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Does Creatine Expire?


 


Creatine is a widely used supplement, mostly used among athletes, fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders.

Studies have revealed that it has the ability to enhance exercise performance, muscle growth and strength. It also offers other health benefits, like protection against a variety of neurological diseases. (1, 2, 3).

Being tagged as safe for consumption, one might begin to wonder if creatine expires and can still be put to use after its expiration date has been exceeded.

In this article you will find out how creatine functions, if creatine expires, and if consuming after expiration date can make one sick.

 

How Does Creatine Function?

Consumed creatine supplements helps increase stored body’s muscle phosphocreatine, which is the form in which creatine is being stored in the body. (4).

The human body uses stored phosphocreatine to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s main source of energy, when it has been exhausted. With athletes, this process helps them train longer and harder, assists with cell signaling, raises anabolic hormones, alongside other numerous health benefits. (5). 

In existence, we have different types of creatine:

Creatine ethyl ester

Creatine hydrochloride (HCL)

Creatine monohydrate

Liquid creatine

Creatine gluconate

Buffered creatine

 

Creatine monohydrate is well-researched and most common among these types.

 

How Long Before Creatine Expires

Studies have revealed that creatine supplements can actually last longer than the expiration date issued during production by their manufacturers, these dates are usually within 2 to 3 years. (6).

Specifically, creatine monohydrate powder exist in a very stable form and is very much unlikely to disintegrate into its waste products (creatinine) as time flies, even if kept at high temperatures.

Creatine transformed into creatinine tends to be very much less effective and health benefits may differ. (7, 8).

An example can be seen in studies which revealed that creatine monohydrate powder only displayed signs of breakdown, almost 4 years after production. Not neglecting the fact that it was stored at high temperature (60). (8).

With all being said, creatine monohydrate supplement is capable of being intact for at least 1 to 2 years after exceeding its expiration date provided by the manufacturer, so long as it is being stored in dry or cool conditions.

Other variety of creatine supplements, the likes of liquid creatine and creatine ethyl ester, when compared to creatine monohydrate tend to be less stable and more likely to breakdown, transforming into creatinine after expiration dates. (8).


Expired Creatine, Does It Make You Sick?

Studies reveal that creatine is absolutely safe for consumption. (9).

The stability of monohydrate in creatine makes it more likely to last for years even after its expiration date is exceeded, and no negative side effects comes with it.

A clumpy creatine is not an expired one, being exposed to moisture still makes it fine for consumption and it is unlikely to make you fall ill.

It is important to note that a tub of creatine exposed to liquid or left open at room temperature for days has the tendency to lose its effect. (8).

If you notice a change in color, unusual smell or taste in creatine, it is advisable to do away with it. This simply means it has been exposed to bacteria, and this is very much unlikely to occur except the creatine supplement has been left open at room temperature for a few days.

To ensure peace of mind, one could always purchase a new tub of creatine for concerns of consuming expired one, this being that it is quite inexpensive.

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