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Does Creatine Expire? Is It Harmful To Take In Excess?

Creatine is one of the most popular energy supplements among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and gymgoers. According to the research, creatine can boost strength, exercise ...

by Jessica Bennet

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Creatine is one of the most popular energy supplements among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and gymgoers. According to the research, creatine can boost strength, exercise performance, and muscle growth. It also has other health benefits, like protection against neurological diseases.

Creatine is also famous for its role in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in the human body. Although it has several benefits, a common doubt exists regarding the product’s expiration. Like all other products, creatine also has an expiration date. 

The Working Of Creatine

When creatine is consumed, it enters the muscles and is converted into phosphocreatine. These tiny powerhouse molecules will help during intense exercise. Also, phosphocreatine will be helpful when the muscles need a rapid energy boost to keep working. 

Creatine replenishes adenosine triphosphate. This provides more energy for workouts, as more ATP means more energy. It helps to push oneself into more exercise. Another advantage of creatine is that it promotes muscular water retention. Because of this water retention, the muscles will have more volume in their cells, giving the appearance of fuller, more pumped muscles.

The Working Of Creatine

In addition to helping with muscular fullness and explosive strength, creatine also facilitates muscle healing. It makes the process of regenerating ATP stores faster, which helps muscles recover more quickly from demanding exercise sessions. Apart from increasing strength and endurance, creatine also helps improve the muscles by improving cell signaling, reducing protein breakdown, and raising anabolic states. 

How Long Will Creatine Last?

Studies have shown that the shelf life and the expiration dates differ. Most of the products extended their expiration dates by an average of 66 months. Also, creatine monohydrate is a stable product and does not break down into its waste product, creatinine, by the prescribed expiration date. 

It is important to properly store creatine powder to prevent it from being affected by environmental factors. High temperatures, moisture, and open air can affect the expiration of creatine supplements. However, studies found that creatine in solid form, or creatine monohydrate, has even withstood high temperatures without degrading into its waste product. Under proper storage, the creatine will last for years beyond its expiration date. 

Does Creatine Expire?

Although most creatine supplements have expiration dates, science has proven that they are still safe to use after that time. Creatine has remarkable stability. So much so that even if expired creatine does start to degrade, the main effect it will have on the user is a loss of efficacy rather than negative side effects. 

Creatine is available in different forms on the market, ranging from stability to scientific data. Creatine monohydrate, or solid creatine, is the most stable among them. Due to its dependency on pH levels and temperature, liquid creatine is not considered stable. As temperature and pH levels increase, the possibility of its degeneration also increases. Due to their effect on the solution’s pH levels, creatine salts are less stable in the solution than CM. 

These factors explain why creatine monohydrate is still the most popular supplement form. In addition to being efficiently absorbed by the body, its stability permits its safe consumption even after the expiration date.  

Also Check:- Creatine Monohydrate V/S Micronized Creatine: Understanding The Differences

Can Expired Creatine Cause Diseases?

Although creatine is said to be highly stable, it will also expire after a certain time and under certain conditions. However, expired creatine is unlikely to make people sick. When expired, the creatine breaks down into its waste product, creatinine. This substance does not make people sick but cancels the beneficial properties of creatine.  

Furthermore, even if clumpy creatine is safe to take, it’s advisable to stop using it if it has changed color, has a strong odor, or tastes strange. These changes are unlikely to happen unless the supplement has been kept at room temperature for several days. However, they could be signs of the presence of bacteria. Bacteria will exploit unfavorable storage conditions.

Bacteria grow if the supplement is exposed to a lot of moisture or if the sealed container is left open for a long time. If the creatine is consumed after a change in color, odor, or taste, it may lead to digestive problems

How To Store Creatine?

Creatine should be stored in cool, dry conditions, away from moisture and high temperatures. Therefore, it is important to store it with proper care.

  • Store it in airtight containers.
  • The silica pad of the tub should not be removed.
  • The lid of the container should be closed tightly and properly.
  • Prevent direct exposure to sunlight.
  • Keep it away from hot areas, such as the cooking stove.

Also Read:- Effective Strengthening Exercises For Teres Major And Teres Minor

Conclusion

Over the years, many studies have been done on the effectiveness and safety of creatine supplements, including use beyond their expiration date. Studies have demonstrated that expired creatine is safe to take.

Athletes in the fitness sector now take creatine supplements religiously to improve their strength and stamina during intense workouts. Frequent use of creatine has been demonstrated to improve muscle growth, decrease protein breakdown, and raise cell signaling.  

Although there are many kinds of creatine supplements, creatine monohydrate powder is the most popular and most studied. Since creatine monohydrate has a highly stable shelf life, the supplement is safe to use even after the indicated expiration date if stored properly. It needs to be kept dry and sealed in a container. 

Physical changes in the creatine would be a good sign that it’s spoiled. If there are any changes in the consistency, flavor, smell, or color of the supplement, it is advisable not to use it.  

Also, it is important to consult a professional doctor or dietician before incorporating new diet supplements into the diet.

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