How Long Does a Protein Shake Last? – Fridge & Room Temperature

Every once in a while I get a client texting me, asking how long do protein shakes last. That's when I know they made a shake and forgot to drink it.

A protein shake lasts 72 hours in the refrigerator and around 2 hours at room temperature. However, since separation happens, you will have to mix or blend the shake again before drinking.

However, the more you leave your mixed protein shake, the worse it becomes.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  • How long do protein shakes last in different situations
  • What affects the grossness of protein shakes
  • How to stop your protein shake from going off

As well as some frequently asked questions on the topic.

How long does a protein shake last?

How long does a protein shake last

In an ideal world everyone would drink their protein shakes right after mixing. And to make that world even more fairy-tale-like, they would also clean the shaker bottle right after drinking the shake.

But since that is not the case, we are left with questions such as the following:

How long can a protein shake last in the fridge?

The best way to deal with a protein shake you aren't going to drink is to store it in the fridge. (1)

A protein shake will be safe to drink up to 72 hours if stored in the fridge. This applies to protein shakes made with water as well as those made with milk.

However, we would not recommend mixing anything else in.

If you plan on making your protein shake the night before, use only the protein powder and the base.

When you mix in stuff like peanut butter, oats, or fruit, their quality, taste, and texture will suffer. Find out more about this topic by reading our article on what to mix protein powder with, here.

It would still be safe to drink but its overall taste will be subpar.

How long does a protein shake last at room temperature?

With this question here, it depends on whom you ask.

If you left your protein shake out at room temperature, you should drink it within 2 hours from mixing. If more than 2 hours have passed, you should throw it away and make a new one.

Some people will argue that you can push that to 4 hours. But at the same time, "some people" use the term room temperature quite loosely. So if you want to err on the side of caution, don't drink any protein shake that's been out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

What can make your protein shake gross if it sits for long?

Glass of green protein smoothie

Protein shakes, and even protein powders in general, are one of those food items that age badly. The more they sit, the higher the chance they turn extremely gross (especially if stored improperly).

The first element in this equation is the protein powder itself.

Usually, plant-based protein supplements can last longer (except for soy), while a blend of multiple protein sources is usually more stable than a whey protein supplement.

With that said, what will ultimately influence how much time your protein shake lasts are the ingredients. If you use acidic fruits - like blueberries - you may need to drink your protein shake as soon as it's been mixed. Otherwise, things may turn for the worse.

How to stop your protein shake from turning gross?

There is no way to prevent your protein shake from turning bad. However, you can slow down the process long enough, to where your shake can last for several days.

Here are our top tips:

  • Store your protein shake at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) or lower. To slow down bacterial growth in your protein shake, make sure to store it at a temperature of at most 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your shake in a bottle or airtight container. If you have other food items in the fridge, you will want to prevent your protein shake from picking up those smells by storing it in an airtight container, bottle, or shaker.

If you follow these two tips, your protein shake will last up to 72 hours after mixing it. I find this really helpful when I am done with my workout days, and just make a batch of two protein shakes to drink on rest days.

Before drinking it though make sure you give it a good shake.

FAQs

Now that you know how long a protein shake lasts, let's see some of the most common questions related to this topic.

How long after making a protein shake should I drink it?

Ideally, you will drink your protein shake as soon as you make it. However, if for some reason you want to make it in advance, it can last for up to 2 hours at room temperature, and be stored in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

Can I make a protein shake in advance?

Totally! For the best results, we recommend you to only use protein powder and milk or water. If you really want to add more ingredients, it would be a good idea to add them close to when you want to drink your shake.

Conclusion

So how long does a protein shake last? Depends on the way you store it.

If you leave it at room temperature, you should throw it away after only 2 hours. However, if you keep it in the fridge at a temperature of at most 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you are looking at around 72 hours, give or take.

A big part of how long your protein drink will last has to do with the ingredients. Adding more than just the powder and the base may result in a shake that spoils faster.

With that said, when in doubt, just make another one.

Over to you.