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Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?: How To Fix a Clumpy Pre-Workout

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?: How To Fix a Clumpy Pre-Workout

Posted by Leonard Shemtob on Apr 19, 2023

Does Pre-Workout Go Bad?: How To Fix a Clumpy Pre-Workout

So you just opened a brand spankin' new container of pre-workout expecting to indulge in its powdery freshness, only to find it's turned into a solid block! 

You might find it even more puzzling after you take a glance at the expiration date and see that its still well within its suggested shelf life.

If you find yourself in this situation and you're wondering what should you do with this clumpy pre workout...

Don't worry, we've got you covered in this guide so you can get to using your new preworkout safely, with minimal frustration.

Do preworkout supplements have an expiration date?

Like all dietary supplements, pre-workouts do have an expiration date, and using them past this date may cause unpleasant side effects or reduced effectiveness.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help determine if your pre-workout is expired, how to store it properly, and what happens if you consume expired pre-workout.

Can pre-workouts expire?

Pre-workouts like many other powder form supplements such as protein, creatine, amino acids, can indeed expire.

Most products will have the expiry dates printed on the jar (usually on the bottom) or somewhere on the label.

Can pre-workouts go bad before their expiry dates?

You may find that your preworkout has gotten awfully clumpy even long before its expected expiry date.

Here are some factors to consider if your preworkout is clumpy or rocky:

Does the preworkout contain high amounts of nitric oxide boosters such as agmatine sulfate?

If yes, certain nitric oxide boosting ingredients are more prone to causing what's known as "soft clumping" as they attract moisture and absorb it from the air due to their hygroscopic nature.

Generally, these soft clumps can easily be broken down by using a simple utensil such as a spoon to stir up or smash down the clumpy nuggets in your jar.

Aside from Agmatine Sulfate, here are a few other ingredients to keep an eye out for that can potentially cause soft clumping:

  1. Glycerol
  2. Sodium Bicarbonate
  3. Beta-Alanine
  4. Citrulline Malate
  5. Betaine Anhydrous

Has the jar been exposed to excessive heat, sun light, or moisture?

Heat and humidity can accelerate this clumping effect and may even cause soft clumps to form into harder clumps that don't break down as easily when trying to use a spoon.

If your preworkout has been exposed to heat or absorbed moisture, you can try the following steps to try to restore it back to a finer and more powder-form state:

1. Empty the contents of your pre-workout jar into a blender or a clean coffee grinder.
2. Use the device you have at your disposal to help blend or crush up the preworkout back into a fine powder.
3. Return the contents from within the blender or coffee grinder back to its original jar or use an air-tight container if you feel that the original jar may have been compromised with any cracks or air leaks.

How to tell if your pre-workout is expired:

Signs of an expired pre-workout include:

  • Strong foul smell (most pre workout supplements don't have a strong odor)
  • Hard clumping (too solid or too sticky to try to blend or breakdown)
  • Changes in mixability (doesn't dissolve when mixed with water)
  • Powder is severely discolored (expired pre-workouts can sometimes have a dark and gooey texture)
  • Mold (this one should be pretty obvious and easy to tell)

How To Prevent Your Pre Workout From Clumping

To prolong the shelf life of your pre-workout and prevent it from going bad:

  1. Seal the container tightly.
  2. Store your preworkout container in a cool, dark place (away from direct sunlight or exposure to moisture)
  3. Avoid getting water in the container.
  4. Try not to open or break the seal underneath the lid of your container until you're ready to use it.
  5. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed after each use.

To wrap it all up:

The key takeaway from this guide should be that it's important to adhere to the expiration date on your pre-workout, and clumping itself doesn't necessarily indicate any issues with the product before that time.

Even the highest quality pre-workouts can experience clumping, which can be a little frustrating to deal with at times.

To steer clear of this issue altogether, consider exploring pre-workout alternatives that do not contain the ingredients that are prone to clumping mentioned above.

Always check the expiration date of your pre-workout and store it properly to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Clumpy Pre-Workout FAQs

Pre-workout should ideally be mixed right before use, but if you mix it in advance, most ingredients should remain stable for a few hours. However, some forms of creatine may degrade over time, so consider taking a creatine capsule if that is a cause for concern.
While it's best to mix pre-workout right before use, you can mix it the night before without significant loss of potency.
Pre-workout expiration dates can vary, so check the packaging for the specific date. The typical shelf life of pre-workout supplements are usually around 1 to 2 years if stored properly.
Pre-workout can last several hours after being mixed, but it's best to consume it shortly after mixing to ensure optimal potency.
Once opened, pre-workout should be used before its expiration date. After mixing, consume it within a few hours for best results.
Pre-workout can sit in water for a few hours without significant loss of potency, but it's best to mix and consume it shortly before use.
Heat and moisture can negatively affect pre-workout, so store it in a cool, dark place and avoid letting water get into the container.
Some users may still opt to use their preworkouts after it is past its expiry date. Be cautious if you decide to do so as consuming expired pre-workout may lead to side effects like gas, upset stomach, or reduced effectiveness.
If you're debating on using that old pre-workout that's been sitting in your cabinet for years with a few scoops left in it, you might be better off just ordering a new one to ensure optimal effectiveness versus dealing with potential side effects that may arise when using an expired product. Expired pre-workouts may cause gastric distress and other unpleasant symptoms, so it's generally best to avoid using them past their expiration date.
Leaving pre-workout in your car can potentially cause it to go bad, especially if the car is exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations or direct sunlight. High temperatures and sunlight can degrade the ingredients, reducing their effectiveness and possibly causing the pre-workout to spoil sooner than the stated expiration date. To maintain the quality of your pre-workout supplement, it's best to store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and ensure the container is tightly sealed after each use. Avoid leaving it in your car for extended periods, especially during hot summer months or in cold winter conditions.
As long as there are no warning signs such as mold and the product is still within its valid expiry date, there shouldn't be any issue using it. Soft clumps or dried out powder should not affect the safety or effectiveness.
Yes, even BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) can expire. Check the expiration date or "best by" date on the product packaging. To maintain the quality of your BCAAs, store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and make sure the container is tightly sealed.
Your pre-workout may become hard due to moisture exposure. Some ingredients in pre-workout supplements are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture from the air, causing the powder to clump and harden. To prevent this, store the pre-workout in a cool, dry place, and ensure the container is tightly sealed after each use.
Pre-workout clumps when certain hygroscopic ingredients absorb moisture from the air. This leads to the powder sticking together and forming clumps. Proper storage, such as keeping the pre-workout in a cool, dry place and ensuring the container is tightly sealed, can help minimize clumping.
Frequently opening the jar can expose the pre-workout powder to air and moisture, which may contribute to clumping or a decrease in the product's freshness over time. However, it is not likely to significantly affect the expiration date unless the container is left open for extended periods or exposed to moisture.
Leaving pre-workout in direct sunlight can cause it to degrade more quickly due to increased heat and exposure to UV rays. This may lead to a decrease in potency and, in extreme cases, could cause the product to expire sooner. Always store your pre-workout in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Consuming expired pre-workout may lead to reduced effectiveness or potential side effects, such as gastric distress or an upset stomach. While these side effects are typically temporary, it is best to avoid using expired pre-workout and stick to products within their expiration date to ensure optimal effectiveness and safety.

Take a look at our Pre-Workouts here to find some of the highest rated and best quality pre-workouts available on the market today.

Written and Sponsored by Leonard Shemtob

Leonard Shemtob is President of Strong Supplements. Leonard has been in the supplement space for over 20 years, specializing in fitness supplements and nutrition. Leonard has written over 100 articles about supplements and has studied nutrition, supplementation and bodybuilding. Leonard enjoys weight training, playing basketball and yoga, and also enjoys hiking. In his free time he studies and works on improving himself. His personal blog is

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