Answer:

If in a dry, powder form (tablets, capsules and powders for scooping), supplements containing whey protein and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and won't break down within the range of temperatures normally experienced during shipping or in the home. Although higher temperatures may change their shapes, they will continue to provide the same nutritional benefits. Although they may clump with humidity, humidity and even water do not cause them to break down.

Digestive enzymes are stable until temperatures exceed 115° F (46° Celsius), at which point their shapes may change and this will affect their function.

Creatine, particularly in dry form, is stable within normal ranges in heat. However, humidity or water can cause creatine to degrade — which is why ConsumerLab has found some liquid creatine products to have degraded into creatinine, a different compound.

To reduce exposure to moisture, especially in humid climates, it's best to store powdered products in several small containers rather than one large container. Do not store these supplements in the refrigerator, because if you remove them and leave them open, moisture may accumulate due to condensation.

For more information about using supplements containing protein, BCAAs and creatine, plus our tests of these products, see the Review of Protein Powders and Drinks and the Review of Muscle Enhancers (Creatine and BCAA).

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3 Comments

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gary164
September 17, 2014

Didn't fully answer the question consumer labs.
What about regular ol' vitamins,i.e. C,B's one-a-day,flaxseed,
garlic,bee pollen etc.,etc.etc. in capsule or pill form?
I live in the Florida Keys but my home is air conditioned
and kept in the 70's temperature wise. Where should I shelf
my vitamins? On the kitchen counter,in a cupboard or in the frig?

ConsumerLab.com
September 25, 2014

Hi Gary - This question was specifically about whey protein and sports supplements, but your question is a good one!

We've added a link at the bottom of the Answer where you can find information about storing other types of supplements. Also, be sure to check product reviews for advice on storing.

For example, here is some information about storing supplements that contain flaxseed oil: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews//flaxseed/#storage

Kelley16258
December 3, 2017

I was wondering the same thing about protein powder because so many health "gurus" are promoting their recipes that use protein powders in baked goods -- everything from muffins and pancakes to homemade protein bars and granola. These recipes usually call for baking temps between 200 and 350. So, if 110 degrees F is the threshold for protein powder degradation, then baking with protein powder is a waste of money?

ConsumerLab.com
December 19, 2017

Hi Kelley - Proteins remain chemically intact in the baking process, so there should be no issue baking with protein powders.

Christine161
September 17, 2014

What about storing other supplements and vitamins, including Omega-3 fish oil capsules and other oil-based capsules such as Vitamin E, etc.? Can they safely be stored in the refrigerator, and should they be?

ConsumerLab.com
September 18, 2014

Hi Christine - You can find more information about the effects of heat on supplements, and storing other types of supplements, here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/vitamin_temperature/, as well as in individual product reviews. For example, information about keeping fish oil fresh can be found here: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/#fresh.

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