How Long Do Sports Drinks Last?

Sport drinks, how long do sport drinks last? Does Gatorade go bad? The shelf life of sport drinks is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the processing method, best by date, exposure to light and heat, and how the sport drink was stored. Gatorade, Powerade, Propel and Vitamin Water are all unique formulas containing sodium, potassium, and essential carbohydrates (sugars) and some also have caffeine. Gatorade and other sport drinks are used to replenish the body during or after exercise. ALthough regular water is good for regular exercise, sport drinks are good for extreme or extended exercise. Gatorade, Powerade, Propel and Vitamin Water come in a variety of flavors and types.

So, does Gatorade go bad? When properly stored, containers of Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, Vitamin Water and other Sport Drinks last for the time periods indicated in the table below:

How Long Does Sports Drinks Last?

Sports Drinks Expiration Date

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Gatorade bottles last for 9 Months
Powerade lasts for 9 Months
Propel lasts for 9 Months
Vitamin Water lasts for 9 Months
Gatorade Dry Powder lasts for 6-8 Months
(Opened) Refrigerator
All Sport Drinks last for 3-5 Days

Freezing or heating Gatorade, Powerade or other sport drinks is NOT recommended because chemicals from the plastic bottle can leak into the product. Of course, all types of sport drinks last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember Gatorade, like a lot of other drinks, usually has a "best by date" which is the last date by which the manufacturer will vouch for a product's freshness and flavor, not its expiration or safety. Because of this distinction, you may safely use Gatorade and Powerade to supplement your workout even after its "best by date" has lapsed.

Gatorade states that for optimal flavor and freshness, their product should be consumed within 9 months but that it may be "safely consumed past that date if the seal is intact and the product has been stored in a clean, dry, cool environment."[1]

How to tell if Sports Drinks are bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

This is difficult for the bottles, the product contains salt which is a natural preservative so you will see little difference in the product - except for the taste.

The dry powder will begin to form darker colored clumps, from picking up moisture in the air once it is opened.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled drinks so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your drinks before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Sports Drinks to extend their shelf life?

You can help Gatorade, Powerade, Propel Vitamin Water and other sport drinks stay fresh longer by storing them in a cool dark place. Once the seal is broken, the bottle should be re-sealed and refrigerated.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Sports Drinks:

  • Homemade sport or rehydration drinks can be made with water, fruit juice and a pinch of salt.
  • How long are Sports Drinks good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long do sport drinks last? That depends. How long do oranges last? In general, Gatorade. Powerade and other sport drinks last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient it is mixed with.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Sports Drinks lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Sports Drinks.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Sports Drinks shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please drink responsibly!