Expired Gatorade: Is it Safe to Drink and How to Tell if it’s Gone Bad

Gatorade is great for replacing electrolytes after a hard workout or a hard day working outside. If you’ve been drinking Gatorade for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed the date on the side of the bottle.

Gatorade is a shelf-stable beverage and doesn’t expire at the date on the side of the bottle. The makers of Gatorade state, “If the bottle appears sealed tightly and has no obvious visible off-color or odor when opened, there’s no reason why it cannot be consumed past the recommended usage date on the neck of each bottle.”

Like most beverages, the date on the bottle of Gatorade is a best by date, not an expiration date.

Is it OK to drink expired Gatorade?

Gatorade doesn’t have an expiration date, it has a best by date. A best by date is placed on the packaging of food products for two reasons, it’s required for food products to have a date on them and it prevents people from contacting the company and complaining about a product that is many years old and no longer tastes right. Gatorade is no different.

Pepsico, the makers of Gatorade, says that as long as the Gatorade bottle is tightly sealed and the product inside looks okay, then there’s no reason that you can’t drink it. If you think about it, it makes complete sense. None of the ingredients in Gatorade are likely to spoil or go bad if the bottle is still sealed.

Gatorade contains water, sucrose (table sugar), dextrose, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium chloride (table salt), sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, and flavoring/coloring ingredients. All of these are pretty stable and don’t readily break down.

How should you store Gatorade?

Gatorade should be stored in the same way that any other bottled beverage should be stored. Try to keep it in a cool, dark place and the quality of the drink itself will last for a lot longer and be less likely to go bad in any way.

If you’re storing Gatorade long term (for several years) it’s best to keep it at least at room temperature.

How long is unopened Gatorade good for?

If Gatorade isn’t opened it can be used for years after the best by date on the side of the bottle!

Before you drink Gatorade that’s been sitting around for a while, you should check it to make sure that it’s still okay to drink. Start by holding the bottle up to the light. If there doesn’t look like there are any floating material or sediment in the bottle, you should open it (making sure that the seal on the bottle is still secure) and smell the Gatorade to make sure that it smells okay. Finally, take a small sip and make sure that it doesn’t taste off.

If the seal is broken, the Gatorade looks, tastes or smells off, you should throw it away. It’s better to not take a chance with it.

Why does Gatorade need to be refrigerated after opening?

Once Gatorade is opened up it allows all kinds of bacteria to start growing in the bottle. This is especially true if you drink straight from the bottle (which most people do).

All the bacteria from your mouth gets on the inside of the bottle and into the Gatorade itself. As long as you refrigerate the Gatorade you’re good to keep drinking it for about five days. After that, you should get rid of it because bacterial growth is slowed in cold temperatures, but it doesn’t completely stop.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate Gatorade after opening?

If you don’t refrigerate Gatorade after you open it, you’re basically providing bacteria the perfect environment to grow and reproduce.

Have you ever left Gatorade sitting around after you opened it and then checked on it a week or two later? You probably noticed chunks and other nasty things inside. I may have even had mold growing on top of it!

Finish your Gatorade after you open it, or put it in the fridge.

Can you get sick from expired Gatorade?

Gatorade doesn’t really expire. It can last for a long time as long as the top is still on and sealed.

Is it possible that you could get sick from drinking it after many years? Yes, it’s possible but it’s not likely. Just look it over closely and don’t drink anything that looks like it’s not good anymore.

Powdered Gatorade

Does powdered Gatorade go bad? It will eventually go bad, but as long as it’s sealed it should keep most of its flavor and still be good for quite a few years.

Do the same thing that you’d to for any other dry beverage powder. Check the smell, look for discoloration, and make sure the seal is still intact. If all of those are good then you should be fine using it.


So does Gatorade go bad? Not really.

Check it to make sure that it’s not discolored, chunky, or have an off flavor or taste and it should be fine to drink.

To keep Gatorade tasting as fresh as possible, keep it out of the sunlight and in a cool room that doesn’t get much light.