Written by Ben Carlisle
Last updated on: Sep 18, 2022
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Yes, it is allowed to bring protein powder onto a plane, but the amount you are allowed to take in your carry on and your checked baggage will vary depending on the regulations of the individual airline and the airport you use. In nearly all cases, protein powder is travel-friendly.
Many people use protein powder as part of their daily routine. It is a great way to help boost protein intake and move towards fitness and performance goals. However, planning a trip which includes air travel can cause some anxiety over whether you will be able to take your protein shakes as normal.
There is potential you will be searched if you are carrying protein supplementation, but there are ways that you can pack your protein in your bags to minimise this inconvenience. Let us find out more about traveling with protein supplementation...
Yes protein supplementation is allowed on planes in most countries and airlines. The amount you are allowed to bring on a plane will vary between different regions and airlines.
Packing your protein powder into your hand luggage is allowed in most countries. So, in general, having protein powder in your hand luggage should not get you into trouble at just about any airport you fly from or arrive in, and you may only be stopped at a security checkpoint to explain what it is to an airport security officer or Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent.
However, this is subject to the amount of protein powder you try to take in your hand luggage. Different airports and airlines may have their own individual rules regarding what they believe to be acceptable.
Whether the protein powder can or cannot be kept in your hand luggage will also depend on how it is packaged and if it is labeled. You need to ensure it is clearly for personal use only and there is no intention to sell the protein powder at the destination you are going to.
Packing protein powder into your checked baggage is allowed with most airports and airlines (1). If you keep it in your checked baggage, just be aware that you may be subject to additional screening in the airport you are leaving and in the destination you are arriving in.
This is why taking protein powder on to a plane via carry on is the best option, as you can easily explain to airport security what it is. This can help you get past security much faster, and you are less likely to be stopped for a more in-depth search.
However, this is always up to the airport security’s discretion. There is also a limit to the amount of powder you can pack in your check-in luggage, which can differ from country to country and from airport to airport.
You should always package your protein supplement correctly when packing into your checked luggage. You need to ensure you only have enough powder in your bag for personal consumption; otherwise, this could raise suspicions with airport security that you may intend to sell the supplement when you arrive at your destination.
If security suspect you intend to sell the supplement you may be asked to throw the protein powder away or surrender it. In extreme cases you may not be allowed on the plane.
The amount of protein you are allowed to pack in both your carry on luggage and your checked luggage is dependant on the country you are in and the destination you are going to. This can also be subject to the airports and airlines you are flying with, as some follow different rules than the government has suggested.
For example, if you are flying in the United States, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protein powder regulations (1), you should only bring your protein powder in sealable containers which do not exceed 12 oz (350 ml) in your carry on luggage. If you want to take any container larger than this, it is advisable to pack non-essential powders in to your checked baggage; otherwise, you will be subject to multiple security checks including x-ray screening, which can extend your time passing security.
But if you are flying in the EU or the United Kingdom (2, 3), according to the government regulations, there is no limit to the protein bars or powders you can take in your carry on luggage; you may bring as much as you would like to use.
However, you will need to research the rules and regulations regarding the weight and dimensions you are allowed to have outlined by the relevant airline you are flying with, as they may have applied different regulations than recommended by the government.
Whether your bringing your protein on to a plane in your carry on or checked luggage, you need to pack it correctly and in the right containers to make things as easy possible for yourself if you are stopped at a security checkpoint. So, let us go over how you can pack your protein correctly for air travel.
This is especially important if your protein powder is white, as white powder substances can lead you to additional screening from airport security for obvious reasons. If your protein powder is white and is a fine consistency, keep it in its original container when you travel with it. This will help reduce speculation from airport security or TSA agents.
If your protein powder is not white, you can repackage it to help it fit better in the bag you are placing it in. To do this, scoop out individual portions of protein powder, place them in individual zip-lock plastic bags, and label them as protein powder.
Then place each ziplock bag into a durable freezer bag. This protects you if the other bags break, so you will not have protein powder spilling into your luggage. Keeping them in individual serving sizes helps highlight to security it is for personal consumption.
However, if you can, it is always better to travel with your protein powder in its original container that is sealed, as this will make your travels go smoother.
Protein powder can be brought onto planes, but the amount will vary depending on the country you are in and the airports and airlines you are flying with, as they all have different regulations regarding protein powders. In the United States, if you want to take more than 12oz (350ml) of protein powder with you, it is advisable to pack non-essential powders it into your checked baggage; otherwise, you will be subject to additional screening including x-ray screening.
In most cases, protein powders can be taken on to plane via carry on or check-in luggage. Always remember to research the regulations of both your airline and airport for carry on and checked luggage well in advance of your travel date.