Can you drink an expired energy drink? (and more)

Expired Red Bull energy drink is still OK to drink.

What is an expiration date?

By law, all companies that produce food and drink are required to put a date which states when something can no longer be used on the packaging.

You might notice that even bottled water has an expiration date on it – that’s because even though water does not technically go ‘bad’, the companies are still required to print one, to protect themselves from lawsuits and also as a helpful guideline to customers to know when things are likely to have gone bad.

It’s also connected to shelf life, as it can also indicate how long the product is supposed to be on shelves.

On energy drinks, they are usually stamped somewhere on the can, distinguished by an “EXP” abbreviation that stands for “expiry date”, and through this you’ll be able to see when the anticipated date is.

effects energy drink teenagers
A typical can of Monster has its expiry date on the bottom of the can – just give it a quick flip around to take a look.

Do energy drinks need to be refrigerated?

No, they do not need to be refrigerated, but for best taste and quality, many energy drink companies do suggest that you refrigerate the can before drinking.

If you walk into any store, you’ll usually see single cans of Monster energy drinks that are ready-to-drink sitting in refrigeration areas.

However, not refrigerating these drinks does not mean that anything bad will happen – they’ll just be warm and probably won’t taste all that great.

How long do Monster energy drinks last unopened?

Like most ready-to-drink energy drinks, Monster cans have expiration dates around 18-24 months from their date of manufacture.

If you have stored your drinks properly (in a cool, dark place unexposed to extreme temperature), then the drink will probably last you about 6-9 months longer than the expiry date.

However, even that is a conservative guess, as some people have consumed cans of energy drinks 8 years (!) after the expiry date, and they seem to be fine.

Please note: if you do decide to drink that energy drink you’ve been hoarding for the last 10 years, I am in no way responsible for whatever happens to you – I would not advise it personally, but it has been done.

How long do Monster energy drinks last when opened?

Around 2-4 days.

The longer that you leave the can open, the less carbonated it’ll be over time – just like a can of soda. That means the pleasant tingle you get from the drink will decrease with time, until it just tastes completely flat and without any fizz at all.

Don’t leave it open for too long either, because it’s possible that other bacteria or micro-organisms may have entered it without you knowing!

Bang energy drinks- both brain and body fuel?
This is what a typical energy drink can is supposed to look like- no dents or unevenness, no noticeable swelling or change in the shape of the can at all. 

How much water does it take to flush out a Monster?

It’s not exact, but it takes about 0.7 gallons of water (for women) and a full gallon of water (for men) to flush out any toxins in your body completely.

This is just a guideline, not a hard and fast rule, so it goes to show that it’ll take about that much water to completely flush a Monster drink out of your body.

However, drinking a lot of water won’t flush out the caffeine any faster than would happen normally. Caffeine, similar to alcohol, has a half life and drinking lots of water won’t accelerate the rate at which it leaves your body.

How to tell if a can of Monster energy drink is expired

Firstly, check the expiration date, printed on the bottom of the can. This will tell you the official expiry date.

Next, you can tell if a single can of energy drink is expired or has gone bad if the can looks ‘bloated’ or it looks like it’s expanded.

A can of drink can swell and expand because of two reasons:

  • Hydrogen swelling – this occurs because the acidic properties of the drinks begin to corrode the sides of the metal can, which means that hydrogen gas is produced as a byproduct, and the can swells.
  • Poorly processed foods – that means that bacteria has gotten into the cans, and they feed off the substances in the cans, so the carbon dioxide they produce expands the can.

This rule pretty much applies to any canned food or drink – if its swollen, then there’s a good chance that it’s contaminated, and you absolutely should not drink it.

Also, if you see any discoloration around the cap that looks like a small amount of fluid has secreted out of the can, that’s another good indication that the can probably isn’t OK to drink.

How long do Red Bull energy drinks last unopened?

Most ready-to-drink energy drinks, including Red Bull have expiry dates around 18-24 months from their date of manufacture.

However, like the Monster and other energy drinks, Red Bull energy drink probably lasts around 6-9 months after its expiry date.

If you’re still considering drinking a can that seems perfectly fine even though its a couple of years after its expiry date, I would strongly advise you to reconsider.

A few years means that the ingredients inside will very likely have lost their efficacy, so there wouldn’t be much point in drinking it anyway. Although things such as preservatives may keep the drink fresh, it’s still probably better to err on the side of caution.

France is not the only country that banned Red Bull.
A can of Red Bull can usually be consumed up to 6-9 months after its expiry date. 

How long do Red Bull energy drinks last when opened?

Around 2-4 days.

Like Monster energy drinks, they aren’t super nice when left out for a very long time, so try to drink them as soon as possible after they are opened.

Red Bull shelf life

The typical length of Red Bull shelf life is also around 18-24 months from the date of manufacture, but could potentially be longer if stored correctly.

Do Red Bulls expire?

Yes, Red Bull cans do expire. The expiry date printed on the can will be around 18-24 months after the date of manufacture.

After this date, the ingredients within the can start to break down, so it might lose some of its taste or carbonation.

Try to drink all energy drinks within their printed best before dates so that you don’t get any nasty surprises.

How long do energy drinks take to kick in?

This depends on your own system and how you react to energy drinks.

This infographic gives a good idea of how energy drinks affect you within 24 hours of consuming them, but results may vary from person to person.

Personally, as a 6’0″ individual that weighs around 180lbs, it takes an energy drink about half an hour to really kick in for me.

Height and body weight certainly factor into the equation, and individual results may vary.

cans of different brand of energy drink on a table
Try to drink energy drinks as quickly as possible once they’re opened, before they lose their great taste! 

How long do energy drinks last in your system?

Again, depending on a myriad of factors such as gender, metabolism, weight and other things, an energy drink can last around 4-6 hours for those not used to caffeine, and 2-3 hours if you’re a habitual caffeine drinker.

The difference is because for those who drink caffeine regularly, your body may be already used to it and thus, will react slightly less to the caffeine you put into your body.

Do energy drinks weaken your immune system?

Probably not.

There are no ingredients in the energy drinks that seem to be detrimental to our immune systems, so there is not really any correlation between these two things.

However, there have been some correlations suggested between caffeine and the weakening of the immune system, so keep that in mind. Obviously, energy drinks contain caffeine.

Energy drinks you can try:

There are lots of great energy drinks on the market.

If you’re looking for some liquid energy drinks, take a look at some of the information and reviews that I’ve written up (just make sure if you do buy these, you follow the expiry date guidelines):

• Monster

• Rockstar

• Celsius energy drink

• XS drinks

• Rip It

• Bing energy drink 

• Bang energy

• Guru

• Xyience drink

• Monster Khaos 

• Monster Assault

• Monster Import

To see how Red Bull compares with Monster, check out my other article which goes into a lot of detail on all of the differences between the two drinks.

If you prefer a cola flavor, you could try Red Bull’s own Cola drink. It contains less caffeine than regular Red Bull, but may be worth considering.

Powdered energy drinks are also a great option, and they tend to be more convenient and also more affordable than a lot of the top energy drinks, but have the same great flavor and effectiveness:

• Gfuel

• Zipfizz

• Advocare Spark

• REIZE (my personal favorite)

You could also take a look at Vivarin caffeine pills if you are looking for something that’s simple and easy to swallow. As caffeine pills are also dry goods and do not have many other ingredients, they tend to have longer shelf lives too.

Of course, there are also tons of other caffeinated products out there that you could turn to for your energy needs. Something like Make It Mio is just one of them. Mio is supposed to flavor your water and give you an energy boost at the same time, for those who are a bit more health-conscious. As this is a liquid based product, this will have similar expiry concerns to Red Bull and Monster type drinks.

But, with 50mg, REIZE Energy Drink is my preferred energy boosting buddy.

REIZE contains less caffeine than most energy drinks, but it does contain plenty of other great energy-boosting ingredients that are healthy for you, such as 1000mg of taurine and 50mg of ginseng, plus plenty of B group vitamins.

As a powder energy drink, it gives you an added bonus of lasting a lot longer than your usual canned energy drink.

REIZE is a lot more convenient and versatile, since you can add all types of liquids to it – soda, hot water, cold water, flavored juice, it’s up to you.

REIZE ships right to your door for around $1 per drink, more affordable than most energy drinks on the market. 

Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that you prefer it to other energy drinks.

Marty Spargo

I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

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