Storing and Disposing of Supplements
Are you storing, checking, and disposing of your supplements correctly? Supplements are expensive, and when you’ve ensured that they come from a high quality supplier, you want to get the most out of them. We are breaking down these topics so you can consume your supplements safely and hopefully save money in the process!
For best results, you should store your supplements in a dry, dark space at room temperature. Some active ingredients in supplements can begin to break down when exposed to light, which is why correctly storing your supplements can help extend their shelf life.
Do vitamins, minerals, and supplements expire?
Yes and no. Vitamins, minerals, and supplements don’t necessarily go bad, but they do become less potent over time. Because of this, they are given an expiration date. Vitamins and other supplements typically have a two-year shelf life. If, for some reason, your supplement doesn’t have an expiration date, just know you might not want to use it after two years have passed.
Is it safe to take supplements after their expiration date?
Yes, you can technically take supplements after the expiration date because, as mentioned before, supplements don’t go bad, they just become less potent. However, for maximum effectiveness, don’t take supplements after their expiration date.
How should I dispose of vitamins and other supplements?
There are a few ways you can dispose of expired vitamins and other supplements.
- Check if your city has a hazardous waste collection site. If so, dispose of them there.
- Some cities may do an expired medicine disposal a few times a year. If yours does, you can collect all of your expired medicines, vitamins, and other supplements and dispose of them all at once.
- If neither of the above is an option, and you opt to throw your supplements in the trash, see below for best practices.
- Take vitamins and other supplements out of the original container and put them into a plastic bag.
- Mix supplements with an undesirable substance such as dirt, coffee grounds, or cat litter.
- Seal the bag and place it in the trash.
If you start having doubts about your supplements, either because they have become discolored, taken on a strange smell, or have passed their expiration date, it's best to dispose of them as these are all signs that your supplements may have lost their potency. That's why it's important to store your supplements in dark, room temperature places to help keep your vitamins and minerals at their peak potency. If you have questions about vitamins or supplements, or how to dispose of them, contact your local pharmacist.