Does creatine go bad?

If you are involved in the training and fitness world, you will know the importance of good nutrition but when it comes to supplements, having the correct information about sports supplements is even more vital. The good news is that creatine is one of the most extensively researched supplements. But does it have a short shelf life?

If you are taking creatine, you made a good choice, and it is more than just a bunch of bro science. This supplement works and is beneficial to more than those who work out. Creatine has been found to enhance cognitive ability and is being taken by older people more often for this reason.

If you have recently purchased creatine, you will notice it has become expensive, and the price keeps rising as people return to the gym with high expectations of muscle gain. At around $45 per kilogram, you may want to know what the shelf life of creative is before it goes bad.

This article looks at creatine to uncover the truth behind the product’s longevity. We answer many frequently asked questions providing you with factual information.

Let’s get into it.

Does creatine expire?

Yes, it does, but it’s a stable product, and if stored correctly, it should have a healthy shelf life, and none will be wasted.

Creatine supplement product packaging often states that the supplements have a two- to three-year shelf life. There are still other things to consider.

Although studies have indicated that supplemental creatine can stay stable for up to one to two years after the specified shelf life period.

Since powdered creatine monohydrate is thought to be the most stable form, this statement only applies to creatine supplements in that form. Different kinds of creatine pills may act in various ways.

Creatine that has been hydrochloride-bound is less stable. When compared to creatine monohydrate, this form of supplemental creatine is thought to be the best because it is more water-soluble and hence more readily absorbed by the body.

The fact that creatine HCL is different from creatine monohydrate in nature could be the cause of its lower stability. In the presence of water, creatine degrades into creatinine. Since creatine HCL is more water soluble, it is anticipated that the moisture in the air will make it more susceptible.

Creatine has an expiration date, just like the majority of consumables do. However, creatine is very stable due to its chemical makeup.

According to most labels, supplements containing creatine have a shelf life of two to three years, depending on the form of creatine in the supplement. However, under the right circumstances, powdered creatine can continue to be effective for use even one to two years after its expiration date.

Does creatine need to be refrigerated?

No. There are no benefits to storing creatine in the fridge.

The pouch that creatine is supplied in will have storage details that the manufacturer prefers. These conditions are typically a cool, dry place such as a pantry, garage, or kitchen cabinet.

The good news is that the powder form of creatine is exceptionally stable. Even when stored at high temperatures, the product is not going to degrade.

Due to the crystalline structure of creatine, it remains stable at high temperatures and does not act like a protein. Creatine in this form is more akin to the structure of an amino acid, which prevents it from unfolding and degrading like proteins.

Although refrigerating creatine would cause no harm to the product, if it’s unopened, an open pouch could see moisture ingress that would mix with creatine making the shelf life and effectiveness of the product less.

Dry storage conditions are essential for creatine.

How do you store open pouches of creatine?

Away from moisture. It may sound like a glib statement, but the truth is there is always moisture in the air, and dry products exposed to the air will absorb moisture, open for long enough, and absorb a lot of moisture.

If you think your fridge is moisture free, it will depend on how often the fridge door is opened. A fridge is a dry place by and large, but in a busy kitchen, the fridge door is opened frequently, allowing moist air into the fridge.

If there is a small chink in the pouch where moisture can enter, you can bet it will.

In a dry garage, pantry, or kitchen cabinet, the creatine may stand a better prospect of remaining moisture-free.

Does creatine need to be covered?

The pouches of creatine are robust and have an airtight sealing mechanism so that the creatine will be fine in the pouch. However, taking a belt and bracers approach to protecting your investment from moisture is a good idea.

Placing your pouches of creatine in an airtight container will do no harm to the product. Dry and warm are the best storage conditions for creatine.

Is creatine safe?

In general, creatine is safe, and there is a lot of research into creatine. But there are some concerns from the medical profession that state taking too much creatine could be detrimental to your health.

The issue purportedly comes with creatine loading. Creatine takes about a month to reach suitable levels in your body, so bodybuilders load the creatine by taking higher doses.

However, creatine is a natural product, our body makes it, and it can be found in the food we eat.

Although your body already contains some creatine, taking additional supplements is safe. But bear in mind that the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration does not control dietary supplements. 

The quantity, caliber, and inclusion of different substances in creatine supplements that are offered in stores can vary. There is also no oversight over safety and purity standards.

What happens if you take too much creatine?

You can get gastric sensitivity. If this happens, consider taking a break or spreading the consumption of creatine over the day and taking it with meals.

Excess creatine is simply expelled in the urine.

Do unopened containers of creatine go bad?

Yes, they do. Although there is a long shelf life for creatine, if it’s stored correctly, it does not last indefinitely and can go bad sitting in the package.

It is always tempting to stick up on supplements when you see an unbeatable offer, but with creatine, it is generally safe to splash out and stock up.

If the product is turning bad, there will be some indicators, such as.

  1. The powder is clumping in the container. Moisture has entered the powder, and its at the end of its life. If it is consumed, it will take longer to mix. If the clumps remain, the product will take longer to get into your bloodstream, affecting your performance.
  2. Mold, If moisture has entered the container and the product has clumped, you can be confident that mold is going to follow, Don’t be tempted to scrape away the mold. Mold places its roots deep into the product contaminating every grain of powder.
  3. Color. If the product has changed color, it indicates something is wrong; dispose of it.
  4. Smale. If the product has a different odor or smells funky, it definitely turns bad and should be discarded immediately.
  5. Consistency. Creatine may be challenging to mix at the end of its shelf life and will not absorb into the water.
  6. Taste. is the definitive litmus test if the product is bad. If the product tastes sour or strange, discard it immediately.
  7. If you have experienced none of the above but you have noticed a drop in your performance in the gym, it could be that the creatine ingredients have expired and are not as effective.
  8. Physical symptoms. If you have an upset stomach, unusual bowel movements, bloating, and gastric pain, discard the creatine.

How long does creatine last in the fridge?

It depends on what the creatine powder is mixed with. If the creatine is mixed with juice, then it should be consumed within 12 hours, but if it is mixed with milk, it will be fine to consume in a few days.

Creatine powder is extremely stable.

For general storage, it is not advised to store creatine in the fridge. There are no gains to be made. You are just using valuable fridge space.

Does creatine go bad in the freezer?

There is a question that should be answered. Why would you place creatine in the freezer? It has an exceptionally long shelf life, does dry powder benefit from freezing? 

There is no research into freezing creatine to extend its shelf life. It would be a futile exercise.

Should you freeze your creatine drink? It is up to you. Again, the evidence is not supplied either way if it will affect the efficacy of the creatine.

Bottom line

Creatine is a natural substance in your body and can be found in the meats we eat. In fact, creatine comes from the Greek word for meat! Creatine is widely researched and allowed by the NCAA.

If you take creatine, you will gain weight, but it’s water weight, and if you work out, it will make you look ripped.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas Lampi and I work as a fitness writer, nutritional consultant and personal trainer. My favourite exercise is the bench press and my favourite food is pizza!

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