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Around 28% of college athletes and many professional athletes use a creatine supplement as a matter of course.
Indeed, many gym users are keen on the power of creatine for their strength training too but does creatine expire?
Let’s find out!
Creatine is a protein which occurs naturally in the human body.
When stored in the “phosphocreatine” stores in your muscles, it helps improve your strength and muscle gain through strength training and other forms of physical activity.
For athletes, when they exhaust the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in their body, their bodies can raid the phosphocreatine store and make more ATP giving them higher levels of stamina and performance.
Yes, creatine expires but the more important question is “when does it expire?”
Creatine manufacturers, like many vendors, have an interest in you buying creatine on a regular basis and as such, they tend to label their creatine with an expiry date of 2-3 years.
(Please note: the next piece of information refers only to pure creatine monohydrate products. If you buy creatine in a mixed-ingredient supplement this advice may not apply).
Scientists, however, disagree. They note that creatine monohydrate is super stable and as such, it won’t break down easily.
In fact, you can even keep creatine monohydrate at high temperatures without much impact.
Studies show that creatine monohydrate will keep for at least 4 years and that’s if you raise the temperature to an average 140 degrees Fahrenheit in storage!
Firstly, we should point out that if your creatine powder has become “clumpy” then the odds are pretty good that it hasn’t expired.
Instead, what’s happened is that it’s become moist (probably from water in the air). It might not be as easy to use as less clumpy powder but it’s perfectly safe.
Next, when creatine monohydrate breaks down, the main waste product is creatinine, another protein.
This protein does not offer the same benefits as creatine does in the body for energy production or muscle gain.
However, it’s also perfectly harmless.
The only time when you should consider dumping creatine powder is if it’s changed color, develops an odor of any kind or if it tastes wrong.
This suggests that you’ve got bacteria growing in your creatine and bacteria can give you serious forms of food poisoning and other illnesses.
If you keep your creatine in a sealed container, in a cool, dark, dry place, the odds are pretty good that it will last for at least 4 years without any issues.
Don’t forget, though, creatine is pretty cheap. If you have any doubts at all about its safety to consume, throw it out and buy some more. Never take any risks with your health.
Creatine has become one of the world’s most popular workout and athletic supplements for good reasons – it delivers real benefits to the user.
The good news is that it will also last for a very long time as long as you store it in a cool, dark, dry place.
So, there’s no need to worry about creatine powder going to waste if you want to buy it in bulk for the cost-savings available to you.