It is important for you to stay hydrated as you run; however, you also need to think about your nutrients. You need plenty of carbohydrates and electrolytes, and you might not want to carry another water bottle with you. That is where energy gels can be helpful.
Do energy gels go bad? Not necessarily, but we don’t recommend consuming out-of-date energy gels.
- 1 Best Before vs. Expiration Date
- 2 Energy Gels Lose Their Freshness, Taste, and Nutritional Value
- 3 Follow Your Instinct
- 4 Final Word on Do Energy Gels Go Bad
- 5 FAQs About Do Energy Gels Go Bad
Best Before vs. Expiration Date
First, you need to take a look at the package to see if there is a best before date or expiration date. If the energy gels have an expiration date on them, this is a sign that they go bad. Do not consume them past the expiration date.
On the other hand, if you see a best by or best before date, this is a sign that you should still consume them before that date; however, they are not necessarily going to make you sick if you consume them after that date.
Energy Gels Lose Their Freshness, Taste, and Nutritional Value
Even if energy gels do not technically go bad, you still need to consume them before the date on the package. If you consume energy gels after the best before date, you might experience a few issues. They include:
- The energy gels might not taste as well as they should.
- Your energy gels might not be as fresh.
- The aroma of your energy gels might be a bit off.
- Some of the nutritional content could have degraded, meaning they might not give you the energy boost you expect.
You should consume energy gels by the date written on the package for all of these reasons. Different energy gels might contain other nutrients, and they might have different ingredient profiles, which is why they expire at different rates.
Follow Your Instinct
Of course, you should also follow your instincts. For example, if the energy gels have changed color, smelled rancid, or looked like they were moving, you should certainly stay away from them. Every brand is different, and some energy gels expire faster than others. If you open the package and do not recognize what you are looking at, it is probably best to throw it away.
Final Word on Do Energy Gels Go Bad
Ultimately, every energy gel is different. Some brands might expire, while others have a long shelf life. Examine the package and see if you can find an expiration date or a best before date.
Even if the energy gels do not technically expire, you should still consume them before the date on the package. That way, you get the optimal nutritional and energy boost from the gel itself. When in doubt, use your common sense and air on the side of caution.
Check our our guide on where to buy energy gels.
FAQs About Do Energy Gels Go Bad
What is the difference between a best by date and expiration date?
If you see an expiration date on the package, you should not consume the gels after that date because they could make you sick. If you see a best-by date, this is a sign that the product may lose some of its quality after that date, but it will not necessarily make you sick.
How do I know if the energy gels have gone bad?
If you notice a funky smell, see unusual colors, or see something moving in the package, this is a sign they have gone bad.