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How Long Do Protein Shakes Last? A Detailed Analysis

Protein shakes are a delicious source of critical nutrients for healthy muscle growth. But have you ever wondered how long does protein shake last at room temperature after you mix it up? Or how long can a protein shake last in the fridge?

The answer to how long do protein shakes last is up to 2 hours at room temperature or up to a full day if stored in the refrigerator. The shake’s shelf life may also be affected by factors such as whether or not it contains milk.

From whey protein powders to vegetable proteins, protein shakes have many health benefits and are essential to a healthy individual’s balanced diet.

They offer a protein boost and are an effective way of eating some extra calories after a hard workout, especially when made with milk instead of water or when you go for a double scoop of powder in the shake.

Once mixed, the clock starts ticking on how long a protein drink is fit for consumption by the human body.

athlete drinking protein

What Affects Protein Shake Gross-ness Rates?

Can you put a protein shake in the fridge? What determines how long a protein shake is good for after mixing? Can you leave a protein shake in the fridge overnight? Can I make protein shake in advance? Do you have to refrigerate protein shakes?

These are some of the questions that you need to know the answers to before thinking about drinking an old shake. Otherwise you could risk getting sick.

Discovering an old protein shaker is an awful experience. A putrid smell, a curdled substance, or a discoloured liquid usually accompanies this experience.

The grossness rate of protein drinks is primarily affected by the type of protein powder used. Different powders have different longevity; for example, plant-based sources can last longer than dairy-based powders.

Let’s look at some of the factors that can affect your protein shake:

1. The Smell

The smell of a protein shake is one of the most telling indicators of whether it is still safe to consume. If the shake produces an unpleasant odor, it’s best to discard it.

This smell can be caused by bacteria growth or oxidation, leading to food poisoning. To avoid these risks, refrigerate your protein drinks and not leave them for too long.

2. The Texture

Another indicator of spoilage is the texture of the shake. If it becomes lumpy and thick, it’s time to throw it away.

3. Discoloration

The discoloration is another sign that protein supplements have gone wrong. If the shake has turned a darker color or has become cloudy, it’s likely that it has been contaminated and should not be consumed.

The discoloration is caused by oxidation, which occurs when oxygen interacts with the proteins in the powder over time.

athlete and the bottle of protein shake

4. Fungal Growth

Fungal growth is one of the most common causes of spoilage in protein drinks and can have adverse health effects if consumed. Fungi usually appear as small, white spots on the surface of the shake and can lead to an unpleasant odor and taste.


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5. Old Protein Shaker Containers

Old protein shaker containers can be a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. These may make you feel nauseous and ruin the flavor of your shake.

It’s essential to regularly clean and maintain your container to prevent the growth of these pathogens and prevent a gross protein shake.

What can make your protein shake gross if it sits for long?

If protein supplements are left for too long, they can become gross in several ways. The most noticeable signs of spoilage are changes in the smell and consistency of the shake.

Here are some of the reasons why your protein shake can go gross if it sits for too long:

6. Temperature

Temperature is a significant factor in what can make a protein shake gross. When exposed to room temperatures for too long, protein drinks can spoil, leading to bacteria and other contaminants growing inside the shake. This can cause your shake to smell bad or even make you ill.

7. Improper Storage

Proper storage is also essential for keeping protein shakes fresh. It’s important to store the drinks in a sealed container to keep out oxygen and prevent oxidation. The refrigerator is the best option, but an excellent, dry spot will do in need.

You can also find protein shakers that contain a compartment where you can store dry powder, so you can make your shake when you’re ready to consume it, without worrying about how long it’s been sitting out.

athlete drink protein shake

8. Type of Protein Powder

The type of protein powder is essential to know when wondering how long a protein shake is good. Plant-based protein and vegan options generally last longer than dairy-based powders due to their natural ingredients, allowing them to retain their taste and potency longer.

However, how long a specific protein shake will last without spoiling will depend on factors like the ingredients, and storage conditions, and processing methods used, even when it’s a plant-based shake.

9. Combining Ingredients

In addition to the type of protein powder used, other ingredients combined with the powder can also affect how gross a protein shake may become. This is especially true when you combine dairy products to make your shake.

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream tend to break down quickly and can cause a shake to become less palatable over time. Dairy products can also spoil quickly when not stored correctly.

Fruits and vegetables such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and spinach can also affect the gross-ness rate of a protein shake, as their natural sugars can cause them to break down quickly.

10. Expiration Date

Most protein powders have an expiration date which can range from one month to two years after purchase.

After this date, there may be a change in taste or odor due to oxidation that occurs when oxygen interacts with the proteins in the powder over time.

The Protein Shake We Recommend

Naked Shake Chocolate Protein Shake

Having read all of the above, it’s essential to research the effects of protein supplements and choose the best shake for your daily protein intake.

That’s why we recommend Naked Shake Chocolate Protein Shake! Not only does it have a fantastic flavor, but it is also vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and prepared with only the freshest, all-natural ingredients. A nutrient-rich shake, it’s packed with 20g of protein per serving.

It expires two years after opening, just like high-quality animal-based shakes, so you can enjoy it for a long time without worrying about spoilage or a gross protein shake!

The Protein Powder We Recommend

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

Also we recommend Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate! It contains one of the industry’s highest protein-by-weight ratios at 88% (28 grams of protein per 32 gram scoop). And also this product is one of the cleanest protein powders on the market.


Does Protein Shake Go Bad?

While the expiration date of a protein shake can vary from months to years, it’s important to note that they have an expiration date and can expire. Once mixed with water or milk, bacteria can begin to grow the shake also, causing it to spoil after a few hours. 

How Long Does a Protein Shake Last After Mixing?

A protein shake lasts for an hour at room temperature after mixing and up to one day if stored in the fridge. However, the shake could spoil quicker if it is made with milk and left out in a warm room.

Can I Use 2-Year-Old Protein Powder?

It is not recommended to use 2-year-old protein powder because it can lose potency and freshness over time. The ingredients in the powder may have broken down, leading to a decrease in nutritional value and an overall change in taste. Additionally, the proteins in the powder may have oxidized, leading to an off-putting smell and taste.


In conclusion, knowing the factors that can impact how long a protein shake lasts is essential. Temperature, improper storage, types of protein powder, combining ingredients, and expiration date are all important variables when figuring out how long is a protein shake good for after mixing.

If you need to mix your shake in advance; opt for a plant-based protein powder free from dairy and GMOs to ensure your shakes stay fresh and tasty for longer.

How do you make use of protein powder? Are you in favor of a powder made entirely from plants? Write your thoughts down below.

Also read:


  1. Does Protein Powder Really Expire? Here’s What Food Safety Experts Want You To Know // Women’s Health:
  2. Why You Might Not Want to Use Expired Protein Powder // Men’s Health:
  3. 11 of the Most Common Protein Shake Mistakes // Men’s Health:
  4. Does Protein Powder Expire? // Healthline:
  5. Can I use 2 year old protein powder? // Ironset24:

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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