ELI5- Why does certain powders such as pre workout solidify?

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I don’t remove the silica gel packet, yet each time I buy a tub it gets sticky and clumps up within a few weeks

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are hygroscopic, meaning they pull water from the air. The silica gel is meant to prevent that but it can only do so much. Water partially makes the grains stick to each other and partially “melts” them by dissolving and redepositing the material. This results in big clumps.

It actually is an issue in applied chemistry as well. There’s some substances that are so hygroscopic that even in a “sealed” container, it all becomes one big clump and you have to shake it vigorously to break it up before you can take anything out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are hygroscopic, meaning they pull water from the air. The silica gel is meant to prevent that but it can only do so much. Water partially makes the grains stick to each other and partially “melts” them by dissolving and redepositing the material. This results in big clumps.

It actually is an issue in applied chemistry as well. There’s some substances that are so hygroscopic that even in a “sealed” container, it all becomes one big clump and you have to shake it vigorously to break it up before you can take anything out.