Consuming protein shake before or after a challenging workout is great for muscle-building and weight loss strategy. It leaves your body feeling satisfied, fuels the muscles, is tasty, and is essential for people who don’t have time to cook or sit down for a leisurely breakfast or lunch.
If you ever wonder how long you can store a protein shake in the fridge, then keep reading.
I’ll share everything you need to know about the optimum temperature to store protein shakes or protein powders and other tips on properly storing protein powder or shake.
How Long Will a Blended Protein Shake Last in the Fridge?
Refrigerator – 24 – 72 Hours
You can store protein shakes in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Homemade protein shakes usually last up to 72 hours as long as they’re appropriately stored in the refrigerator all the time (in an air-tight container or bottle and below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
However, if you store it longer than four days, it will lose its texture and taste. The cold temperature in the fridge decreases the bacterial growth rate and prolongs the life of a refrigerated homemade shake.
As much as possible, avoid leaving your protein shakes in the refrigerator too long and consume them in the morning. Store the shakes in the fridge for four hours if there are still leftovers. If you extend more than those hours, protein powders may lose their nutrients.
Room Temperature – 2 Hours
Protein shakes can last up to two hours when left out at room temperature.
If a protein shake has been left open for more than two hours at room temperature, discard it immediately because bacterial growth occurs faster at 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Optimum temperature to store protein shakes or protein powders
Proteins contain amino acids that play an essential role in muscle development and maintaining muscle mass. When stored correctly, protein shakes remain ready to drink within 24 hours.
You should keep protein shakes or powders in the fridge at 39 degrees Fahrenheit or four degrees Celsius. This temperature ensures that any bacteria present in the protein powder remain dormant.
For an unblended protein powder, it can last for up to nine to 19 months when stored in a dry, cool, and dark place away from heat and direct sunlight. If the protein powder has some additives that prolong its shelf life, it may last two years when stored properly.
Can I mix protein powder with water?
Sure, you can. Protein powder is easier to digest and helps the body extract the essential nutrients needed to repair sore muscles and recover faster post-workout.
How long does a protein shake last after mixing?
Protein shakes are designed to be mixed and consumed within a few minutes. Once combined, a protein shake will worsen and often last only two to four hours if left unrefrigerated.
Shakes left out for more than four hours at room temperature may not be entirely undrinkable, but they are far more digestively risky and less pleasant than the fresh kind. Therefore, the best approach is to make a protein shake as close as possible to when you drink it.
How To Tell When a Protein Shake or Powder Has Gone Bad?
Signs that a protein shake or powder has gone bad include a bitter taste, clumping, changes in color, and a rotten smell.
Researchers from the Oregon State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology conducted an accelerated shelf-life test, and they found out that a whey protein powder has a shelf life of more than one year or up to 19 months when stored in a typical storage condition (35% humidity and 70°F (21°C)).
An accelerated shelf-life test is a test that estimates and measures a product by storing it in stressful conditions, such as humidity and high temperature.
Want to give protein shakes a go? Find the best low-calorie protein powder in this list.
5 Tips to Properly Store Protein Powder and Protein Shake
Protein powders are stored differently than other types of food. You must keep them away from moisture and direct sunlight to stop them from turning gross. Below are additional tips on storing your protein powder and protein shake properly:
1. Use a proper container
The best way to properly store a protein powder or shake is to put it in a glass pitcher, an airtight container, or a sealable plastic bag. Then, put them in the refrigerator to make sure they stay cold longer.
2. Place your protein powder in a cool, dry environment
Protein shake lasts long when placed in a cool, dry, and dark (away from direct sunlight) environment. Preferably, the storage condition should be 70°F and 35% humidity. When already mixed, you can keep protein shakes in a kitchen cabinet, pantry, or refrigerator.
3. Do not add bananas in a blended protein powder if you’ll leave it overnight
Bananas make an excellent addition to a protein shake because they offer creamy texture, creamy texture, and are packed with enough fiber and nutrients to keep you feeling full longer.
However, don’t add much fruit to a blended protein powder if you’ll leave it overnight and consume it in the morning. Otherwise, the bananas will turn brown.
Adding bananas to your protein powder and letting it sit there overnight won’t affect your protein shakes’ nutritional value and flavor, but they could look unappetizing.
Instead of bananas, you can mix protein powder with milk (or soy milk), orange juice, apple juice, or cereal if you want better texture and taste. Still, plant proteins are better than milk protein, such as casein or whey protein, because excluding milk reduces significant bacterial concerns.
Check out this link if you want to know more about protein intake and protein powder without artificial sweeteners.
4. Do not put raw eggs
Adding raw eggs to protein powder may increase the protein content you consume and help you achieve your fitness goals sooner than a simple protein shake alone. Still, we don’t recommend it if you will store the protein shake in the fridge overnight.
Not adding raw eggs to your protein shake reduces your risk of Salmonella infection. Another condition that may reduce by eating raw eggs is biotin depletion. The egg white contains a tetrameric biotin-binding protein called avidin, which tightly binds biotin and prevents it from intestinal absorption.
Cooking eggs will inactivate avidin and allows biotin to be utilized and absorbed.
5. Re-blend the refrigerated protein shake
Re-blend the refrigerated protein powder or shake it in the morning or a few hours before consuming it.
Before consuming it, there is nothing harmful about pre-mixing a protein shake or powder. However, remember that once mixed in liquid, a protein powder will break down the protein into smaller chains of acids – ready to replenish your body and refuel your muscles.
So, stick with the 24 hours (refrigerated) and two-hour (fresh) guidelines.
Keeping the protein shake longer in the fridge will impact the protein content and make it not taste as fresh as when mixing it. If you want to refuel on the go with minimal fuss, try Muscle Milk 100 Protein Shake.
If you like this article, you might want to read our other reviews at ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.