You blended up a delicious protein shake, then were called away to a meeting or important phone call before you were able to drink it. It has been about an hour and the protein has separated a bit from the liquid. Is is still safe to drink, and how long do protein shakes last?
If you love protein shakes and are wondering how long do protein shakes last after mixing, keep reading.
How Long do Protein Shakes Last?
Protein shakes are incredibly nutritious, and wonderful as a convenient meal or post-workout snack. In order to reap all the benefits and optimize the flavor and satisfaction of your protein shakes, you’ll want to enjoy it as soon as possible after it’s made.
When it comes to the unmixed, dried protein powder, it can typically stay fresh for 18 months or longer. This is a general rule of thumb, but if the product looks excessively clumpy, has changed color, or has an odd odor, it’s time to toss it regardless of how old it is.
Once the protein shake is blended, it should be consumed immediately for optimal taste and quality. If you aren’t able to have it right away, refrigerating it can make it last longer.
For example, an unrefrigerated protein shake can last approximately two hours at room temperature, but a refrigerated protein shake can last up to 72 hours. You should treat rehydrated whey protein similar to liquid cows milk, which has a much shorter shelf life than dried milk.
So how long can protein shakes last? The shake can last a bit longer, up to approximately 4 hours, if it is kept in a well-insulated cup that is able to maintain a temperature below 38 degrees. But regardless if it’s insulated or not, if it’s left at room temperature for too long, it will become warm and not taste as good. Colder beverages just tend to taste better and less bitter.
Additionally, If you add fruit to your protein shake, this may cause the color to change as the fruit oxidizes when it is exposed to air and light. It’s not harmful to eat oxidized fruit, but the color and taste may not be as appealing.
How to Make Your Protein Shake Last Longer
In a perfect world, you’ll want to mix your protein shake and drink it within about 30 minutes, but life doesn’t always go as planned. When it comes to extending your shake’s shelf life, it comes down to storage methods and the ingredients you’re adding to your shake.
1) Store it in the refrigerator
Just like any other food or beverage, keeping your protein shake out of the sun, in the refrigerator, or in a temperature-controlled cup is the most effective way to make it last longer. Keeping your shake in the fridge instead of room temperature significantly extends its shelf life to 72 hours.
2) Think twice about what you add to your shake
While fruit is a healthy additive to any protein shake, it isn’t the best option if you’re not drinking your shake right away. This is because many fruits cause the shake to turn brown, rendering it unappealing after a few hours. So if you’re going to save your shake for later, opt for a fruitless protein shake.
3) Add more ice and re-blend
If the liquid has separated from the solid protein powder, then all you need to do to refresh is shake or blend it again. You can do this by simply adding a few ice cubes to lower the temperature and freshen up the taste.
When it comes to knowing how long does a protein shake last, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. For the best quality protein shake, follow the tips provided in this article.
if you are ever unsure if a food is safe to eat, simply toss it. Food borne illnesses can cause serious issues, therefore it is best to avoid food that might not be safe to eat.
- How long do protein shakes last after mixing?
Ideally you’ll want to consume your protein shake within 30 minutes after mixing. Depending on how you’re storing it, the protein shake can last from 2 hours to up to 72 hours.
- How long does protein shake last at room temperature?
It is best within 30 minutes of mixing, but can last up to 2 hours before the protein and liquid start to separate. It may last up to 4 hours if covered and in a well-insulated cup.
- How long can a protein shake last in the fridge?
It can last up to 72 hours if stored at a proper temperature.
- Tunick MH, Thomas-Gahring A, Van Hekken DL, et al. Physical and chemical changes in whey protein concentrate stored at elevated temperature and humidity. J Dairy Sci. 2016;99(3):2372-2383.