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How Long Does Gatorade Last? When Should It Be Thrown Away?

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Gatorade is a fantastic drink to consume if you are looking for a sugar and energy boost. This is why it is a popular drink for preppers to consume. It can be a great option to consider, but how long is its shelf life?

In this article, we will be chatting you through everything you need to know about Gatorade, from its ingredients, to its shelf life, and what happens if you drink this beverage once it has expired.

What Is Gatorade?

If you are unfamiliar with Gatorade, it is an American sports drink company. It was founded in 1965, and still remains one of the most popular sports drinks in the USA.

It is a part of PepsiCo, and its founders include Robert Cade, Harry James Free, and Dana Shires.

Gatorade comes in a range of different flavors, such as Cool Blue, Fruit Punch and Lemonade. Given that it is a sports drink, this means that it helps to keep the body balanced and hydrated during exercise. When exercising, the body loses electrolytes through sweat.

The added electrolytes in Gatorade help to replace these, and aid sporting performance. It is a great option to consider when it comes to survival and prepping, considering the added electrolytes.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Gatorade?

When purchasing Gatorade, the bottle will always have a date on the neck of the bottle. This is intended to allow you to see when the Gatorade is no longer safe to drink.

Drinks in the USA have to have the expiry date clearly labelled on the bottle to ensure that it is consumed safely.

The shelf life of Gatorade will vary depending on the bottle. However, in the vast majority of cases, the date on the bottle will be between one and three years of the drink being packaged.

It is also important to note the difference between expiry dates, and best before dates. If something has an expiry date, it will need to be consumed before the date stated.

In contrast to this, if something has a best before date, then it can be consumed after the date stated. However, the longer you leave the drink to consume, the worse it will taste over time.

When looking at Gatorade specifically, it has a best before date, rather than an expiry date. This means that, technically speaking, it can be consumed for a while after the date stated on the bottle. This is useful to know in a survival situation.

How Long Does Unopened Gatorade Last?


The shelf life can vary depending on how the bottles are stored, and whether the seal and the bottle remain intact. If the bottle is safely sealed, then it will last the shelf life and beyond with no issues.

However, if the bottle is damaged, this will quickly affect the quality of the Gatorade. When thinking about the ingredients of the Gatorade, they are all long-lasting, and are not particularly perishable, which helps to prolong the shelf life.

Some of the ingredients include: sucrose, sodium chloride, water, and monopotassium phosphate. These compounds take a significant amount of time to break down.

What Is The Best Way To Store Gatorade?

The key to keeping Gatorade okay to drink for as long as possible is the way in which it is stored. You will want to ensure that the bottles remain unopened and undamaged until they are ready to consume.

It is important to store the bottles in a cool and dry place, out of direct sunlight, to ensure that the quality of the drink is not affected. Unopened Gatorade does not need to be placed in the refrigerator, and it is best for it to be stored at room temperature.

How To Store Opened Gatorade

How To Store Opened Gatorade


When it comes to an open bottle of Gatorade, this does need to be stored slightly differently. This is because the seal has been broken, which leaves the Gatorade more susceptible to bacteria and going bad.

If you are in a survival situation it can be more difficult to refrigerate a bottle of opened Gatorade, however, this is what you should do where possible. This is particularly important if you want to leave the opened drink to be finished after a few days.

When you are drinking from the bottle of a drink, bacteria easily travels into the liquid, which affects its quality. Where possible, you will want to pour the Gatorade into a separate glass or container to drink out of if you want to store it for as long as possible.

The colder a drink is, the more difficult it is for the bacteria to grow and multiply. This is why it should be refrigerated where possible. Once opened, you will want to aim to drink the Gatorade within five days.

Anything after this can cause an increased chance of the bacteria making you ill.

Can Expired Gatorade Make You Ill?

While Gatorade does not have a specific expiry date, if you drink it long after its best before date, this can potentially make you ill. However, this will all depend on the quality of the Gatorade and how well it has been kept.

If it has gone bad, then this can cause illnesses such as food poisoning. This is why it is important to check the quality of the Gatorade before consuming. If the bottle is open, the likelihood is that it has gone bad.

If the bottle is unopened, but it looks discolored, or has bits within the drink that are floating, this can be a sign that it is not safe to drink. If your gut is saying not to drink it, then it is best to follow this.

In addition to this, you can typically tell by the taste and smell of the Gatorade. If it smells or tastes bad, you will want to avoid drinking it. Sometimes mold can form on the top of the drink too, which is a sign that it is no longer safe to drink.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Powdered Gatorade?

One of the great things about Gatorade when it comes to prepping is that it can be purchased in a powdered form too. This is better when it comes to storing it as this can be added to water, and you do not need to worry about the space the bottles take up.

As it is a powder, it typically lasts for a good number of years when it has not been opened. However, you will need to ensure that it is kept in a dry and cool environment and does not get affected by moisture or warmth.

This can quickly make the powder go bad. Once the powder has been opened, you will also need to use it fairly quickly.


We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, Gatorade is a fantastic option for preppers to consider given how long it lasts, and the benefits it has.

The most important thing to remember is that you will need to store it correctly and unopened to ensure that it lasts for as long as possible.