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I’ve been powerlifting for years and my baseline is 250g of protein a day. When I’m trying to mass up I’ll be hitting 300-350g.
We’re huge fans of meal prepping protein shakes! Every Sunday we make a batch to eat every day for breakfast or post-workout.
But you might be wondering, how long do protein shakes last?
Protein shakes can be stored for up to 72 to 96 hours (3-4 days) at most but for the most effective health benefits, you should drink it within 20 minutes.
The sweet spot for us has been 2-3 days. I’ll share the science behind this and some of our tips to make protein shakes last in the fridge longer.
How Long Do Protein Shakes Last in the Fridge?
Protein shakes last for 3-4 days in the fridge after you make them. This depends on what kind of ingredients you put in your shake. If it’s just milk and protein powder, then it could last longer, but if you add fruits and veggies then they will oxidize at the 2-3 day mark.
Whether you use milk or water for protein shakes, both are good to be refrigerated!
How Do You Know if a Protein Shake Has Gone Bad?
The best way to tell if a protein shake has gone bad is to smell it or taste it. If it tastes a bit rancid or sour, that means the milk has gone bad. If it tastes a bit “musty” or has a bad aftertaste then it may mean that the fruit or veggies have oxidized.
5 Ways To Make Your Protein Shakes Last Longer
You can safely store protein shakes in the fridge for 3-4 days depending on the type of liquid you use. The ideal fridge temperature is around 35F – 40F.
2. Use a mason jar or other airtight container
If you make your protein shakes in a blender or shaker cup, then it would be best to pour your shake into mason jars or another airtight container. This will keep oxygen out the best which will prevent oxidation.
Mason jars are great for storing shakes. Glass containers will do a better job at not leaching into your liquid.
Other suitable containers include stainless steel bottles and insulated thermal containers, which are great for traveling.
3. Remove as much oxygen as possible
The main risk to your protein shakes going bad is oxidization if you have fruits or veggies. The less oxygen that is in your container, the better.
Try filling your mason jar or container all the way to the very brim. The only downside to this is that it’s hard to shake it to freshen it up if there’s no room in the container.
4. Avoid milk
I still recommend using milk because it’s one of the best ways to make a protein shake taste better! Just plan to drink it within 2-3 days of putting it in the fridge, or use non dairy milk so it doesn’t curdle.
If you’re concerned about how many calories are in protein shakes, then go with water!
5. Use the freezer
If you made a big batch of protein shakes that you don’t think you’ll finish, you can always store them in the freezer!
You need to make sure they are stored in perfectly airtight containers or smoothie bags. You can probably store protein shakes in the freezer for 3 months before they go bad.
Common Questions on Storing Protein Shakes
You can drink a protein shake two hours after making it as long as you stored it in the fridge! If you left it on the counter or in your car by accident, I would not recommend drinking it if you used some kind of milk as the liquid. Water + protein shake can last longer than two hours.
Protein shakes are best if you keep them in the fridge with as little air as possible in the container, shaker cup, or mason jar.
You can drink a 2 day old protein shake as long as it’s been stored in the fridge or freezer! If it was not refrigerated, I do not recommend drinking it!
You can let your protein shake sit overnight in the fridge, but I do not recommend keeping it on the counter or elsewhere. Store it in a refrigerator or freezer!
You can prep protein shakes ahead of time the night before as long as you store it in a refrigerator!
Summary: How Long Do Protein Shakes Last in The Fridge?
If you want to keep your protein shake fresh, delicious, and nutritious for longer than a couple of hours, you’ll need to properly preserve it in your fridge or freezer. Shakes can last 3-4 days in the fridge, but are best to drink within 24 hours.