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How Long does Gatorade Last? Can It Go Bad?

Gatorade is one of those energy drinks you get when you have had an intense workout or a hectic day. Low on energy? Gatorade is your go-to drink. There are several energy drinks in the market, and Gatorade is the best replacement for most, if not all, of them.

If you want to give your electrolytes a boost, Gatorade is what you need. If you have been drinking this one for a long time, you know what’s written on the bottle. They always indicate some dates to ensure that you get the drink when it is safe to drink.

There is an expiry date on the bottle. So, when the expiry date is reached, does that mean that the Gatorade has gone bad and, therefore, unsafe to consume? Does the drink go bad?

If you are eager to know about the truth behind the date, then read on because we are about to deconstruct Gatorade. There are also some questions which people ask concerning whether Gatorade is vegan or not.

So, let’s find out.


How Should You Store Gatorade?


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Room temperature is fine, as long as the bottle remains unopened. After you open the bottle, the rules change a bit. The producer of Gatorade says that you should put it in the fridge after it has been opened. As you know, keeping drinks in the fridge ensures that they stay fresh for longer.

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Most of the time, people prefer not to put their Gatorade bottles into a fridge because it doesn’t hit the same way when cold.

Perhaps, you are one of the people who like to keep Gatorade at room temperature, store it in the fridge and then take it out half an hour before you drink it so it can become less cold. This solution is good if you use Gatorade to workout. You just take it out, do your thing, and then when you are done exercising, drink up when it’s not so cold.

However, if you are drinking it throughout the day to rehydrate, there is no need to keep it in the fridge. If you are going to finish drinking the bottle before the day is over, then it should be fine at room temperature.

When you are not using the Gatorade, you should keep it in a tightly capped bottle. This way, there is no chance that food particles or bacteria could get into the bottle and spoil it.

As the makers of Gatorade say, the beverage is shelf-stable and does not expire when the bottle says it does. If the bottle is sealed tightly and no strange color or smell emanates from it, you can go ahead and drink it past the recommended date written on each bottle’s neck.

The date is not an expiration date; it is a best-by date.


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Can You Drink Expired Gatorade?

Technically, no. It doesn’t have an expiration date. It has a best-by date. The best-by date is usually on food packaging for legal reasons. The FDA requires these food companies to have a date on their products.

The other reason is that the date prevents people from calling the food company to complain about a product that doesn’t taste right because it is years old.

Pepsico makes Gatorade, and the company says that as long as you keep the bottle sealed and the product inside looks fine, there is no reason not to drink it. None of the ingredients in Gatorades are likely to spoil or go bad for no reason, as long as the bottle stays sealed.

If you think about it, their stance makes sense.

Gatorade has the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Table sugar (sucrose)
  • Dextrose
  • Citric acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Table salt (sodium chloride)
  • Sodium citrate
  • Monopotassium phosphate
  • Coloring ingredients
  • Flavor ingredients

All of these ingredients are stable do not easily break down into other forms.

Gatorade requires the same kind of environment that every other bottled beverage needs. It would help if you tried to ensure that it is in a cool and dark place. The quality of the drink will last a lot longer and will most likely not go bad in any way.

When storing Gatorade for a long time (we’re talking years here), it is good to keep it at room temperature.


How Long Will Unopened Gatorade Keep?


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If you do not open the bottle and the seal remains unbroken, you could have Gatorade years after the best-by date. Yes, seriously, years!

However, before you open it up and take a big gulp, hold the bottle to the light and see if the liquid looks right. Is it clear?

If you see any sediment or floating material, something isn’t right, and that bottle needs to go. You should open it if you see that the liquid color looks right, and there is nothing strange going on in the bottle.

After you open the bottle, take a whiff, and if the Gatorade doesn’t smell like it should, that is your cue to dispose of it.

If it smells like Gatorade, it is safe to take a sip and see if it is still the drink you know and love. If it tastes off, then it needs to go.

However, if it passes these tests, then you should go ahead and drink it. If you are unsure of the taste or anything else, err on the side of caution and dispose of the bottle.

If the seal is broken and the Gatorade doesn’t look, smell or taste right, it is better not to take a chance.


What Do You Do with An Opened and Unfinished Bottle of Gatorade?

If you did not finish your beverage and it is open, it is important to refrigerate it. Once you open the bottle up, air will get in. Air carries bacteria, which will start to grow in the bottle. This is especially true if you drink straight from the bottle (as most people do.)

All the bacteria in your mouth will get into the bottle, and eventually, they will change the drink. As long as the drink is in a fridge, the bacteria will be halted or slowed down and fail to grow, preserving your drink for longer.

The growth of bacteria will not be stopped by the cold, only slowed. Make sure to finish it soon, before it becomes undrinkable.

If you do not refrigerate the Gatorade, you are just letting the bacteria grow, and that will break down things inside the bottle, and it will go bad. You will notice chunks in a week or two. Sometimes, you will even see mold on top of the surface of the drink.

That is the bacteria from your mouth going wild quite literally.


What About Powdered Gatorade?


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Yes, it can go bad. As long as you keep it in the sealed package, most of the flavor should keep and be good for a few years. Store this powder the same way you would store any other beverage powder. Check the smell as well and look at the color. If it seems discolored or does not smell right, you should not drink it.

If everything checks out in terms of testing, then go ahead and drink it.

Powdered Gatorade should be kept in a cool and dark place away from light, heat, or moisture.

After you open the container, though, the moisture in the air will start to degrade the powder. Even though a lid can keep things like insects out, it will not keep moisture out. It will try but moisture er…er… finds a way (get it? That was a Jurassic Park reference where Jeff Goldblum…er…er…you get it.)

Anyway, to make sure that the shelf life of your powdered Gatorade is extended, transfer the powder into a more airtight container. Think glass jars. 

If you want to take it a step further, use food-grade desiccants or oxygen absorbers to prevent the powder from clumping.

Related Questions

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Can you get sick from drinking expired Gatorade?

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Gatorade will not expire but remember when we said that thing about your mouth and the wild bacteria that stays in there? This is all about using your better judgment. Look at it, sniff it, sip it, and if it feels off, chuck it.

Can I stick my bottle of Gatorade in a freezer?

Yes, you can, but you probably shouldn’t. It will affect the flavor. The bottle might expand and explode. No kidding. As we said, it is stable. Keep the drinks at room temperature. Do not open if you are not going to finish it soon. Keep them out of the freezer.

In Conclusion

When it comes to sports drinks, you should not take chances. If you suspect that the drink is not safe, you should discard it. Most of the time, the drink may be fine. However, if there was something wrong with it, it would have to be pretty advanced for you to know.

By advanced, we’re talking mold growing on top of it or precipitate. You did chemistry. You know what residue looks like.

All in all, get those electrolytes.

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