nutrients in a convenient, portable form. However, like any food or beverage, Premier protein drinks do expire and have a shelf life printed on the packaging. So what happens when your Premier drink reaches its expiration date? Is it still safe to consume?

What happens when Premier protein expires?

When properly stored and sealed, Premier protein drinks typically have a shelf life of 9-12 months. The expiration date is a guide from the manufacturer as to how long the product retains peak quality and nutrients.

After the expiration date, degradation begins to occur:

– The whey protein may start to denature and lose structural integrity. Denatured proteins are more difficult for the body to digest and absorb.

– Oxidation can occur, breaking down nutrients like vitamins, omega-3s, and fragile whey proteins.

– The texture and flavor may change. Expired drinks may taste sour or gritty.

– Bacteria growth is more likely, causing spoilage.

However, with unopened, commercially packaged products like Premier protein, the expiration date is very conservative. The drinks do not necessarily ‘go bad’ or become unsafe to drink overnight.

How can you tell if expired Premier protein has spoiled?

With an unopened container, it is hard to tell if a Premier drink has started to spoil before opening it. Here are some signs of spoilage in opened protein shakes:

– Sour, curdled, or chunky texture
– Change in color or consistency
– Separation between the whey and liquid
– Mold growth
– Off smells

If there are no obvious signs of spoilage, an expired drink is likely still safe. Use your senses and judgment, but small changes in texture or flavor does not necessarily make it inedible.

Factors determining the safety of expired Premier protein drinks

How long an expired Premier protein drink remains safe to consume depends on several factors:

Storage conditions

Proper storage is key for longevity. Unopened Premier drinks should be stored in a cool, dry pantry away from light and heat. Refrigeration after opening can help extend the shelf life. If stored in less ideal conditions like hot garages or cars, the proteins and nutrients break down faster.

Package integrity

As long as the bottle or package remains properly sealed and unopened, the risk of bacteria or spoilage contaminating the product is very low. Once opened, the drinks should be consumed within 36 hours and refrigerated.

Age and expiration date

The further past the expiration date, the less nutritious and tasty the product. Premier recommends consuming within 36 hours of opening and within 9-12 months for unopened products.

Drinks that are many months or years expired have a higher risk of nutrient loss, oxidation, separation, and spoilage.

Your health

In healthy adults, consuming slightly expired Premier protein drinks is very unlikely to cause illness or side effects.

However, people with compromised immune systems, infants, and the elderly have a higher risk of getting sick from spoiled foods and beverages. If you are sensitive to dairy or whey, an expired drink also may be more likely to cause stomach upset.

Is it safe to drink Premier protein after expiration?

For most healthy adults, consuming a Premier protein drink a few weeks or even months past the expiration date poses a very low safety risk if it is properly stored.

However, the product quality and taste profile will start to degrade. Most nutritionists and dietitians agree that within 36 hours of opening and up to 1 year past the printed date, Premier drinks are likely safe though less tasty and nutritious.

Short term – under 3 months expired

Drinks that are under 3 months past expiration with no signs of spoilage are generally safe, especially if unopened.

The whey proteins and vitamins may start to degrade but are still in adequate amounts. Texture and flavor change slightly but are unlikely to cause illness.

Longer term – 4 to 12 months expired

In a tightly sealed container, Premier drinks can often last 4 to 12 months past printed expiration. However, the risk of texture, color, separation, and nutrient issues increases the longer you go past the date.

At over 6 months expired, oxidation and protein degradation is more significant. The manufacturer no longer guarantees quality or nutrition. Drinks may taste chalky or curdled.

While unlikely to be dangerous, you gain less benefit from greatly expired protein powder. The taste and texture also declines significantly.

Over 1 year expired

Consuming opened Premier drinks over a year past expiration comes with greater risks. At this point, oxidation has broken down nutrients. Vitals like vitamins A & C, potassium, omega-3s, and probiotics degrade over time.

Separation between liquid and whey layers is more likely. Bacteria has longer to grow, raising the chance of foodborne illness. The proteins have denatured and clump together, making them extra difficult to digest.

Over a year expired, it is not recommended to consume Premier drinks. The nutritional value is minimal and safety cannot be guaranteed. Best practice is to discard and purchase a fresh supply.

How to extend the shelf life of Premier protein drinks

To get the most longevity out of your Premier protein purchase, be sure to:

– Store containers in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard. Avoid warm places like near the oven or in garage.

– Limit light exposure that degrades nutrients. Store in opaque packaging.

– Refrigerate opened containers and consume within 36 hours.

– Check for dents, swelling, or damage to packaging that can allow spoilage.

– Write the purchase or open date on containers for reference.

– Freeze extras to extend shelf life up to 9 months. Thaw in fridge before drinking.

– Buy smaller packages rather than bulk if you cannot use up quickly.

– Buy fresh supply at least every 9 months to limit consuming expired drinks.

Following proper storage and food safety practices allows you to enjoy Premier proteins for longer while reducing food waste. Discard severely expired or spoiled products after 1 year.

Nutritional changes in expired Premier protein drinks

While an expired Premier drink may be safe for most healthy adults, its nutritional value and quality does start to degrade over time. Here are some of the changes that occur:

Whey protein

– Denaturation: The proteins unfold from their natural state and become difficult to break down and assimilate.

– Structural changes: The large whey molecules clump together when they expire, creating a grainy or chunky texture.

– Reduced muscle protein synthesis: Your body has a harder time utilizing the proteins for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

– Oxidation: Exposure to oxygen breaks down more fragile nutrients like vitamins A, C, B6, and omega-3 fatty acids. Levels drop over time.

– Decreased bioavailability: Your body cannot access and absorb the vitamins and minerals as readily when expired.


– Die off: The good bacteria in probiotic strains have a shorter shelf life. Their numbers and effectiveness reduce over time.

Flavor and texture

– Clumping: The proteins aggregate together causing grittiness and separation from the liquids.

– Muted flavors: Subtle flavors like chocolate or vanilla can fade.

– Curdling: Soured, chunky, or curdled texture from separation and bacteria.

While an expired Premier protein drink won’t be toxic, you lose some of the key whey protein, vitamins, probiotics, and flavor over time. The nutritional value drops off most significantly in the months after expiration.

Does expired Premier protein make you sick?

In most cases, drinking an expired Premier protein shake is very unlikely to make you sick.

Premier’s manufacturing standards and shelf-stable packaging prevent dangerous bacteria growth in unopened containers.

However, there are some potential side effects to be aware of from consuming expired shakes:

– Upset stomach – The whey and additives may cause nausea, bloating, or diarrhea when degraded. This is more common in people with dairy/whey sensitivities.

– Dehydration – Harder to digest proteins leach fluids. Drink extra water when consuming expired shakes.

– Reduced protein absorption – Denatured proteins are poorly utilized for muscle synthesis and recovery.

– Nutrient deficiency – Lower nutrient levels over time mean you get less benefit.

– Foodborne illness – Small risk from opened, contaminated shakes past 1 year expiration. Unlikely but possible.

While most people tolerate expired Premier protein drinks well, those with sensitivities or compromised immunity should exercise more caution or avoid entirely.

If you experience vomiting, diarrhea, or signs of food poisoning after drinking an expired shake, seek medical care promptly.


Can Premier protein make you gain weight when expired?

No, expired Premier protein drinks do not directly cause weight gain. The calorie and protein content stays mostly the same over time.

However, degraded proteins and amino acids are not utilized as efficiently by the body for building and repairing muscle. This can indirectly slow your metabolism.

Consuming very expired shakes with texture and flavor changes can also decrease your enjoyment and make you less likely to drink them as a healthy, low-sugar meal replacement.

Do the benefits of protein powder expire?

Yes, the protein benefits do decline after expiration. Denatured proteins are tougher to break down and less bioavailable to repair muscles and synthesize new tissue.

Oxidation also degrades delicate amino acids over time. Vitamins, probiotics, and other nutrients in protein powders lose potency as well.

Can bad Premier protein make you constipated?

Expired protein drinks are unlikely to directly cause constipation. However, the thicker, clumpier texture and degraded whey may be harder to digest.

Pair expired shakes with extra fluids to stay hydrated. Those very sensitive to whey and dairy could experience some temporary digestive upset like constipation from an expired product.

Will expired protein powder make me sick?

In most healthy people, slightly expired whey protein powder will not make you sick. Nausea or stomach upset is possible in sensitive groups or from drinks expired over a year.

Properly stored, unopened Premier protein drinks last 9-12 months past the date. Opened, they last just 36 hours refrigerated before the risk of foodborne illness increases.

If a shake smells odd, looks curdled, or shows other signs of spoilage, err on the side of caution and discard.

The bottom line

In general, you can safely consume Premier protein drinks up to one year past the printed expiration date as long as they have been properly stored. However, nutritional quality and taste does start to decline.

For best results, try to use up or freeze your Premier protein within 9-12 months. Discard severely expired containers over a year old.

By following safe food handling practices, you can enjoy these convenient protein supplements without worry well past the ‘best by’ date. Just be sure to check for signs of spoilage like smell, texture, and color changes before drinking.

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