A lot of creatine products get shipped without an expiry date, which can make you wonder does creatine expire? Or how long can it last? Let us quickly check.
When you are following a vegan diet, taking a vegan creatine supplement is a healthy option as it enriches you with the goodness of protein and other nutrients, which otherwise might be lacking from your daily food options. Creatine supplements or anything of that sort is sometimes purchased with a lot of enthusiasm and in the long run, you discontinue and again feel like scooping out of the same tub. In such a condition, it is quite obvious to check the expiry date of the product.
On checking the expiry date, you might be disappointed to see no expiry date marked on the label or seeing it has already expired. Hence, we are going to give you a thorough analysis of the shelf life of creatine.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is a specific amino acid produced naturally in our body. Also, there are different types of creatine supplements available that you can consume on a daily basis. If you follow a strict vegan lifestyle, you can choose the vegan creatine supplements we have already reviewed. The most common and popular of all-vegan creatine supplements is creatine monohydrate.
What these supplements do is that they activate or increase the phosphocreatine stores in your body, which is essential in creating more adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP helps fitness enthusiasts and athletes to train longer and harder, raise anabolic states, and improve cell signaling. These fitness enthusiast must also have sports drinks like Gatorade after checking its vegan status.
Can Creatine Expire?
Most of the creatine products last for at least 2-3 years after its production. So, as most of the products like Quinoa or Canola Oil has shelf like, does creatine powder expire too? Creatine has more shelf life than whey or many other products. 2-3 years of shelf life is even longer than the expected expiration dates mentioned on most products. Hence, you need not worry initially.
The most common supplement creatine monohydrate powder can stay for long and is unlikely to break down into creatinine, which is the waste product. Even poor storage or time cannot cause the product to break down easily.
A recent study shows that creatine monohydrate hasn’t begun to break down even after 4 years. The product was stored at a high temperature of 140°F or 60°C. It means that storing the product at a high temperature can delay the process of decay.
Other supplements like creatine ethyl ester and liquid creatine are less stable when compared to creatine monohydrate. These products will breakdown more quickly into creatinine after their expiration dates. Said that we cannot deny the fact that time and poor storage can still impact the product and cause the breakdown.
How Long can Creatine Last?
Creatine shelf life is more than the expiry date mentioned on the label. It can last even up to 2-3 years after the date of manufacture. Hence, you can look for the manufacturing date on the label when you are unable to find an expiry date mentioned on the label.
Creatine monohydrate can last for even more than 2-3 years when you store it properly. So, all you need to do is follow the storage guidelines and use it and be absolutely relaxed. When you follow the storage guidelines properly, you can consume your pack of creatine monohydrate for a long time.
How Should You Store Creatine?
Creatine should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. So, the first thing you need to ensure is that you find an airtight container or use the airtight container that your creatine is packed in. If you buy creatine in a pouch or some other packaging, you must buy or find an airtight container to store it properly.
Secondly, you should store your creatine away from sunlight. You should avoid keeping your creatine in places that are close to the oven. Thirdly, you need to avoid storing your creatine in a place that is prone to too much moisture or damp. With moisture, bacteria can come easily, which is the only way your creatine might truly go bad.
These can slow down the process of breakdown, keeping your creatine dry and intact for longer. Many people store creatine in the refrigerator as it is dry, cool, and moisture-free and you can consider the same.
How Do You Know If Creatine Has Gone Bad?
You can easily get deceived since expired creatine looks much the same as regular creatine. The breakdown process doesn’t affect much of a physical change of the product. However, here are some signs that tell you if your bottle of creatine is safe for consumption.
Lumpy: The first sign of moisture is a lump and therefore, try to see or feel the texture of your supplement. You should discard your creatine if lumps have formed.
Smelly: Another sign of expired creatine is the strong, pungent odor that is usually different from how creatine usually smells. Do not use the creatine supplement if the smell changes.
Discolored: Spots with faded or dissimilar color can be a sign of stale creatine supplement. Hence, check the color closely and if tiny spots are discolored, you should discard your supplement.
If any sign of the above appears on your creatine supplement, you should consider not using the old pack of creatine anymore.
Can Expired Creatine Make You Sick?
The effects of creatine on the human body have been well studied and documented. Therefore, it is considered safe to consume. So, can old creatine make you sick?
No, expired creatine will not make you sick in general. If you have consumed creatine supplements before without noticing any sign of sickness or discomfort, you should not worry much.
As we have already known that the nature of creatine monohydrate is less likely to breakdown easily, you should not worry about the expiry on the first point. Even if it breaks down, it will primarily lose potency and not become in any way harmful.
Said that we cannot ignore the chances of bacteria introduced through moisture or your supplement being left out. When the color, aroma, or consistency change, you need to discard the pack of supplements instead.
Can You Prevent Creatine from Expiring?
Creatine takes very long to expire and the process of breaking down is more organic. Yet, there are a few precautionary measures following which you can delay the process for a while. It means that you can actually find ways to make it last longer than the time specified on the container.
You can prevent your creatine from expiring by following the steps below.
Keep it in an airtight pack: You need to keep your creatine supplement stored in an airtight container. It will not only keep the creatine away from moisture but will also keep it protected from bacteria.
Keep it in a cool place: You need to also ensure that you are not storing your creatine supplement in a hot place. Various chemicals in creatine are photosensitive to light. Actually, creatine can be extra responsive to sunlight. Keeping your creatine stored in sunlight has a risk of loss of potency, color, or beneficial effects.
Keep it free from moisture: You should keep your creatine away from moisture, which means keeping it in a dry place. Creatine is basically a protein combination of three amino acids. Moisture can lead to deterioration of the product or bacteria introduction.
The above analysis based on research and studies shows that creatine can last for longer than the expiry date was mentioned on the label. Yet, you should keep an eye on your creatine supplement color, texture, and odor. If any of these changes significantly, you need to rethink before mixing it into your morning smoothies.
So, go ahead and have your creatine supplement to aid your healthy regular regime. Creatine makes the ultimate choice for those who want to work out to the fullest while living healthy in their vegan lifestyle. You can also check out our article on How long non-dairy milk lasts, so you can take care before having your creatine with milk.