When Does La Croix Expire?

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Key Takeaways:

  • La Croix has a “best by” date, not an expiration date, so it does not truly expire or pose health risks.
  • Unopened cans of La Croix can last 12-18 months past the “best by” date if stored properly at room temperature.
  • Opened cans should be consumed within a week to enjoy optimum carbonation and flavor.
  • Flat or less flavorful La Croix is still safe to drink for months after opening.
  • Like other carbonated drinks, the ingredients in La Croix do not spoil for a very long time.


Sparkling water has surged in popularity as a refreshing, zero-calorie alternative to sugary sodas. La Croix reigns supreme among the plethora of fizzy water brands. Known for its wide array of fruity flavors, La Croix offers an exciting twist on plain carbonated water.

With its prominence in the beverage aisle, many La Croix devotees wonder – when does that beloved can of Pampelmousse really expire? This article will provide a comprehensive look at how long La Croix lasts, the meaning of its “best by” date, and whether expired La Croix poses any health risks. Discover the surprising shelf life of everyone’s favorite flavored bubbly water.

Supplying definitive answers, this article will analyze La Croix’s expiration timeline both before and after opening the can. You’ll learn just how long the carbonation and flavor last under proper storage conditions. Get the facts on how to tell if your La Croix is expired and when it’s time to toss it out. Most importantly, find out if it’s dangerous to drink La Croix past its prime.

With this guide, you’ll never again have to wonder if that old can of La Cola in the back of the fridge is still potable. Let’s bubble over with the fascinating science behind La Croix’s shelf life!

Unopened La Croix Shelf Life

When purchasing La Croix, you may notice a “best by” date printed on the bottom of the can. This date ranges from 9-15 months from the production date. However, it’s crucial to understand that the “best by” date is not the same as an expiration date.

What Does the “Best By” Date Mean?

The “best by” date indicates the timeframe during which the product will be at peak quality if stored properly. La Croix guarantees optimal taste and carbonation level before the “best by” date.

However, this date does not mean that the beverage expires or becomes unsafe to drink immediately after. In fact, with unopened canned and bottled beverages, expiration dates mostly serve as a benchmark for quality rather than safety.

How Long Does Unopened La Croix Last Beyond Its Date?

According to La Croix parent company National Beverage Corp, as well as food safety experts, unopened carbonated beverages retain quality for 12-18 months past the printed date when stored at room temperature.

The carbonation and flavors remain intact well beyond the “best by” timeframe. Over time, the fizziness very gradually decreases and subtle flavor loss may occur, but the change is quite slow.

So even a year past its date, an unopened can of La Croix is likely still tasty and effervescent. Unless you notice a bulging or leaking can, which signals bacteria growth, La Croix is safe to enjoy for a long time after its “best by” date.

Opened La Croix Shelf Life

Once you crack open that can and release the carbonation, La Croix’s clock starts ticking a bit faster. But just how long does opened La Croix last in the fridge?

How Long Does Opened La Croix Last?

General food safety guidelines dictate that all opened carbonated beverages should be consumed within one week for best taste and fizz.

The same applies to La Croix – once exposed to air, the carbonation quickly dissipates. The flavors also degrade more rapidly. After about a week, opened La Croix tends to go flat and lose its zing.

What Happens If You Drink La Croix Past Its Prime?

Drinking La Croix past its peak freshness may diminish its signature bubbles and bold flavor, but it poses no safety issues.

As long as there is no visible mold or foul odor, La Croix will remain safe to drink for quite awhile after opening. Storing opened cans in the refrigerator will prolong its drinkability.

Over time, the flavors become muted and the carbonation completely disappears. But flat,flavorless La Croix is not harmful, it just loses its appeal.

With no preservatives or sugars, La Croix’s ingredients do not spoil easily. An opened can has a long shelf life of several months.

The Science of La Croix’s Shelf Life

Now that we know how long La Croix lasts, what’s actually happening inside the can over time? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind La Croix’s shelf life.

Carbonation Loss

Carbonation gives La Croix its refreshing, effervescent mouthfeel. To create those tiny bubbles, pressurized carbon dioxide gas becomes dissolved into the water.

In an unopened can, the carbonation remains forcefully trapped, providing a long shelf life. However, once exposed to air, the dissolved CO2 escapes quite rapidly. Higher temperatures also accelerate the gas release.

Without that dissolved carbon dioxide, La Croix goes flat. While not a safety risk, flat soda is unappetizing.

Flavor Deterioration

Natural flavors infuse La Croix’s bubbly water with tantalizing fruit essences. But these flavor oils slowly degrade over time, especially with exposure to oxygen.

Storage temperature greatly impacts the rate of flavor loss. Over time at room temperature, the subtle fruity flavors dissipate. Refrigeration slows the breakdown significantly.

Heating La Croix causes immediate flavor deterioration. So avoid leaving cans in hot cars or direct sunlight.

Nutrient Stability

Since La Croix contains no sugars, proteins, or fats, there are no nutrients to break down and pose food safety risks.

Preservatives are also absent. With just carbonated water and natural flavorings, the shelf life depends on the stability of these simple ingredients.

The worst that can happen is gradual fizz and flavor loss. Drinking flat, bland La Croix poses no health concerns.

Signs Your La Croix Is Expired

Since La Croix lacks definitive expiration dates, how can you tell when it’s finally time to say goodbye to a well-loved case of Cran-Raspberry? Here are a few signs your La Croix is over the hill:

  • Flat with no carbonation
  • Changes in appearance – cloudy or darker liquid
  • Off odors like sourness or skunkiness
  • Metallic or cardboard taste
  • Leaking or bulging cans
  • Visible mold inside bottle or can

Trust your senses. If the aroma, taste, or carbonation seem off, the La Croix has exceeded its shelf life. When in doubt, remember – bland but safe soda beats hospitalization from contaminated beverages.

The Verdict: How Long Does La Croix Last?

So when does La Croix ultimately expire and become undrinkable?

Here’s a summary of La Croix’s shelf life:

  • Unopened shelf life: 12-18 months past “best by” date if stored properly at room temperature
  • Opened shelf life: 5-7 days in the refrigerator for optimal carbonation and flavor
  • Flat/flavorless shelf life: Several months; safe but increasingly unpalatable over time

While flat and flavorless La Croix is pretty unappealing, it will not make you sick. However, if mold, odd smells or textures develop, err on the side of caution and discard it.

By storing La Croix cans and bottles properly and consuming opened ones within a week, you can enjoy every last bubble and hint of fruitiness. But even if you chance upon a vintage can in the pantry from last summer’s beach trips, give it a taste test before dumping it out. Just a few months past its “best by” date, La Croix may surprise you with its persistent fizz.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does unopened La Croix go bad?

No, unopened La Croix does not go truly bad or become unsafe to drink, as long as the can is not damaged in any way. Over time it loses carbonation and flavor, but stays safe indefinitely.

What happens if you drink expired La Croix?

Drinking La Croix a few months or years past its “best by” date poses no health risks. At worst, the carbonation and flavor will be diminished. But flat, bland La Croix is still safe to consume.

Does La Croix have an expiration date?

No, La Croix has a “best by” date rather than a true expiration date. This date indicates when optimal quality is guaranteed through, but does not mean the product expires immediately after.

Does La Croix have preservatives?

No, La Croix does not contain any chemical preservatives. All flavors come from natural essential oils. With no sugars, proteins or fats, La Croix lacks ingredients that typically spoil.

Can old La Croix make you sick?

No, consuming La Croix past its prime will not make you sick. Harmful bacteria cannot grow in properly stored, unopened cans. Opened cans may grow mold if left for many months, but this is quite obvious upon visual inspection.

Does La Croix need to be refrigerated?

An unopened can of La Croix does not need refrigeration. Sealed cans can be stored at room temperature. But refrigeration is recommended after opening to optimize carbonation and flavor. Never leave La Croix cans in hot places like direct sunlight or hot cars.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to La Croix’s shelf life, don’t let those “best by” dates scare you off from enjoying a well-chilled can. With its nostalgic cracks and pops, bold fruity essence, and zero calories, La Croix brings guiltless joy to the lives of sparkling water enthusiasts.

Now that you know La Croix stays fresh and safe for a impressively long time after opening, you can stock up on Pineapple and Coconut to your heart’s content. Keep an unopened stash waiting in the wings for up to a year past the date. Drink up, and let the bubbles lift your spirits!

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