Many people want to continue their training routine while away from home on business or vacation. So bringing their favorite protein powder with them on a plane to continue using them while away is obviously important.
It is therefore important to know the rules concerning whether you can bring protein powder on a plane or not, and if so, how much can you take and where can you carry it.
The Quick Answer: Protein powder may be carried in either your carry on bag or your checked bag. If packed in your carry on it may need to go through an additional screening procedure at security.
This article should answer any question you may have about bringing protein powder on a plane or meal replacement shakes.
Can you bring protein powder through airport security
There are no restrictions on taking protein powder through airport security. They can be left in your carry on luggage when the bag goes through the x-ray machine so you do not need to remove them and place them in a tray.
This is what the Transportation Security Administration state on its website regarding the TSA protein powder regulations on a plane in both carry on luggage and checked baggage:
Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened. For your convenience, we encourage you to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.
Clearly, the issues, from a security standpoint, are that carrying a relatively large amount of powder, particularly a white protein powder rather than a dark-colored protein powder, are that it could actually be drugs or some form of explosive. It is understandable that additional screening would be required rather than just passing it through an x-ray scanner.
This is confirmed in the tweet below and also that it must go in a separate tray when a passenger asked about taking an unopened 2lb box of protein powder.
This is the TSA confirming that you can bring protein powder in any type of container, it makes no difference.
How much protein powder can you take through TSA security?
Effectively you can bring as much protein powder as you want in either your carry on or checked baggage. You are limited only by the size and weight restrictions of your airline’s baggage allowances.
This is an example response to a passenger’s question regarding packing protein powder in a ziploc bag:
Can you take protein powder while on board?
You can certainly make up a protein shake and drink it during the flight using water that you purchase either in a store after the airport security checkpoint, onboard the aircraft or if you fill a water bottle or shaker bottle up in the terminal after security, perhaps at a water fountain.
Can you take protein powder in your checked bags?
Bringing protein powder in a checked bag is not only permitted but also the most sensible place to pack it. It is probably safer in a suitcase, assuming it is packed properly, than in a carry on bag.
It will also avoid you having to have the powder go through the additional screening in addition to x-ray screening that a TSA agent will want to do on it if in carry on.
The TSA confirms below that a protein powder bag is permitted in checked luggage and that, should they need to open the suitcase and check it they will leave a note to say that they did.
Can you take protein powders on an international flight?
You can take protein powder on international flights to consume during the flight. If you intend to take it into the country you are flying to you will need to check that it is permitted under that country’s customs regulations.
Protein powders will probably be allowed but you may have to declare that you have it on a customs declaration and possibly pay import duty on it.
Can you bring Creatine on a plane?
You can bring Creatine powder with you on a plane in both carry on baggage and checked bags and in any amount that is practical to carry. However, the TSA suggests that amounts greater than 12 ounces be packed in checked bags.
It will need to be screened separately if you are carrying it through airport security.
Can I bring liquid protein shakes on a plane?
You cannot take an already made-up liquid protein shake through the security checkpoint as this would fall foul of the liquids rule which only allows liquids in a container that is no larger than 3.4 ounces.
You could pack a protein drink in your checked luggage as the TSA liquid rules do not apply to items in the aircraft’s hold.
There would be nothing to stop you from making up a protein shake after you pass through the security checkpoint and taking that on a plane to drink during the flight.
See the TSA’s confirmation of this on Twitter below:
Can you bring protein bars on a plane?
Solid protein bars and energy bars can be taken in your carry on bag to consume during the flight as this tweeted reply from the TSA confirms:
How to transport protein powder
If you are taking a checked bag the best place to pack protein powders is in that bag. If not then you have no option but to put it in your hand luggage.
You can place it in plastic bags but you should make sure that it won’t get damaged and leak out all over your clothes and other items.
Can you bring protein powder on a plane? You should have no problems taking protein powder in any quantity with you when traveling in either your carry on bag or your checked bag. In your carry on it may need to undergo additional screening at security but it will still be permitted.
Can you take meal replacement shakes on a plane?
You can only take meal replacement supplements in powdered form (to make up on the flight) as a liquid shake is not permitted under the TSA liquids rule. They can be packed in your checked luggage though.
Can you bring pre workout on a plane?
You are permitted to take pre-workout powders on a plane in any quantity you wish in both carry on and checked baggage.
Can you bring protein gel on a plane?
Protein gels larger than 3.4 ounces in carry on bags might be disallowed as gels are normally treated as liquids under TSA guidelines. It would be up to the TSA officer who deals with you as his/her decision is final. You can pack protein gel in your checked baggage.
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot. About Me