Are you currently browsing for protein powder but not sure how big a tub to get? Then stick around. Because today I will be answering a common newbie question- how long does a tub of protein powder last?
A 2.5kg tub of protein powder will last for 83 days, assuming a 30g scoop size and a consumption rate of 1 scoop per day. Furthermore, unopened protein powder has a shelf-life between 12-24 months. Clumping, wetness, bad smells, and discolouration are signs your protein has gone bad.
Taking your first steps into the world of protein powders is hard!
I still vividly remember the steps I took before buying my first tub. It was a nightmare!
So many different brands. So many types of protein within brands.
How much should I even buy?!
That’s why today I want to share the insights which I have learnt throughout the years.
So let’s get stuck in!
Estimation For How Long Your Protein Powder Will Last
Multiple factors determine how long a tub of protein will last you for. And I will discuss this in more detail below.
But if you are on this page, you are probably looking for a solid answer.
So here it is.
I have made a chart for you.
It will give you an estimate of how long a tub of protein should last.
My chart factors in:
- Scoop size.
- Tub size.
- Consumption rate.
Check out my other article to find out how long you should be bulking for!
Next, I will explain how each of the three factors will influence how long a tub of protein will last.
A Scoop Does Not Always Contain 30g Of Powder!
Many protein powder brands come with a scoop inside the tub. And this scoop usually weighs out 30 grams of protein powder (if you fill it to the brim).
But not every brand makes their scoop to 30 grams. Furthermore, some brands have different sized scoops depending on specific protein powders.(1)
The most common scoop sizes are in the ranges of:
- 30g (most common).
The nutrition label on the tub will give you the necessary details on scoop size.
As you can see- the label will tell you exactly how much protein powder is contained in 1 scoop.
Additionally, the label will also tell you how much protein (and carbs/fat for mass gainers) are in 1 scoop.
Scoop size is a major determinant of how long a tub of protein powder will last. The larger the scoop size, the shorter the duration a given sized tub will last for.
The size of the protein powder scoop will influence how long a tub will last for. A smaller scoop size of 15g per scoop will allow you to make the tub last longer than larger scoop size of 35g per scoop. The most most common scoop size is 30g per scoop.
2Kg Tubs Are Cheap And Will Last A Long Time!
Protein powder tubs also come in many different sizes (varying in weight).
The most common tub weights are:
- 2kg (best all-rounder).
Everyone will know that the larger the tub, the longer it will last (common sense right?!).
But how do you know which tub size is the most suitable for you?
From my experience experimenting with different sizes, I always recommend a 2.5kg tub (if you are unsure).
5kg tubs offer superior cost-effectiveness and last the longest. But do you really want to buy a 5kg tub, only to find it unsuitable?
In comparison, anything less than 2.5kg is a good for experimenting with different powders. But they will not last for very long.
|Size||Price||Number Of Scoops||Cost Per Scoop|
Instead, begginers should go for the 2.5kg tubs.
As you can see on the chart above, a 2.5kg tub offers a great balance in cost-effectiveness and duration of use.
A 2.5kg tub of My Protein whey isolate will provide 100 scoops. And that’s enough to last you just over 3 months (assuming an average of 1 scoop per day).
Additionally a 2.5kg tub is 12% cheaper than a 1kg tub (per scoop), but only 6% more expensive than a 5kg tub (per scoop).
Therefore buying a 2.5kg tub of protein powder is a cheap method to make your protein last a long time (3 months or so). But not so long that you become stuck with it for half a year!
The size of a protein powder tub will influence how long it will last. The bigger the tub, the longer it will last for. Choosing a 2.5kg tub of protein powder will last for approximately 3 months, assuming an average of 1 scoop per day.
Are You Consuming Your Protein Too Quickly?!
Consumption rate is the most important determinant of how long a tub of protein will last.
Think of it this way- which will last longer?
- A 5kg tub of protein being consumed at a rate of 2 scoops per day.
- A 2.5kg tub of protein being consumed at a rate of 1 scoop per day.
The answer is they will both last for around 3 months (despite the 5kg tub being much larger).
And that brings me on to the next question:
How many scoops of protein should you be consuming each day?
Well it depends largely on your dieting expertise. And more specifically, your bulking expertise (assuming you are consuming protein powder to bulk up).
As a newbie, you may get through 2 scoops per day to hit your protein targets. That’s because you have not yet gotten use to consuming a high-protein diet from food alone.(2)
As you become more experienced with bulking, you may reduce to 1 scoop per day. But you will have have to supplement the rest of your protein intake from your food.
And for the most experienced of “bulkers”, you can make do with only half a scoop a day. By now, you will be well-versed in eating a high protein diet. So you can minimise the need for protein powder.
Check out my other article to find out how to hit your protein target without protein shakes!
The rate at which you consume protein powder has the biggest influence on how long it will last. For example, a 5kg tub being consumed at a rate of 2 scoops per day will last as long as a 2.5kg tub being consumed at 1 scoop per day.
Does Protein Powder Expire?
So far I have assumed you are consuming your protein powder on a regular basis.
But what if you take a break from your protein powder consumption? Will it expire?
Protein powders are a sealed and dry product. Additionally, many also contain additives which preserve shelf-life for up to 2 years (if unopened).(3)
In fact, a 2005 study concluded that a tub of whey protein can last for at least 12 months and up to 19 months or more.
But this assumes that the tub is unopened and kept at optimal storage conditions (21°C and <35% humidity).
Additionally, you should be aware that the protein content in a tub may naturally decrease with time. And some amino acids such as lysine may deteriorate faster than other amino acids.(4)
Furthermore, things change when you have opened a tub.
That’s because breaking the seal will allow moisture and bacteria to enter the tub. I would recommend you to check your protein if it has been opened for more than 6 months.
Signs that a tub of protein has gone bad or expired are:
- Bad smells.
- Changes in flavour.
Fat content will also affect how long a tub of protein will last.
Some protein powders such as mass gainers contain a significant amount of fat. And fats can go rancid very quickly if not stored properly.
I would recommend you to check your mass gainer if it has been opened for more than 1 months past it’s expiry.
An unopened tub of protein powder can last between 12 to 24 months if it is kept at optimal conditions of 21°C and <35% humidity. Once opened, protein powder will begin to deteriorate. Signs of expiration include clumping, wetness, bad smells, flavour changes, and discolouration.
I have answered the question: how long does a tub of protein powder last?
The exact amount of time a tub lasts for depends on the size of the scoop, size of the tub, and how much you consume every day.
As a ballpark figure, expect a 2.5kg tub with a 30g scoop to last for around 3 months (at 1 scoop per day).
Additionally, protein powder is perishable. And it has a shelf life between 12 months to 24 months if unopened. If a tub has been opened, then you should exercise due diligence to check for freshness before you consume!
What protein powder do you use, and how long does it last?
Please let me know in the comments below! It would be awesome to hear about your own personal experiences!
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Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)