Sometimes you might buy a creatine supplement and end up not using it for a while. In such cases it is beneficial to know: does Creatine go bad? The answer is yes, it does, but not when you think it does! Let’s find out more.
When we talk about pre and post-workout supplements these days, the first name that comes to our minds is usually creatine – yes, it is that famous and incredible too! It has become quite a trend amongst athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to take creatine via diet but mainly through supplements available in the market.
Many people buy creatine supplements in bulk to continue the intake for a long time. However, plans can change and life can take many twists and turns. What happens if you don’t do the required HIIT or weight training and the product just sits there for 2-3 years? If it goes bad, then it’s going to cost you a fortune to buy again, isn’t it?
Not many of us have an idea about the expiration date of Creatine. Yes, creatine does go bad, like other supplements and medicines. However, the expiry date mentioned on most Creatine packaging is too safe, and in many cases, you can use the powder easily for 2-3 years after the expiry date as well.
Let’s talk about this in more detail.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an organic compound that is already present in the body. While 95% of creatine is naturally found in the muscles, 5% is also present in the brain and kidneys.
Natural creatine is formed by the interaction of amino acids, glycine, and arginine, and its central role is to supply energy to the muscles. It increases your body’s phosphocreatine stores, which help produce ATP – your body’s primary source of energy.
If you are into an intense workout or athletic activity, you need energy in your muscles to perform better. Thus, creatine supplements help increase power in your muscles to train longer and harder. Creatine supplements also help in reducing pain and chances of injury due to increased muscle mass and raised anabolic state.
Can Creatine Go Bad?
Creatine is an ingestible product, and thus, it comes with an expiry date.
It can be possible that the expiry date of each supplement may depend on the brand, but you must always be aware of the timeline when creatine is about to go wrong. Most creatine supplements come with an expiry date of 2-3 years from date of manufacturing.
You should ideally not take Creatine once it is past its expiration date since it might become ineffective and, in some cases, hazardous to health.
You might like to read: Will Creatine Make Me Look Fat?
Does Creatine Have an Expiration Date?
Yes, creatine does come with an expiration date. On average, the expiration date of most creatine supplements is somewhere around 2 to 3 years from the date of the product’s production.
However, studies show that some creatine supplements (particularly creatine monohydrate) can last much longer than their shelf life. Research shows that creatine can remain stable for 2 to 3 years more after the expiration date has passed. However, the same depends on several factors, especially the storage and composition of the product.
Note that liquid creatine will not have this kind of shelf life – it will quickly decompose beyond its expiry date.
We recommend that you keep your powdered creatine supplement in a dry, cool place which will help extend its shelf life. You should ensure that creatine is kept in air-tight containers because if mixed with moisture, the creatine content starts degrading into creatinine, leading to early expiration.
Does Creatine Monohydrate Expire?
As mentioned before, creatine monohydrate, if stored properly, remains stable for a long time. It needs to be kept in a cool and dry environment and avoid high temperatures.
Creatine monohydrate, in particular, is considered to be very stable compared to other creatine supplements and is probably the safest to consume.
Your creatine monohydrate supplement lasts for at least 2 to 3 years from the date of its production and can go beyond its expiry date for another one to two years.
Does Creatine Powder Expire?
As per this study and many more, creatine monohydrate powder showed significant signs of breakdown after almost four years of its production, even when stored at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.
Compared to creatine powder, its liquid forms, including creatine ethyl ester, do not have an equally stable shelf life. Thus, liquid forms break down into creatinine quite early after their expiration.
The answer, however, remains the same – creatine powder, like other supplements, comes with a shelf life of 2-3 years, but if stored in a cool and dry place, it can go over its shelf life depending on the brand.
Can I Take Expired Creatine?
You can make a judgment call by looking at the powder. If your powder is clumpy, it doesn’t automatically mean that the entire product has expired, but yes, it means that some moisture has entered the container. If this is the case, the product has likely lost its effectiveness.
More importantly, if you also smell an unpleasant odor and see discoloration of the content, you should consider the product bad and throw it away immediately. The smell is a sign that the product might be affected by bacteria, and thus, it is best to avoid taking it any further.
Is it Safe to Take Expired Creatine?
Depending on the visual examination that we mentioned above, expired creatine is safe to take if it is just clumpy. The content is nothing but creatine broken down into creatinine, which has no health risks.
In most cases, the product can be taken well beyond its expiry date as mentioned on the product container.
As long as you know how to check if the product has become a colony of bacteria and should be avoided, creatine is good to take, even after 2 to 3 years of expiry. So, just relax and enjoy its benefits.
You might like to read: Does Creatine Make You Thirsty?
Can You Use Expired Creatine?
You can use expired creatine beyond its shelf life. However, the minute it releases a pungent odor tastes unusual and content changes color, it would be best to throw it away rather than risk your precious health. Creatine supplements aren’t expensive; purchase a new tub for the sake of your body and mind.
A Few Final Words
Creatine supplement, especially creatine monohydrate, is known for increasing your muscle strength to carry out strenuous workouts and improve exercise sessions.
It does not come with any side-effect even though some people may feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or sick after having it – this can be due to many common reasons such as dehydration and unusually high dosage of the product.
However, it is better not to take a chance with the expiry of creatine content and buy a new package since it is available at quite an affordable price in the market. So, go ahead and move your body better and stronger during your workouts.