Does Muscle Milk Need to Be Refrigerated?

Muscle Milk is a popular company that sells pre-made protein shakes and protein powders, varying in flavors from Cookies N’ Cream to Slammin’ Strawberry.

The products are designed to provide sustained energy while promoting workout recovery and building lean muscles. Does it need to be refrigerated, though?

Muscle Milk, in its sealed container, does not require refrigeration, making it convenient for on-the-go consumption or storage in non-refrigerated environments. However, once opened, it’s important to refrigerate any remaining product to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. The refrigerated Muscle Milk should be consumed within 48 hours to ensure freshness and safety. Always check for any unusual odors or changes in texture before consuming, as these could indicate spoilage.

Knowing how to handle Muscle Milk safely is key to ensuring you don’t end up with food-borne illnesses, and that’s exactly what this article is here to share.

Below, you will find essential info about Muscle Milk product storage and whether or not it needs to be refrigerated. 

Does Muscle Milk Need to Be Refrigerated?

Muscle Milk, for the most part, does not need to be refrigerated.

The only exceptions are opened Muscle Milk protein shakes and homemade protein drinks using Muscle Milk protein powders. 

Does Muscle Milk Protein Shake Need to be Refrigerated?

Muscle Milk Protein Shakes only need to be refrigerated after opening and can last up to 10 days when properly sealed.

This is true for all Muscle Milk Protein Shake products, whether you opt for the Zero, Genuine, Pro Series, or Coffee House varieties.

Does Muscle Milk Need to be Refrigerated Before Opening?

Muscle Milk does not need to be refrigerated before opening. This can be somewhat confusing due to the name Muscle “Milk.” 

Surprisingly enough, Muscle Milk does not contain milk.

It is known as a “dairy-free” protein drink, although there are certain ingredients derived from milk (such as milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate), which is why it’s not a vegan option. 

Since Muscle Milk does not contain dairy, it has a relatively impressive shelf life. Muscle Milk comes with a listed “best by” date that you should follow.

Consuming within the recommended timeframe will ensure you get the best flavor and absorb the highest nutritional content.

Muscle Milk is safe to consume a few weeks beyond the “best by” date when stored properly.

For example, the protein shake is kept in a cool, dark area, such as the back of the kitchen pantry, and has not been in high temperatures or excessive humidity.

Does Muscle Milk Need to be Refrigerated After Opening?

Once the seal has been broken, Muscle Milk will need to be refrigerated.
Muscle Milk will remain safe and delicious for up to 10 days when stored in the fridge. Just make sure that the cap is tightly sealed.

Does Muscle Milk Go Bad if Not Refrigerated?

Whether it’s refrigerated or not, Muscle Milk will eventually go bad.

Unopened Muscle Milk protein shakes can easily last a few weeks beyond the “best by” date. Opened Muscle Milk protein shakes will last up to 10 days in the fridge.

How Long Can Muscle Milk Stay Unrefrigerated?

Unrefrigerated and unopened Muscle Milk will remain food a few weeks beyond the listed “best by” date.

Once opened, the Muscle Milk will need to be consumed within two hours or stored in the fridge for up to 10 days. 

Unrefrigerated, unopenedFew weeks beyond the “best by” date
Unrefrigerated, openedUp to 4 hours

Can I Refrigerate Muscle Milk?

Worried about the shelf life of your Muscle Milk? Simply prefer to sip on an ice-cold protein shake after your workout?

Muscle milk

Regardless of why you want to store your Muscle Milk in the fridge, you will be glad to know that you can safely refrigerate Muscle Milk.

In fact, most people prefer the flavor and hydrating effects of chilled Muscle Milk protein shakes, so go ahead and store unopened Muscle Milk in the fridge from the get-go.

Can You Have Muscle Milk Warm?

Some people might not want to consume Muscle Milk chilled for various reasons, such as sensitive teeth.

If this is you, don’t worry – you can still consume Muscle Milk when it’s warm. As long as it has not been opened yet, you can safely drink unopened Muscle Milk protein shakes that are warm (but not hot).

If it’s been opened and placed in the refrigerator, but you want to consume it warm, go ahead and heat it for 20 seconds in the microwave.

Just transfer it into a microwave-safe cup before doing so.

Remember that your Muscle Milk protein shakes and powders should always be kept in a cool, dry, and dark location.

That said, your Muscle Milk products should never become too warm or hot, as this can cut down on longevity.

If you’re concerned about the temperature of your Muscle Milk, check for signs of spoilage such as an odd taste and horrific smell.

How Long Can You Keep Muscle Milk? (Storage Tips)

How long you can keep your Muscle Milk product depends on what type of product you’re buying – premade protein shakes or protein powder – and whether or not they’re open.

Storage also plays a critical role in how long you can keep your product. 

Protein Powder

If you prefer to make your protein shakes (and other yummy recipes like pancakes or cupcakes), you will need to purchase Muscle Milk protein powder.

Protein Powder

Muscle Milk protein powder can last up to 2 years when stored properly.

Keep the protein powder in the convenient tub it is sold in, or transfer it into an airtight container.

The key is to keep moisture out. So, whatever storage options you’re using, ensure that the lid is closed tightly.

Also, keep protein powder in a cool, dark, and dry area that hovers around 65-70F. The back of the kitchen pantry or cabinet is an excellent choice. 

Keep it out of sunlight, temperatures above 80F, and excessive humidity. Try and keep it away from moisture, too, as wetness will ruin protein powder if it makes contact.

Protein Shakes

Premade Muscle Milk protein shakes have a shorter shelf life. The best thing to do is pay attention to the “best by” date listed on the product, likely anywhere from 6 to 12 months out.

The premade shakes will remain good for a few weeks after the “best by” date, as long as it’s stored properly. 

To store unopened Muscle Milk protein shakes, place them in a cool, dry, and dark area such as the kitchen pantry.

The temperature should range from 65-70F at all times. Keep it away from high humidity levels and hot temperatures exceeding 80F.

Once opened, you will need to store the premade protein shakes in the fridge for up to 10 days or consume it within 4 hours.

When storing in the refrigerator, ensure the temperature is below 40F. Otherwise, bacteria may begin to form rapidly.

Homemade Protein Shakes

You must be extra careful when making homemade protein shakes using Muscle Milk protein powder, especially if you add perishable ingredients like milk, spinach, kale, strawberries, etc. 

When blending with perishable ingredients, you must consume it within 2 hours of blending it.

If the temperatures exceed 80 F or you’re in an area of high humidity, consume it within the hour.

If stored in the fridge, keep the temperature at 40F or lower. Consume the beverage within 1 day. You may need to re-blend the shake. 

If you simply mix Muscle Milk protein powder with water and ice, you can enjoy it within 3-4 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity levels.

Or, you can stash it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Protein PowderPantry (65-70F)Up to 2 years
Protein Shakes (Unopened)Pantry (65-70F)Few weeks past “best by” date
Protein Shakes (Opened)Fridge (40F-lower)Up to 10 days
Protein Shakes (Opened)Room Temperature (70F)Up to 4 hours
Homemade Shakes with Perishable IngredientsFridge (40F-lower)1 day
Homemade Shakes with Perishable IngredientsRoom Temperature (70F)1-2 hours
Homemade Shakes without Perishable IngredientsFridge (40F-lower)2 days
Homemade Shakes without Perishable IngredientsRoom Temperature (70F)3-4 hours

How Long Does Protein Shake Last at Room Temperature?

Premade Muscle Milk protein shakes will last up to 4 hours at room temperature.

However, homemade protein drinks using Muscle Milk powder and other ingredients may only last up to 2 hours at room temperature.

This depends mainly on what ingredients are added to the homemade protein shake.

For example, a shake that blends Muscle Milk protein powder with milk, vegetables, and fruit, will only last up to 2 hours at room temperature or a day in the fridge.

If Muscle Milk protein powder is simply blended with water and ice, it can remain good for up to 4 hours at room temperature or up to 2 days in the fridge.

Does Muscle Milk Go Bad?

Much like any other product, Muscle Milk will eventually go bad. The good news is that it won’t make you ill most of the time. But why risk it?

Look for signs such as a rotten smell, bitter taste, discoloration, or clumping. These are clear indicators it’s time for a fresh batch of Muscle Milk products.

Rancid Smell

The most significant sign that your Muscle Milk protein shakes or powder has gone bad is a putrid odor.

Give your product the “sniff test.” If it smells sour or spoiled, it likely is. Who would want to drink something that smells so foul, anyway? Toss it out and start fresh.

Odd Taste

If it’s a Muscle Milk protein shake, take a sip. If it’s the powder, scoop a little bit out with a spoon and give it a taste.

If it tastes bitter, stale, or otherwise unpleasant, it should be thrown away.


A discoloration of any food item is never a good thing and could signify that mold is developing in your product.

It can be hard to notice in items such as protein shakes and powders, so make sure to give them a generous lookover.


Clumping can occur in protein shakes and powder, but it is most likely to happen in the protein powder.

If you see clumps in the powder, this indicates that moisture has somehow found its way inside.

This creates the ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow. If consumed, you could get sick, especially if you’re allergic to the mold. It’s best to get rid of it instead of using the “non-clumpy” areas.

Final Words

Muscle Milk protein powder does not need to be refrigerated. The Muscle Milk protein shakes only need to be refrigerated upon opening and will remain good for up to 10 days.

Homemade protein shakes using Muscle Milk protein powder should be consumed within 2-4 hours or placed in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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